Bear up, my child, bear up; Zeus who oversees and directs all things is still mighty in heaven.
As I stood and gave the eulogy for young Michael Brown last week, I kept thinking about the fact that this child should have been in college instead of laying in a coffin.
When I went to bed as a child, I was told, ‘You don’t know where you’ll wake up.’ When I ran in the garden, I was told that running was bad for the heart. Everything had its sinister aspect – milk shrinks the stomach, lemon thins the blood.
This question: ‘How do I deal with a bully without becoming a thug in return?’ has been with me ever since I was a child.
It takes three to make a child.
When I was a child, my father used to take me for walks, often along a river or by the sea. We would pass people fishing, perhaps reeling in their lines with struggling fish hooked at the end of them. Once I saw a man take a small fish out of a bucket and impale it, still wriggling, on an empty hook to use as bait.
Travel stories teach geography; insect stories lead the child into natural science; and so on. The teacher, in short, can use reading to introduce her pupils to the most varied subjects; and the moment they have been thus started, they can go on to any limit guided by the single passion for reading.
I was born 50 years after slavery, in 1913. I was allowed to read. My mother, who was a teacher, taught me when I was a very young child. The first school I attended was a small building that went from first to sixth grade. There was one teacher for all of the students. There could be anywhere from 50 to 60 students of all different ages.
The child is not an empty being who owes whatever he knows to us who have filled him up with it. No, the child is the builder of man. There is no man existing who has not been formed by the child he once was.
We await the successsive births in the soul of the child. We give all possible material, that nothing may lack to the groping soul, and then we watch for the perfect faculty to come, safeguarding the child from interruption so that it may carry its efforts through.