“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?