Friday, May 17, 2013

Enough time to write well, enough beauty to tell

A post over at Story Warren by James Witmer had me racking my brain for a GKC quote.  The quote was teasing me like a puppy in a pet store window.  Once I found it, I found it wasn't quite related to the post, but still rings true. It's a good dog but not what I was looking for.

The tendency of all that is printed and much that is spoken to-day is to be, in the only true sense, behind the times. It is because it is always in a hurry that it is always too late. Give an ordinary man a day to write an article, and he will remember the things he has really heard latest; and may even, in the last glory of the sunset, begin to think of what he thinks himself. Give him an hour to write it, and he will think of the nearest text-book on the topic, and make the best mosaic he may out of classical quotations and old authorities. Give him ten minutes to write it and he will run screaming for refuge to the old nursery where he learnt his stalest proverbs, or the old school where he learnt his stalest politics. The quicker goes the journalist the slower go his thoughts. The result is the newspaper of our time, which every day can be delivered earlier and earlier, and which, every day, is less worth delivering at all. The poor panting critic falls farther behind the motor-car of modern fact.

--GK Chesterton, Eugenics and Other Evils

Back to the Story Warren.  I enjoy the post for holding to the view that raising children is an art.  Investing in and building a future beauty.

Sometimes I forget my end goal of parenting (by "make" I mean target towards).

Make happy kids - they'll grow expecting the world to make them happy and will be sorely disappointed at not winning American Idol.
Make hardworking kids - they'll be either very industrious (cue Cats in the Cradle), or bitterly slothful.
Survive the challenge of kids - this is escapist and easy to fall into.  Some days it is a better option than other options though.
Make friends - while nice it will neglect discipline and building trust of experience.
Make perfect kids - this is what really hits hardest for me.  Parents end up being examples, and should be examples of how to be broken too.  Admit when I'm wrong; say sorry.  Be willing to let my kid's know if I'm worried, nervous, angry or happy.  Be real, and my children will know it's okay to be real. 

I need to love each one individually, for how special each is.  They are a piece of art and I am able to contribute.

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