…. Author unknown.
My son started school this week. It’s going to be strange and new 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. I have always been around to repair his wounds and to 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 on his great adventure, one that will probably include wars, tragedy, and sorrow.
To live his life in the world he has to live in will require faith, love, and courage. So, World, I wish you would sort of take him by his young hand and teach him the things he will have to know.
Teach him… but gently if you can. He will have to learn, I know, that not all men are just, that not all men are true.
Teach him that for every scoundrel, there is a hero… that for every crooked politician, there is a dedicated leader… that for every enemy, there is a friend. Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest people to lick.
Teach him the wonders of books. Give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on the green hill.
Teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone else tells him they are wrong.
Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone else is getting on the bandwagon.
Teach him to listen to all men, but to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through.
Teach him to close his ears on a howling mob, and to stand and fight if he’s right.
Teach him that the word, “American” ends with, “I Can.”
Teach him gently, World, but don’t coddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
This is a big order, World, but see what you can do. He’s such a nice little fellow.