There are many things I hope my children learn. I have found that the most important things I have learned in my life are the ones I have learned later. By compiling this list, I hope to give them a heads up in what I think is very important and meaningful.
My first thing, No. 10 on the list, I hope my children learn is to love learning. That may negate my entire list because if they love learning, they will inevitably learn not only the 10 things I want them to learn, but much more.
Learning can be acquired in many ways. Of course, the main place of learning is school. I hope that my children take advantage of all the education they can get. Even the classes they hate, the ones that they think are useless can add to their character. They may not like Algebra or Geography (I don’t know why) but that they are somewhat knowledgeable about these subjects will contribute to the richness of their character and in a small way enrich their lives.
There is another way in which learning can be achieved. I remember watching my kids play, and felt that what is essential to education, to learning, was being developed in their play. When they played, they were inventive, creative, curious and enthusiastic, all qualities they need to acquire a life long love of learning. They never tired of fort-building, clothes-making, hole-digging and tree-climbing. All these activities ignited their thirsty imaginations which when an imagination is activated, there is no limit to what one can learn.
Finally, learning can take place in painful circumstances. I hope my children have learned through the painful relationships that exist in their lives. Unfortunately, people will let them down. I will let them down. T.H. White wrote in The Once and Future King:
“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails….Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”
I hope in every circumstance they find themselves in, whether in their educational pursuits, their play and even in their pain, they will not only continue to learn, but grow and mature and understand “why the world wags and what wags it.”
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