Monday, October 09, 2017

Christmas Countdown with Charlotte Mason, Week 2 of 12: A primrose, a worm, a beggar, a prince

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Yesterday at church, this quote was shared from John Ortberg's book When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box:
“Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It opens us up to wonder, delight, and humility. It makes our hearts generous. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation…Without gratitude our lives degenerate into envy, dissatisfaction, and complaints, taking what we have for granted and always wanting more.”
Here is this week's passage from Charlotte Mason:
"A Child is Humble––...Our common notion of humility is inaccurate. We regard it as a relative quality. We humble ourselves to this one and that, bow to the prince and lord it over the peasant. This is why the grace of humility does not commend itself even to ourselves in our most sincere moods. We feel that this relative humility is hardly consistent with self-respect and due independence of character. We have been taught to recognise humility as a Christian grace, and therefore do not utter our protest; but this misconception confuses our thought on an important subject. For humility is absolute, not relative.

"It is by no means a taking of our place among our fellows according to a given scale, some being above us by many grades and others as far below. There is no reference to above or below in the humble soul, which is equally humble before an infant, a primrose, a worm, a beggar, a prince.

"This, if we think of it, is the state natural to children. Every person and thing commands their interest; but the person or thing in action is deeply interesting. 'May I go and make mud-pies with the boy in the gutter?' prays the little prince, discerning no difference at all; and the little boy in the gutter would meet him with equal frankness."  ~~ Charlotte Mason, Parents and Children, Chapter 26: The Eternal Child
In the spirit of Charlotte Mason

Would you be very impressed by meeting a celebrity? Do you care what the Queen of England eats for breakfast? Do you ever get a chance to go and make mud-pies with people outside of your usual social circle?
"If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,        
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, 
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,    
If all men count with you, but none too much...(Rudyard Kipling, "If")
Most holiday advertising is built around the need to impress others...especially those who shouldn't "count so much," or at all. If something doesn't add more beauty or love...why are we doing it?

Do we take enough notice of primroses and worms? Sunrises? Raindrops? Black walnuts in their squishy green coats? If you haven't been outside enough lately, consider taking an October walk or bicycle ride, through a park or down a trail.

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