A Parable of a Child
By Steve Goodier
There is a difference between education and experience. Education is
what you get from reading the small print. Experience is what you
from not reading it!
But isn't it true that great learning comes from both education and
experience? Let me tell you a parable:
A young school teacher had a dream that an angel appeared to him and
said, "You will be given a child who will grow up to become a world
leader. How will you prepare her so that she will realize her
intelligence, grow in confidence, develop both her assertiveness and
sensitivity, be open-minded, yet strong in character? In short, what
kind of education will you provide that she can become one of the
world's truly GREAT leaders?"
The young teacher awoke in a cold sweat. It had never occurred to
before -- any ONE of his present or future students could be the
person described in his dream. Was he preparing them to rise to ANY
POSITION to which they may aspire? He thought, 'How might my
change if I KNEW that one of my students were this person?' He
gradually began to formulate a plan in his mind.
This student would need experience as well as instruction. She would
need to know how to solve problems of various kinds. She would need
grow in character as well as knowledge. She would need
as well as the ability to listen well and work with others. She
need to understand and appreciate the past, yet feel optimistic
the future. She would need to know the value of lifelong learning in
order to keep a curious and active mind. She would need to grow in
understanding of others and become a student of the spirit. She
need to set high standards for herself and learn self discipline,
she would also need love and encouragement, that she might be filled
with love and goodness.
His teaching changed. Every young person who walked through his
classroom became, for him, a future world leader. He saw each one,
as they were, but as they could be. He expected the best from his
students, yet tempered it with compassion. He taught each one as
if the future of the world depended on his instruction.
After many years, a woman he knew rose to a position of world
prominence. He realized that she must surely have been the girl
described in his dream. Only she was not one of his students, but
rather his daughter. For of all the various teachers in her life,
father was the best.
I've heard it said that "Children are living messages we send to a
time and place we will never see." But this isn't simply a parable
about an unnamed school teacher. It is a parable about you and me --
whether or not we are parents or even teachers. And the story, OUR
story, actually begins like this:
"You will be given a child who will grow up to become...." You
the sentence. If not a world leader, then a superb father? An
excellent teacher? A gifted healer? An innovative problem solver? An
inspiring artist? A generous philanthropist?
Where and how you will encounter this child is a mystery. But
that one child's future may depend upon influence only you can
provide, and something remarkable will happen. For no young person
will ever be ordinary to you again. And you will never be the same.
Publisher@LifeSupportSystem.com is a professional
speaker, consultant and author of numerous books. Visit his site for
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