Everyone knows that by far the happiest and universally enjoyable age of man is the first. What is there about babies which makes us hug and kiss and fondle them, so that even an enemy would give them help at that age?

Desiderius Erasmus


The Quote in Other Words

It is widely acknowledged that the most joyful and universally pleasing stage of human life is infancy. What is it about babies that prompts us to embrace, caress, and dote on them, to the point where even an adversary would extend assistance to them during this period?


Explanation of the Quote

The quote suggests that the happiest and most enjoyable age of man is the first, referring to the age of babies. It raises the question of what it is about babies that makes us feel such strong affection towards them, even to the point where an enemy would offer them help.

One possible explanation for this phenomenon is the innocence and purity that babies embody. They are free from the complexities and burdens of the world, and their simple needs and desires evoke a sense of tenderness and protectiveness in us. Additionally, their vulnerability and dependence on others may elicit feelings of responsibility and nurturing, which can be deeply fulfilling.

Another interpretation of the quote is that it highlights the fleeting nature of happiness and joy. The first age of man may be the happiest, but it is also the shortest. As we grow older, we encounter challenges and hardships that can diminish our sense of happiness and contentment. Therefore, it is important to cherish and appreciate the moments of joy and innocence in life, especially those that are as pure and unadulterated as the first age of man.