MaGilla Gorilla

Because this used to be a “family rated” blog, I’ll avoid any explicit definition of “success” in this area, but after thinking about Hanna Rosin’s comment on the importance of teaching “social intelligence,” (July/August edition of The Atlantic), I was reminded of the scientific research that suggests that it isn’t the biggest or strongest male baboon — an animal that shares 97% of its DNA with us — that is most successful.

Scientists believe that the most successful baboon is the biggest and strongest male – with good social skills.


One thought on “MaGilla Gorilla

  1. One unexpected and quiet heartache I’ve had the misfortune to hear is the despondancy,if not grief, many professional fathers have conveyed after their sons, or daughters have left for college.” In the blink of an eye” their children have left home, and that opportunity to “maintain presence” in their teenagers life has come and gone in a flash.

    Professional parents are busy, many ambitious and rightfully so. But that …”hands -on exploration” that you quote in Coffee and Curveballs has now vanished. Fathers’ sadness over this loss is most palpable-perhaps a hidden epidemic.

    This argues strongly for the young men of this generation to master those skills of social intelligence that you speak of in your blog.We do not want to see the young men of this generation fall prey to the same trap . To have lived out your later adult lives in regret of lost relationship time with your teenage son or daughter can be a searing pain.

    A few dads have told me that life at work was less messy than homelife;and thus the overinvestment in career building.This is a dangerous trap for professional dads .

    Perhaps this key to finding social and emotional competence is not that difficult to achieve.Sitting in the same room with your son at night,simply reading,as they agonize through that calculus homework can be a quiet,but powerful form of male communication.Perhaps the communal empathy and focus that emerges from the nighty Dinner Ritual is one route for both the professional and personal skills that are now essential for the world of work ,the world of family.

    No harm in teenage son setting and clearing the dishes.

    Maintaining “presence” may be the first step.So many opportunities abound at school and at home for our young men to prepare for the social intelligence that now shapes a quality life .

    As a fellow educator, my deepest thanks to you for making this clear to the young men at UCC.

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