George Herbert: "The Church-porch"
Day 9: Evening
|This losse springs chiefly from our education.
Some till their ground, but let weeds choke their sonne;
Some mark a partridge, never their childes fashion:
Some ship them over, and the thing is done.
Studie this art, make it thy great designe;
And if Gods image move thee not, let thine.
This loss (of people going to pasture) mainly arises
from our education, improperly applying what we have learned. Some know why
and how to till the ground, but do not apply this wisdom to raising their
own son. Some carefully watch a game bird, but not their own child's lifestyle.
Some give the responsibility to others, and they are done with the consequences.
Study this art that you have learned from your occupation and recreation
and make it your great design to apply it to raising your children; and if
God's image does not guide you as a model to correct the situation, then
let your own likeness direct you.
The effect of education has not changed.
If we worked on our children as well as our businesses, sports and hobbies, our country would greatly improve. In all things careful observation is crucial. If you are farming, you watch the signs of drought, the advance of weeds, insects and all attacks on the produce. Seeing these increase, you take appropriate steps to protect the health of the crop and the land for future generations and guard the yield. This applies to all businesses; you keep track of everything, evaluate the progress and problems and make a decision to correct all troubles. We do this in our sports and hobbies; we improve our performance and pleasure. In hunting we watch the partridge, learn its habits, use care and patience to track it down and have the best equipment for the job, ask the best advice, get the best available help. And we do this for our recreation. What more should we do for our children?
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