Thoughts on Time and Learning

Spoiler alert: This post was inspired by the movie “Old” by M. Night Shyamalan that’s currently in theaters. It will include a minor spoiler. I don’t think this particular spoiler would ruin anyone’s enjoyment of the movie, but it’s only fair that I give you this warning in case you’re a movie purist who plans to see this thriller.

The movie Old is about being trapped on a beach where time is accelerated. You age a year for every half hour on that beach, and it makes for a really thought provoking and scary experience to say the least. It really makes you look at your mortality.

I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. I do have to be in the right frame of mind to watch anything by M. Night Shyamalan, though. If I’m feeling too logical or critical, his plot lines are really easy to poke holes in. But if I’m just in the mood to allow him to take all the poetic license he wants and just enjoy the ride, it’s usually an interesting ride, indeed.

But there was one minor plot point in this movie that made me lose sleep. It’s about a baby that’s born on the beach. It instantly dies. It kind of has to. If you set a child down for even a second in that accelerated time, it would be like leaving an infant alone for days on end. No baby could survive that.

But if it had survived, it would surely have become a monster. I mean, think about it. It would be 10 years old in 5 hours. That would mean it got the growth without any of the learning or socialization required to turn into a civilized human being.

It wouldn’t know how to talk. It wouldn’t have learned compassion or empathy or morals of any kind. It would have been ravenously hungry because of that rapid growth, so its only true lesson would be that it had to eat at all costs.

It would form no emotional attachment to the people around it. It wouldn’t know how to share. It wouldn’t understand why it shouldn’t defecate everywhere or bite or hit. Or kill.

This movie made me think long and hard about what it takes to raise a child. It’s more than time and food. It’s the billion lessons that you teach it along the way. It’s experiences. It’s saying no and saying yes.

Meanwhile, in a few more hours, that freakish, untaught child on that beach of warped time would be big and strong. Probably stronger than anyone else trapped there. It would be completely out of control.

Now that would make for a very scary movie!

Like the way my weird mind works? Then you’ll enjoy my book!


Author: The View from a Drawbridge

I have been a bridgetender since 2001, and gives me plenty of time to think and observe the world.

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