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November 30, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Playing Along

Robot playing piano in Shanghai Science and Technology Museum (image Jakub Halun/

Robots like to play, too. Don’t you think they have wishes? (Jakub Halun/

It’s an old game – origin unknown.

Seen among bored kids sprawled on their backs looking at the lazy summer sky – as well as among the older crowd wrapped in warm, winter blankets in front of a fire.

You’ve play it: “What if you had three wishes?” 

The first wish is pretty predictable: “World Peace”. Earnestly uttered by beauty pageant contestants or high schoolers wanting to appear virtuous. 

The third wish is routine: clever or greedy depending on the speaker: “I wish for three more wishes.”

It’s the middle wish choice that is interesting.

Here’s a couple that have crossed may mind recently: 

I would second wish for term limits for all elected officials – two terms and that’s it. Public service, not a lifelong career path.

With a clear addendum of “No child, grandchild, niece or nephew of an elected president or vice president is eligible to run for/to hold either of those offices.” Not wishing for dynasties. 

Another wistful possibility would be a ban on all advertisements of drugs, health or medical treatments, and “natural” remedies on all TV (including cable, streaming, internet channels), billboards, radio shows, and apparel. Pharmaceutical and health care companies limited to print ads – and then only with complete warnings about side effects posted in easily to read lettering at the bottom of each ad. 

No more practically handing some impressionable person feeling sad or ill a script saying “Here’s what to say to your doctor and he’ll prescribe our company’s medicine/treatment.”

Doctors should make treatment decisions and people should stop thinking a pill will solve all their problems.

Addendum? Probably one mandating all prescription drugs must have big inserts with clear normal size (not tiny) legible listings of all the possible side effects of the drug (Not just the ones the CDC/FDA have decided are enough to list ” ‘cause people don’t care or don’t read”). Of course people still have to take the responsibility to read the warnings.

It is beyond me why some parents will allow off label use of strong cancer treatment drugs to be given to their child who at the time wants to transition to another form. Hormone suppression treatment attempts to starve tumors of the natural hormone it feeds on. Side effects include: severe hot flashes, inflammation of back and hip joints to the point where walking is painful and difficult, osteoporosis, unexpected femur fractures, calcium loss, depression, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, infertility, sterility … and more. Why would any parent want to risk any of that for their child? Cancer patients may have no choice, but off label hormone treatment that may cause irreversible, lifelong damage for a minor child?

Wishing for better.

A serious wish for the return of a happy, protected, sheltering, innocent childhood.

Back to when adults dealt with grown-up problems, concepts, and topics while allowing young children to deal with crayon colors, why the sky is blue, do fish drink water, and “Why do I have to share with my younger brother or sister?”

The children are scared, stressed out, and a nervous wreck.

Wishing adults’ hyper-emotional topics and conversations would be reserved for other adults – and out of earshot of kids.

What’s a child to think when hearing things like “wear a mask or you’ll die” or “wear a mask or you’ll kill your grandparents“?

Ditto wishful thinking with the “We only have X amount of time to save the planet or we’re all gonna die”. Sure, explore appropriate concepts like conservation (“Take only what you need”), how the outdoors/habitat is actually animals’ living rooms and grocery store (“Leave it better/cleaner than when you arrived”), and what the animals are, where they live, and how we all live connected – all topics that can be expanded on in more depth at an older age.

Let the kids have some peace and quiet until they are old enough – neurotically/brain matured enough – to understand the complexity without fear.

Living without fear as a child. Experiencing the magic of childhood. Yep, that’s a good second wish.

So, playing the game, what would your second wish be?

Wishing your mind wants to come out and free play

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Boy and fox talking in woods. ( 1900 Kittelsen, Nat.Lib.Norway/Flickr/USPD. artist life., no cr restrictions/Commons.wikimedia;.org)

“Look, Kid. Take my advice. Don’t take what adults say too seriously. They get lost in the noises created in their own heads. Be a natural. Stay young and wild in spirit.”(Nat.Lib.Norway/USPD/Commons.wikimedia;.org)


Leave a Comment
  1. shoreacres / Nov 30 2022 8:11 am

    As you know, I listen to AM radio while at work. The worst offender in the ‘let’s push our drugs on people’ category right now is Pfizer-Biontech, with bolstering from the CDC. In any given hour, on several stations, there will be at least four, and sometimes more, commercials for their covid products: both vaccines and treatments. Someone pointed out to me recently that the frequency of their ads is inversely proportional to the refusal of their products by an increasingly educated public that’s not buying the hype — especially now that the number of deaths has become highest among the vaccinated.

    I agree completely with the term limits suggestion. Commentators sometimes say, “But we have term limits — it’s called voting.” True enough, but for a variety of reasons, voting often fails to guarantee that the best — or even a decent — candidate wins.

    Of course, it’s not just the kids who are suffering because of the constant apocalyptic warnings. It’s clear to me that instilling fear in the population in order to increase control is the preferred tactic right now. That said, teaching children to be afraid of life is horrifying.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. disperser / Nov 30 2022 8:31 am

    I wish everyone would be required to take two courses: logic and statistics.

    Addendum: and get an “A” on both subjects, or they have to repeat.

    It wouldn’t solve every problem we have, but I got to believe (based on overwhelming evidence) that it would get us closer.

