Teach My Grandson Teacher - Gently, If You Can
My grandson starts school today. It's going to be strange and new to him for a while, and I wish you would sort of treat him gently.
You see, up to now, he's been king of the roost -- he's been boss of the backyard. His mom, dad, and Grandma have always been around to repair his wounds, and soothe his feelings.
But now things are going to be different! This morning he's going to walk down the front steps, wave his hand, and start out on a great adventure... it's an adventure that might take him across the continent... it's an adventure that might include wars and strategy and sorrow.
To live his live in this world, will require faith and love and courage. So teacher, I pray you will take him by his young hand and teach him the things he will have to know.
Teach my grandson teacher -- but gently, if you can. He will have to learn, I know, that not all men are just, that not all men are true.
But teach him also, that for every scounderel, there is a hero.. that for every crooked politician, there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy, there is a friend.
It will take time teacher, I know, but teach my grandson, if you can, that a nickel earned is far more value than a dollar found... teach him to learn to lose... and to enjoy winning.
Steer him away from envy, if you can, and teach him the secret of quiet laughter.
Let my grandson learn early that the bullies are the easiest people to lick.. teach him, if you can, the wonder of books... but also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hill.
In school, teacher, teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat... teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him that he is wrong... teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with tough people.
Try to give my grandson strength not to follow the crowd when everyone else is getting on the bandwagon... teach him to listen to all men... but, teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through.
Teach my grandson teacher.. but gently if you can, how to laugh when he is sad... teach him there is no shame in tears... teach him there can be glory in failure and despair in success.
Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob... and to stand and fight if he thinks he is right.
Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness.. teach him to sell his brawn and brains to the highest bidders but, never, never, put a price tag on his heart and soul.
Treat my grandson gently, teacher, but don't coddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel.. let him have the courage to be impatient... let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself. Because then he will have sublime faith in God and Mankind.
This is a tall order, teacher, but please help him if you can do. You see, he's such a nice little fellow... my grandson.
Teach my grandson, teacher.. but gently if you can.
Adapted from Thomas Halbert