Zoe loves her new set of alphabet books (thanks, neighbors!), the format of which is very simple.

We opened the U book and the first picture was a unicorn. Zoe knows nothing of unicorns, but she was confident. “Goat!”

What is that picture, Sweetie?”


“What is that letter?” I was pointing to the big U, which is in fact a letter Zoe knows. She can pick it out of the refrigerator magnets and alphabet blocks, and label it easily.


“But, Zoe, what is the letter here?”

“Guh-guh-guh-Goat”, she said, looking at me as though I was an idiot. Little girl knows the drill, all right.

But in this two-year-old cuteness I read the completely normal human response of ignoring the facts that don’t coincide with the “truth” we hold in our heads. I see it everywhere – in our politics, in our religions, in our day-to-day interactions. And if my brilliant daughter isn’t immune I can’t possibly be, so I wonder what it is I’m missing.

The older I get, the more I try to keep an open mind, and to see all sides of an issue (or reed-scrape, or oboe brand, or turn of phrase). What belief do I still cling to against evidence to the contrary? What obvious truth is my mind closed to? Where is the big U suggesting that I rethink my Goat?

I am opening my mind. I want to know what I don’t know.

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