Archive for February, 2011

A Little More Irony

A friend recently told me a story which illustrates quite well the point I made in our last post. It seems he was attending a family function when one of his little girls came to him crying. This man has seven children with number eight on the way. It turns out that one of the “adult” female members of this man’s family told the crying little girl that she wasn’t as smart as other kids because she was being homeschooled. Here is the irony: this “adult” female member of his family has an absolutely chaotic family life with rebellious children over which she and her husband have virtually no control. In her family, the inmates are running the asylum. Homeschooling parents are confronted with this lovely irony on a fairly consistent basis. It is very difficult to prevent an angry outburst and ugly reply in circumstances like this. In fact, this friend of mine leveled a few choice words at the adults present and left the house. So, he might have missed an opportunity to inform and educate his family members who witnessed this scene. But the irony is oppressive: people decide to live according to the teachings of the Church and then are persecuted by people who haven’t darkened the door of a church in many, many moons – people who are suffering greatly because of poor instruction, ignorance or just blatant vindictiveness. Hurting people hurt other people – Jim Rohn uttered those words and he was right.
I encountered a family member who criticized me for spanking my children who were sitting quietly nearby and behaving themselves quite well. I asked this family member if she thought that my children were well behaved – she said “yes” I asked her if she thought my children were behaving differently than the vast majority of the children she encountered – she answered “yes” I then pointed out to her the correlation between properly training children and the resulting good behavior. She STILL disagreed with my manner of disciplining my children. An elderly lady sitting nearby said that she thought that what I was doing was exactly the way she raised her kids and that I should just keep doing what I was doing. Human nature and reasoning is an amazing thing to witness.
One more irony that I will propose for thought before we all meet again in this forum: a woman who runs herself ragged bringing her babies to babysitters early in the morning and picking them up in the afternoon – all for the purpose of spending the time in between those events teaching other people’s children in public or parochial schools. Many years ago, my wife and I were practitioners of this strange activity. So I know firsthand what it is truly like. The irony is unavoidable: why not stay home and teach her own precious little ones about God and His universe and everything in it? What can be more rewarding than to spend ourselves and allow ourselves to be spent in the service of Almighty God and the children He blesses us with? We watch our wives and mothers run through the daily gauntlet in order to educate other people’s children when profound joy and peace and the nurturing hand of God is right under our noses in our own little homes. Teaching is a noble profession and is not being denigrated here – the good intentions of those who are involved in this endeavor are not being questioned – but is there something better? Are we missing the beautiful forest because of all the little trees? Are we being swept up in the cultural wave that promotes frenzied, chaotic lives while our kids wait for us to come and bring them home? Something to think about……..God Bless.