    Bonus: I wish the length of everyone’s life would be in inverse proportion to the wealth they accumulate. I believe that would finally make ‘trickle down’ a real thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2022 5:23 pm

      Agree on the need for instruction and practice with logic and statistics – where can we attach that mandate? Solid understanding of those would help a great deal – and maybe people could once again have diplomatic civil discussions of opposing ideas and debates without resorting to pre-K name calling or violence.
      Had to laugh at your updated instructions for the Fate sisters’ myth! (Here’s an explanation of the Fates with their life determining threads for those who are confused: )
      Life style and insurance companies would certainly have to adapt.
      Appreciate your delightful wishes

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kate Crimmins / Nov 30 2022 8:39 am

    When I was in grade school, there was a thought that the world would end before 1960. My teacher nun was a believer and did huge damage that my parents had to undo. I had nightmares about death and how it would happen. I was 12. So yes, let’s let kids have a carefree childhood without worry especially about getting shot at school. We think kids don’t understand death (and they really don’t) but the fear it generates can scar.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2022 5:13 pm

      The “end is coming” has been happening for centuries. How terrible to be stuck with ones that promote fear of that. Nuns did used to have a reputation for terrorizing students in our areas also. Really scary. Fear is not conducive to growth or learning. Fortunate your parents noticed.
      Safe nourishing childhood has to be the best second wish.
      Thanks for playing along

      Liked by 1 person

  4. RAB / Nov 30 2022 10:37 am

    When my high school graduating class (’64) reunes, the memories we share–even the one about hiding under our desks to be safe from Russian bombs–reflect a childhood we recall as safe, loved, encouraging of our talents, and trusting (kids trusting parents and teachers, parents and teachers trusting kids). I know this wasn’t a universal experience for that time, and we may be doing some memory-editing, but on this foundation walked, or biked, a generation of creative, useful, analytical, and basically KIND adults who would go on to have some impact on the future, and especially on social issues. Nowadays, as I sadly read the more-and-more-frequent obituaries of those classmates, I consistently see evidence of continued confidence, sincerity, and constructive engagement…and I attribute it to that second wish of yours: a safe childhood. Totally with you on that, Phil!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. SusanR / Nov 30 2022 11:50 am

    Hear, hear. And a hearty amen. Absolutely yes on term limits (which Congress, of course, will never approve). And DTC pharma ads. Blame them on Congress, paid off, of course, by Big Pharma. I’ll bet they are at least 50% of all the ads on tv. Likely more.
    Still picking my jaw up off the floor over adults giving their cancer drugs to kids!!! Is that really a thing?? OMG!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2022 5:03 pm

      Doesn’t help that some of the individuals making decisions on drugs are also on the board ion directors of some Pharma Co. Money speaks: political donations and personal stock holdings. (Ever notice how many drug/vaccine ads are paid for by the Dept of Health/CDC/Feds? There are also grants to the states and counties to pay for public health related “messages”)
      I was stunned to find out some serious powerful cancer fighting drugs are prescribed “off label” by doctors/pediatricians as “puberty blockers” for transgenders. Hard to believe because 1) many cancer drugs are in short supply and should be reserved for cancer patients, 2) these drugs can suck calcium out of the body/interfere with calcium absorption at a time when young children and teens should be loading in calcium as much as possible to ensure bone health in the future, 3) emerging evidence/research is showing sex hormones play a critical role in frontal lobe brain development (responsible for self control, logical reasoning) around puberty…and science is not sure what washing those developing cells with a hormone different from whaat the body is expecting may cause serious issues. It’s off label use – not being used for what drug was created for. No track record or real understanding of consequences. The side effects are bad – ask any cancer patient.
      Kids have parents for a reason…ones from the generation that should know how to read.
      Thanks for second guessing wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

      • SusanR / Nov 30 2022 5:15 pm

        How well I know. Took those drugs for 5 years. Can’t believe they’d be given to kids!!!

        Liked by 2 people

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2022 6:40 pm

          Yep, knew you’d get it.
          Inmates running the family asylum


          • SusanR / Dec 1 2022 1:58 pm

            I’ve yet to fully accept the idea that pre-teens, or even a lot of teens, know for an absolute certainty what they want now or might want in the future, much less getting irreversible surgery or drug treatments.

            Liked by 1 person

          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 1 2022 2:17 pm

            Plastic surgeons used to refuse to operate on teens …their bones/faces were still growing – and most were too immature/emotional to be realistic patients.
            I think peer pressure is very difficult to deal with…especially when being bombarded by media/social media/ and very persuasive activists (who have their own personal agenda – not was interested in welfare of a waffling often depressed child)
            There’s reasons why kids were not allowed to drink, join the military, smoke, get married, sign legal documents/binding contracts or vote. That’s why the legal system held kids to a different standard than adults in criminal cases.
            Humans are the slowest animal babies to reach maturity and self sufficiency.


  6. walkingoffthechessboard / Nov 30 2022 12:39 pm

    I am all for banning drug ads. By the time they list all of the possible side effects, it sounds like you are fixing one issue while creating a couple more!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Anne Mehrling / Nov 30 2022 7:58 pm

    You have important wishes. My second wish would be enough time to read every blog post and every email that I wish to read, as well as time to respond.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ally Bean / Dec 3 2022 8:41 am

    If I’m thinking about politics, I’d ask for term limits along with age limits as my second wish. No one over 70 y.o. in office ever again. “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.”

    If I was being more personal with my second wish, I’d ask for people to respect + emulate kind empathetic people. Rude selfish behavior would become a thing of the past– and I wouldn’t be snarling under my breath as often as I do.

    Liked by 1 person

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