“But other people, at some stage in their childhood or their youth, or maybe even their old age, come across something of a kind they’ve never dreamed of before. It is as alien to them as the dark side of the moon…Nothing prepared them for this. They suddenly realise that they’re filled with a hunger, though they had no idea of that just a minute ago; a hunger for something so sweet and so delicious that it almost breaks their heart…They wanted this, they needed this as a starving person needs food, and they never knew. They had no idea.”
– Philip Pullman
Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. If you don’t give a child food, the damage quickly becomes visible. If you don’t let a child have fresh air and play, the damage is also visible, but not so quickly. If you don’t give a child love, the damage might not be seen for some years, but it’s permanent.
But if you don’t give a child art and stories and poems and music, the damage is not so easy to see. It’s there, though. Their bodies are healthy enough; they can run and jump and swim and eat hungrily and make lots of noise, as children have always done, but something is missing.
It’s true that some people grow up never encountering…
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