Archive for November 7th, 2011

In their self-published book, To Train Up a Child, Pearl, 66, and his wife Debi, 60, recommend the systematic use of “the rod” to teach young children to submit to authority. They offer instructions on how to use a switch for hitting children as young as six months, and describe how to use other implements, including a quarter-inch flexible plumbing line. Older children, the Pearls say, should be hit with a belt, wooden spoon or willow switch, hard enough to sting. Michael Pearl has said the methods are based on “the same principles the Amish use to train their stubborn mules.”
One sure to make a monkey of your child is to monkey with their natural drive. Amish way of driving sense into mules is to make them bear burdens. Pity the Pearls thought it fit to mistake a child for a stubborn mule. The Pearls broke the cardinal rule in child-rearing: know who is under your charge. One of life’s many miracles is that bonding where a child knows its peer and the elder knows what is best in that never before tried article under their watch. How would that be realized, one may ask. As Locke would say consider a child as tabula rasa a clean slate. If you are writing your frustration or momentary annoyance on such a table, be forewarned you have already driven deeper something into the child. After having impressed such errors of your own weakness and failure it is easy for you to wash your hands off blaming your partners side of poor genetic material. Education means you are bringing out what is best in a child. The child being a clean slate needs to be taken on trust and by careful observation create certain natural disposition for it to respond to. The more a child’s curiosity is aroused in certain line of interest it could be enthused to seek it out on its own interfering only where your presence is warranted. A child is still flexible and shall bounce out of its limitations in the sense of economic necessity imposed on it from without. It is not the latest gadgets that determine quality of happiness for a child but in his self discovery. Everything it encounters is fresh and miraculous and it is what parents need to preserve and not its tantrums and rudeness. Not getting what it wants is soon forgotten if child can be certain there are other alternatives where his attention can latch onto. The child seeks the boundaries and in certain areas it must be shown by its peers as crucial to be understood.
Accept a child as possessing good sense and it shall understand what it means. Treat a child as twit and you have already made preliminary steps for an obstacle course in the future. At the age of six I thought I would write like Shakespeare for the home theatricals we siblings played under the direction of the eldest sister of 10. Nobody made me feel like a fool. I never thought it was impossible. My father, a stern disciplinarian that he was, and a figure of authority eased his discipline in my case. He was certain that I was not cut out to be a doctor like my siblings but as an artist. So he allowed many liberties that other never dared to take within his earshot. He let me study at my own pace and read whatever took my fancy. Luckily my memory was quite good to absorb from such varied reading I did with no formal plan. It was my decision to take up architecture since I felt architecture combined, many disciplines as one and at the core was clarity of vision. It was up my alley.
Sorry for the digression.
Before closing, I was reared by the rod and yet it did not bruise me since My father spared my amour propre from any bruise; howsoever strict he was I knew he cared for what I am and what I was struggling to be.


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Sir Philip Sydney (1554-1586) courtier, poet

Sir Philip Sydney, like Sir Walter Raleigh was a typical Elizabethean figure representing not only the fiery spirit of the period but also the romantic idealism and its respect for the chivalric virtues. Born into a distinguished family, his father was thrice Deputy of Ireland. He spent his youth was spent in a typical fashion of the Elizabethan upper-crust, leaving Oxford he traveled through Europe and returned home in 1575.He was a precocious youth and with the Grand Tour behind him he settled to hone his immense talents into works like The Countess of Pembroke, Arcadia(1590) written for the amusement of his sister, and Astrophel and Stella (1591) inspired by his unrequited love for Penelope Devereux who was married to his rival. This was followed by ‘Defense of Poesie (1598). None of his works were published in his lifetime. Like John Keats after him his fame owe partly for the poignant circumstances of the tender age in which he lost his life. He was only 32. In 1586 he joined an English Expedition to the low countries and died of the wounds he had received during a skirmish at Zutphen.
Sir Philip Sydney, the Elizabethan poet lying wounded on the battlefield at Zutphen developed fever and asked for a glass of water. When the water was brought to him his eyes met his wounded comrade in extremis pleading for water. He stretched out his arm to him saying, ’Soldier, thy need is greater than mine.’


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