TSOL: Daniel Handler on Childhood [Melbourne]
TSOL: Daniel Handler on Childhood [Melbourne]

Event Information


Sunday August 30, 2015
11:00 AM


Storey Hall, RMIT Building 16
330 Swanston Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Auslan Interpreter/s

Susan Emerson and Michelle Ashley

Language/ Cultural Consultant


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“I have been utterly bewildered since childhood, and have begun to recognise that perhaps bewilderment is the truest way of looking at the world. I invite you to join me at this Sermon, so that you too might be bewildered.”

– Daniel Handler

Childhood is full of gloriously open-minded questions: why is the sky blue, where do we go when we sleep, where do babies come from, how do we make friends, why are people mean, what is success, what happens when we die?

Despite often telling ourselves that they don’t, the questions we ask in childhood continue to haunt us in adulthood. The freedom to ask the big questions in our childhood is inevitably put under pressure by social norms that bind us in our adolescence and then even more so in adulthood. We self-sensor our questions for fear of the judgement of others. We console ourselves by pretending that the immediate access to information through Google can replace the wisdom that can be gained by asking and conversing around open-ended questions.

Writer Daniel Handler (best known for his work under the pen name Lemony Snicket) will explore the questions that still haunt him from his childhood, how we all tend to push our childhood questions away, and how we know deep down that these are indeed the most important questions. Handler will share how these childhood questions are linked to the values we develop and the morality that we cling to. We’ll leave with some practical ideas about how we can encourage this questioning in children, and how we can avoid losing this ability in adulthood.

As part of our Secular Sermon format, Handler will be joined by musician Tom Iansek (Big Scary, No. 1 Dads) who will perform four songs.

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