Mike’s Musings …       

Three Needed Tugs for Every Child

Editor’s Note: The following is a musing from a speech given by the late Claude S. Davis, a gospel preacher, and an educator for more than three decades. It is written from memory, so please note that it is as accurate as memory permits. I trust you can muse on its truthfulness.

   Every child has the innate right to mature. For the parent, this right is called “obligation”. For the educator, this right is called “challenge’. But make no mistake: the child retains the right to mature, and to do so with every opportunity the art of learning will allow. It should not surprise us that many of these opportunities are found outside of the classroom. Such lessons are just as valid and just as important to the child’s maturity as the “three R’s” of reading, writing, and arithmetic.

   The child will benefit from feeling the tug of a kite on a string. The calm delight of standing in a field, watching upward into the heavens, and watching the kite dance in the air, finds its control in the hands of the child as he holds the string. He notices the pull to escape his grasp, and he learns to hold tightly to his prized possession that soars higher than the highest trees surrounding his tender years. As he ages, that gentle tug of the kite on the string will remind him of the tremendous possibilities of achievement if he still holds his values tightly!

   The child will benefit from feeling the tug of a fish on a line. From fishing, the child learns patience, calmness, and how to pay attention, and experiences the reward of a nice catch if the tugging comes to fruition. It doesn’t matter how large the fish, or even what type: that the child has felt the tug of the battle and won is a sense of accomplishment that fosters immeasurable maturity in his mind. From the experience, he learns that whatever is desired in life is not achieved without patience, calmness, attention, and joy when these matters are completed.

   The child will benefit from feeling the tug of a horse on its reins. Such a powerful animal is controlled by a bit in his mouth, directed by the gee and haw of the child’s pull on the reins. But the feeling of that control in the child’s hands provides lessons of strength and confidence. The child learns he controls an object much larger and stronger than himself and does so with gentle tugs of his own that are met without resistance.

   Throughout life, the child will receive countless lessons from countless teachers through countless methods of education. Yet the tug of a kite on the string, the tug of a fish on a line, and the tug of a horse on its reins are among the best of all practical lessons. Let the child learn as he grows, for maturity will require the experiences of several other tugs from several other challenges! Let them mature to conquer them all!