Saturday, 14 January 2012

Glass jars

A childless friend shared a theory recently. Apparently, he was reading a book in which the author proposed that children were like glass jars: no matter how careful you are with them, and no matter how gently you treat them, they will become damaged. Even a smudge from a fingerprint is damage, thus there is no way to raise children without damaging them in some way.

That seems to be a rafter bleak viewpoint.

If having children means having glass jars, then let's take the analogy a little further. The creation of glass requires sand and heat (at least one element of which is required to create children), and from these two base ingredients, a product is made. Rather than having jars to damage, as parents we create jars, and it is our responsibility to create glass that is filled with light, that adds pressure to the world, and is tough enough to survive damage. So even if a fingerprint is left, by the parents or the world, it does not detract from the delight of the creation.

So yes, parents may inevitably "damage" their children in some way, accidentally, inadvertently, and with all good intentions... But the children should be better, more resilient people for it.

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