The conversation between the child and dad continues…
Child: in raising us your children, do you have a duty to build character?
Dad: Good my brilliant child. In answering this beautiful question, I will like to share the mind of Chancellor Williams, the author of the book, Destruction of Black Civilization, who said ‘What became of the Black people of Sumer the traveler asked the old man, for ancient records show that the people of Sumer were Black. What happened to them? “Ah,” the old man sighed, “they lost their history, so they died.’ This thought establishes and we verily believe that the beginning of personal, family or national revolution is found in tracing our personal, family or national history; identifying the lessons and taking a credible decision to change the tide, where we find negative experiences.
I also accept the fact that our ‘children hear what you say, but do what you,’ we agree with the age-long principle that ‘no man or woman can give what he or she does not have.’ We also believe in the trite saying that ‘a sick person does not donate blood.’ Therefore we will pay attention to tracing our individual histories as the foundation to character building and make a commitment to character building; believing that this will set the tone for a lifestyle that can be emulated by our children.
In view of the above commitment, I make the following commitments:
- Take RESPONSIBILITY to embark on a journey of self-discovery.
- Identify negative experiences and get ready to lead yourself out of them.
- Identify the requirements for healing-counting the cost.
- Subscribe and Submit to a healing Program-Start leading ourselves.
- Make our story and the lessons learnt known-create a platform of expression.
- We choose not to be victims of history and make a commitment that the bulk stops at our table to stem the negative impact of our background. It is our responsibility to begin a new generation, conscious of the word of George Bernard Shaw that ‘the lesson of history is that we do not learn from history.’
- At the end of the exercise we shall evolve a personal vision and mission statements in pursuit of effective living and family vision and mission statements to enable us build a principle-based home, which gives us and children direction in life.
Child: Thank you dad. Do you have any commitment for capacity building?
Dad: I make a solemn commitment to update my knowledge base from time to time on the demanding and dynamic field of children rearing. In furtherance to this, I shall create a monthly budget for attending programs, purchase of books, electronic and related materials in pursuit of our goal to acquire knowledge, which will put us in a mode to always act in the best interest of our children. Margaret E. Stephenson in her forward to Maria Montessori’s ‘The Secret of Childhood’ submitted, ‘Dr. Montessori pointed out to us, that if we are to help life, we have first of all to study it. Studying it, means that we do not try to teach it, we learn from it instead. We learn from this living organism, the child, its needs and tendencies. Only when we know the child’s needs can we begin to learn how to cater for them.’
My dear child, I think we need to bring this discussion to an end now. It is 7.30PM and I think you should be preparing to go to bed. You have early morning tomorrow. You know, you will need to be in school tomorrow.
We will continue this discussion tomorrow when I return from work like we did today.