Teach Him Gently...If You Can..
strange and new to him for a while, and I wish You would sort of teach
You see, up to now, he's been our little boy.
He's been boss of the backyard...His mother has always been
around to repair his wounds, and I've always been handy to soothe his
But now, things are going to be different...
This morning he's going to walk down the front steps, wave his
hand, and start out on the great adventure...it's an adventure that will
probably include wars and tragedy and sorrow.
TO live his life in the world he will live in requires faith and
love and courage.
So, world, I wish You would sort of take him by his young hand
and teach him the things he will have to know.
Teach him, but gently...if You can.
He will have to learn, I know, that all are not just, that all
are not true.
But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero...for
every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader...Teach him that
for every enemy, there is a friend.
It will take time, world, I know, but teach him, if You can, that
a nickel earned is of far more value than a dollar found...Teach him to
lose...and enjoy winning.
Steer him away from envy, if You can, and teach him the secret of
Let him learn early that bullies are the easiest people to
lick...Teach him, if You can, the wonder of books...But also give him
quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of the birds in the sky, bees in
the sun, and flowers on a green hillside.
In school, world, teach him it is far more honorable to fail than
to cheat...Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone
tells him they are wrong...Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and
tough with tough people.
Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when
everyone else is getting on the bandwagon...Teach him to listen to all
men...But teach him to also filter all he hears on a screen of truth and
take only the good that comes through.
Teach him, if You can, how to laugh when he is sad...Teach him
there is no shame in tears...Teach him there can by glory in failure and
despair in success.
Teach him to scoff at the cynics and to beware of too much
sweetness...Teach him to sell his brawn and brains to the highest bidder
but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul.
Teach him to close his ears to the howling mob...and to stand and
fight if he thinks he's right.
Teach him gently, world, but don't coddle him, because only the
test of fire makes fine steel.
Let him have courage to be impatient...let him have the patients
to be brave.
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself...Because then
he will always sublime faith in mankind.
This is a big order, world, but you see what you can do...He's
such a fine little fellow, my son!
Sheila M. Cole