The Cradle

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The Cradle

I don't know how long it's been like this. My Nurturer group said that it's been a long time since anyone elected to take the history track. It even took a few days to bring in someone to educate me, on account of them having to be flown in from another community. But once they arrived I started learning right away—I've learned so much already.

The first thing he told me, his green eyes seemingly on fire as he talked and scribbled on the teaching pad furiously, was that The Cradle hadn't always existed. When I probed for more, he also told me that there weren't always Nurturers either. I was in shock. How could society even function without them? Who would raise the children? Teach them? Educate them in the disciplines they showed interest in? I had so many questions all at once. He had smiled.

The more he told me of the past, the larger my curiousity grew—and my confusion. Perhaps it isn't right to compare now to back then, it was so long ago after all. The people sound so barbaric. Instead of the education system we have now (where you learn with a core group of educators until you finish your educational track) everyone was put into the same rooms! With a single teacher who taught many subjects! It sounds so absurd. No wonder the wars of that time were so frequent and the people so unhappy, how could anyone learn at all like that?

The strangest thing was how it ended, when they became age 18 they were "graduated" and put into labor houses! I guess not always, Historian tells me that some went on to what they called "higher education", but that it was still less successful then our current system. Compared to the Cradle, where you are educated and taught until you are a master, no mater how long it takes, it sounds amazing they produced enough Thinkers to arrive at the present day!

But it wasn't just the schooling systems he talked about. In fact, can you believe that Nurturers didn't exist? People actually stayed with their biological ancestors! Living together in "Family Units" and worst of all, using their parents money, class, and fame! Can you believe that? We haven't gone into the history behind how we got to our current society, but I'm so excited to find out.

Instead of a group of Nurturers trained to provide care, encouragement, discipline, and support, children were expected to get all their needs filled by two working class "parents". It seems like everything about the past was grossly inefficient and poorly designed. They had a tax system similar to ours, but instead of social welfare and education programs like the Cradle being entirely funded by it, it was spread thinly across thousands of projects. Their notion of "tax brackets" were so far behind as well! Instead of each industry providing support to their appropriate learning centers and utilities, it was merely based on income and wealth. It's no wonder the comparison rates by statisticians between happiness now vs then are so drastically different!

Perhaps the only remnants of that time left is the prospects of graduation. Now, when you leave your Cradle to join your industry or selected profession, you have the option of meeting your ancestors and deciding if you would like to live and work in the same city as them. So there are still some bonds, but most people don't bother. Since offspring are removed to cradles as soon as they're born, neither party has any interest in meeting the other besides curiousity.

A few of the other Learners who are studying to be Thinkers told me about the debates that go on about the morals of the practice. Apparently they last for hours, sometimes days between highly accomplished masters of the craft. I think it's only a thought experiment for them though; after all, if it wasn't for the Cradle and the system, they wouldn't be able to debate for days on end! From the few weeks I've spent learning under the Historian, I've learned so much, and already have a new appreciation for the Cradle and what goes on here. I hope one day to bring this elated feeling to another!

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