Cause and Effect

It always amazes me how people—seemingly intelligent adults—can get the concept of “cause and effect” all wrong. Come on, didn’t we learn this when we were something like 9 years old? It’s especially (mildly) amusing when you’re in the sling business, and you hear non-babywearing parents get it wrong. Here’s my example:

I’ve been selling slings for the past few days, at a consumer trade show and sale. It’s a sometimes rewarding, sometimes frustrating experience, trying to explain and educate parents on the benefits of babywearing, and especially babywearing using a sling (over the ubiquitous B. Bjorn). So one day, a mom was pushing her screaming newborn-in-stroller past my booth, and happened to glance over at my quiet toddler, sitting comfortably in the sling (he comes in sometimes to be with mom, and so happens to be part of my demos). Sensing that she was going to get a sales pitch from me (even though I never approach people, especially the Stroller People, unless they approach me first), she quickly offered by way of explaining why her baby was crying and mine wasn’t: “Oh sure, you can do that. Yours is not screaming. Mine would never stand for that.”

And here’s where my free lesson of the day comes in.

Cause and Effect, incorrectly interpreted:

Cause: My newborn is a screamer.

Effect: I can’t I won’t pick him up and wear him. That’s why I put him in the baby buggy.

Cause and Effect, correctly interpreted:

Cause: My newborn is lying in a stroller, far from me, and wants to be picked up and cared for. I don’t do it.

Effect: He is crying and screaming his head off.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that I’ve heard this mix-up. So perhaps I’m destined to forever be running through my mind, “Cause and effect, people. Cause and effect. Get it right.”

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