Giving My Kids the Spirit of Tagore.

“Children are living beings – more living than grown-up people who have built shells of habit around themselves. Therefore it is absolutely necessary for their mental health and development that they should not have mere schools for their lessons, but a world whose guiding spirit is personal love.”
― Rabindranath Tagore

Last night, I was trawling through Tagore quotes when I stumbled across this gem.

Actually, “trawling” is the wrong word because reading Tagore is so effortless and an incredible joy…very much like collecting stars from the night sky and somehow sneaking them them into your pocket and even your heart!

Each and every quote I read was incredibly inspiring.

This quote particularly resonated with me because it goes against the grain of practical, pragmatic parenting.

My kids are incredibly creative but this very creativity generates a veritable cyclone of inspiration all over my house, which is all too easily reclassified as: “mess”!

Moreover, when we go out, my kids are NOT those kids politely sitting in their chairs conforming to social expectations. Consequently, they can attract more than their share of disapproving glances.

Indeed, yesterday at a family party they were attaching pegs to all the guests clothing in the most sneaky and stealthy ways. However, instead of disapproval, they became a hit. I have never seen my kids laugh so much and my cousin said the pegging had become quite the “ice-breaker”. They were like the comic jesters they used to have in Medieval times and were very much loved and appreciated.

It warmed my heart!

So often, I feel like I’m trying to force my creative, exuberant kids into some kind of straight-jacket to somehow keep the show on the road. That it’s very hard work for us to reach “the norm”, even though it’s quite evident that’s never going to be our path.

Reading this quote from Tagore has let us off the hook. It is more important to break those shells of habit, than to be spotless. Moreover, this is the only way our kids will ever reach for the stars and and live and breathe the spirit of Tagore.

I don’t know how all this works in with getting to school on time. Doing their homework and keeping the house in some kind of order but without passion, without inspiration, can we truly say that we are even alive?

What are your thoughts?

Mister painintg himself.

Mister painintg himself.

10 thoughts on “Giving My Kids the Spirit of Tagore.

  1. Amitav Chowdhury

    Creativity is a blessing and it’s a natural instinct which help one to express multitude of ideas through as many means and forms. Instead of curbing creativity, it is wise to channelize this beautiful exuberance of the soul to more meaning way to express without being held back. It will only happen over time and yes, creativity is always full of energy as there are burst of ideas hovering around in the mind. These ideas require and outlet and freedom of expression. Just inspire them and let them hone their skills further. Greetings, Amitav.

  2. New Journey

    Makes me think….I taught my children to color outside the lines….never stay in the box….always think outside of it….its so important to let our kids be who they are.. Free thinkers… Some guidance of course, but its important they become an individual not a clone if one of the parents….live the picture of the abstract child… Lol

  3. roweeee Post author

    Like thbat Derrick. Naturally, my kids used non-toxic paint but the colours in food were just as potent for them and they’ve had to keep off them. When my daughter was smaller and she’d eaten fairy bread coloured in coloured sprinkles, she was talking like one of those sped up chipmunk cartoons. It was scary! xx Rowena

  4. colinandray

    Sir Ken Robinson presents a very interesting view on this in a TEDX talk (YouTube). He stresses that although we cannot predict our “world” in the immediate future, we have an education system that purports to prepare our kids them for the next 50 years. It’s about 20 mins long and well worth the time!


  5. roweeee Post author

    Thanks for reminding me of that. I read it a few months ago and found the transcript cleaning up my desk. Will re-read it. By the way, my 9 year old daughter was walking past my desk and saw the title and agreed. The other days she said teachers kill your imagination. It was spoken like an orator! xx Rowena

  6. vanbytheriver

    I’ve always admired the kind of mom who sees that her baby has drawn on the wall next to his crib with the contents of his diaper. I’m not that mom. I raised two very nontraditional, creative human beings, and always praised their thinking outside the box; but the mess..I had trouble looking the other way. I was the product of decades of conditioning, and the clutter in my environment clashes with that in my head. Not sure, but there is a fine line in there somewhere. Just love them, and let them know. ☺

  7. merrildsmith

    “they should not have mere schools for their lessons, but a world whose guiding spirit is personal love.” This is the part that struck me. People have different personalities and temperaments. Some people can’t deal with clutter, and others thrive in it.

    All kids are different, but love is love, right? 🙂

  8. roweeee Post author

    Thank you very much for your very thoughtful insight, Amitav. It’s important to seize hold of thew beauty of creativity and not just be intimated by the mess. I am definitely no neat freak but sometimes I suddenly look up and wonder where all the stuff came from. JUst need to chill out a bit xx Rowena

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