I’ve learned more about the human condition from watching nature and how plants grow and how to tend them at different times of the year than I ever have by watching people. When to feed, when to weed, when to prune and when to allow fruit to grow and then in order to facilitate good fruit to pick out the small shoots so bigger fruit is encouraged. We might learn some vital lessons from our gardeners in how to raise children.
I remember a story a church minister told many years ago about a friend’s son. The son had grown up and spent his whole life out of sorts with his family and society to the degree that he had spent time in prison and was therefore poorly considered within society. The man desperate to know why his son had gone of the rails protested loudly at his son for his behaviour. The son said nothing but drove his father to an orchard where there were 2 sets of trees. On the left was a line of trees that were held high and straight because they had been bound against a straight staff which allowed them to grow in the direction that was desirable. There, on the other side of the road were trees that had not been held straight and had grown freely. They were completely misshapen and out of odds with the rest of the orchard. The son said that he considered himself just like the trees that had not been bound and therefore had not been held as he felt he should have been throughout his young life. He told his father that he should have been held more accountable and not been so neglected.
Society in this nation is suffering as a result of not being given the right support and giving children too many rights over their parents. I understand how we might have gotten to the place we are now but we are currently in turmoil with children demanding acceptance from us. I believe children and young people are unable to articulate the reasons they behave the way they do but I feel acceptance is a poor relation to love. This is what they deserve and this is what we need to give.