Brian’s Reflection: Friday, April 27, 2012
Education has for its object
the formation of character.
Herbert Spencer, English philosopher;
he was born on this date, 1820
I wonder if schoolchildren in America ever get taught the wisdom of people like Dr. Spencer? Somehow, I doubt it! I have to admit that I am appalled by the limitations and ignorance of American young people today who go through the public school system … just as I am appalled by the narrowness and bigotry of the young people who do alternative schooling … especially home-schooling. Bad alternatives, in my opinion.
Who thinks of “character” today? Who thinks of the development of character as the “first object” of education? Is this because we have completely lost any sense of what “character” is … and hence have no sense of how to “teach” it??
Jesus didn’t teach moral rules and regulations … though those who shaped His character in the creation of the four Gospels tried to make Him such. Jesus taught, in word and deed, Love. Love is not about ethics; Love is about Character. It is about the very essence of being a person.
Preaching should be about the “formation of character”. So should civil education. So should worship. So should sport. That’s what I think anyway.
The word “education” derives from the Latin “e-ducare” … “to lead out from”.
In the great Christian Myth, the Holy Spirit is the Great Teacher. She shapes Character. She doesn’t want us to behave properly; She wants us to shine with the love, passion for justice, and compassion which radiates from the Cross.
Boy: if you take this stuff seriously, we have our work cut out for us! But remember, setting forth on that inner path, surrendering to it, is, as Jesus said, a “yoke that is easy and the ‘burden’ light”.
Because we know in our heart that this is the path to freedom.