Saturday, June 09, 2007

Children Are Born Persons

The ladies at CMSeries are discussing CM's 20 Principles one by one this summer. They are currently on Principle 1, and I popped over there last night to find a thoughtful conversation going on. (And put in my two cents. Of course.)

When I was growing up, my dad told me that every person is worthy of our respect because we are all made in God's image. I have always thought of this when it comes to CM's Principle 1.

Betty Smith describes a teacher with this mindset in the novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn:

On a rainy day, she wouldn't give a lesson. She'd take a block of paper and a stick of charcoal and sketch the poorest, meanest kid in the room. And when the picture was finished, you didn't see the dirt or the meanness; you saw the glory of innocence and the poignancy of a baby growing up too soon. Oh, Miss Bernstone was grand.

So often moms and dads get caught up in their expectations of their children, what they want their kids to do, trying to get things done or arrive places on time, or even just trying to get a moment's peace, and then it is easy to deny the personhood of a child. Ask me how I know. I have found that if I want to really connect with my kids, to honestly acknowledge them, I have to slow down a lot more than folks generally do in American society, look them in the eyes and listen. It's amazing what I find when I do.

I am going off-line for a few days, and will write again soon!

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