Lucky And Vin

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   Jan 24

A letter from a father to his son’s teacher

There is this world famous letter written by a father to his son’s teacher, guiding him to teach his son the true value of being a good man.

It was the first time I was taking my baby boy to a kids play area so that he could mingle with other babies his age. I remember the unexplainable catch in my heart when I let go of his tiny little fingers and he ran excitedly into the crowd of kids – of all ages!! There were kids who were almost 4 feet tall!! And my son was just a little over 2 feet and such a cute darling at 1.5 years! There were older kids who simply pushed him out of their way and when my lil one fell down I was right beside him, furious as hell that someone else would do this and I was helpless!!! I stared dagger eyes at some kid who was surprised that someone dare cross him!! But my baby just got up with a smile on his face and ran to play again.. My heart just melted and I knew at that moment that my baby boy, who had my heart in his hands would have to mingle with other kids and would encounter heartbreaks and disappointments someday..and that letting him ‘socialize’ would be one of the hardest things I would ever have to do!!

Mother & Son

I knew then that I would do Anything to keep my baby happy..to give him the best and let nothing or none else come in my way! I believe that ALL children MUST be taught manners at home.

I remembered this poem on my way back home. I remembered reading this letter in English class at school. I had thought all this while that Abraham Lincoln was the epistle of this masterpiece. However, it is considered, by most if not all experts, to be something not actually written by Honest Abe himself. Surprisingly, it is impossible to even trace this letter back to Lincoln as, to quote one particular expert on the man “These phrases are not 19th century phrasing and definitely not Lincoln’s language patterns.”

Teacher, take my son by the hand. He starts school today. It’s all going to be strange and new to him for a while, and I wish you would sort of treat him gently. You see, up to now, he’s been king of the roost. He’s been the boss of the backyard. I have always been around to repair his wounds and I’ve always been handy to sooth his feelings. But now things are going to be different. This morning he’s going to walk down the front steps, wave his hand, and start on a great adventure that probably will include wars and tragedy and sorrow.

Take him by the hand...

Take him by the hand…

To live in this world will require faith and love and courage. So teacher, 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 men are not just,
all men are not true.
But teach him also that
for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every selfish Politician,
there is a dedicated leader…
Teach him for every enemy there is a friend,

Steer him away from envy,
if you can,
teach him the secret of
quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that
the bullies are the easiest to lick…
Teach him, if you can,
the wonder of books…
But also give him quiet time
to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky,
bees in the sun,
and the flowers on a green hillside.

In the school teach him
it is far 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 the tough.

Try to give my son
the strength not to follow the crowd
when everyone is getting on the band wagon…
Teach him to listen to all men…
but teach him also to 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 to scoff at cynics
and to beware of too much sweetness…
Teach him to sell his brawn
and brain to the highest bidders
but never to put a price-tag
on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears
to a howling mob
and to stand and fight
if he thinks he’s right.
Treat him gently,
but do not cuddle him,
because only the test
of fire makes fine steel.

Let him have the courage
to be impatient…
let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always
to have sublime faith in himself,
because then he will have
sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order,
but see what you can do…
He is such a fine little fellow,
my son!”

Oh.. my baby is such a fine little fellow… He is clever and smart and happy and so lovable!
I hope I can teach him all this and help him be the man that all mothers want as a son and all girls want as their husband…or even just help retain through the years the same sparkling personality that he has now..
Don’t we all feel this way? Wouldn’t this world be a much better place if all our children were taught to practice this?
[PS: You must be wondering who wrote this excellent poem. Me too. I thought till yesterday it was Abe Lincoln. But apparently, it isn't.]
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