My son starts school today.
It’s 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 boss of the backyard.
I have always been around to repair his wounds, and 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 on his great adventure that will probably include wars and tragedy
To live his life in the world he has to live in will require 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.
Teach him that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every
crooked politician there is a dedicated leader; that for every enemy
there is a friend.
Teach him the wonders of books.
Give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky,
bees in the sun, and flowers on the green hill.
by Dan Valentine
My young son starts school today…It’s going to be sort of 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 boss of the
backyard…His mother has always been near to soothe his wounds and
repair 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 out on the great adventure that will probably include wars
and tragedies and sorrow…To live his life in the world he will have to
live in, will require faith and love and courage.
So, World, I wish you would sort of look after him…Take him by the
hand and teach him things he will have to know.
But do it gently, if you can.
He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, that all men
are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a
hero…that for every crooked politician there is a great and dedicated
leader…Teach him that for every enemy, there is a friend. Steer him
away from envy, if you can…and teach him the secret of quiet laughter.
In school, World, teach him it is far more honorable to fail that to
cheat…Teach him to have faith in his own idea, even if everyone says
they are wrong…Teach him to gentle with gentle people and tough with
Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone
is getting on the bandwagon…Teach him to listen to all men—but teach
him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take just the
good that siphons through.
Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he’s sad…Teach him there is
no shame in tears…Teach him there can be a glory in failure and
despair in success.
Teach him gently, World, if you can, but don’t coddle 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. Let him be no other
man’s man…Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself.
Because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind.
This is quite and order, World, but see what you can do…He’s such a
nice little fellow, my son!
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 sell his brawn and brains to the highest bidder, but never
to put a price 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.
Teach him gently, World, but don’t coddle him, because only the test of
fire makes fine steel.
This is a big order, World, but see what you can do.
He’s such a nice little fellow.