This is just a little something for all those parents out there, who have sent their darlings to school for the first time today!
It is all going to be strange and new for a while
... and I wish you would sort of treat him gently.
You see, up to now he has been King of the Roost,
He has been Boss of the Backyard,
and I have always been around to repair the wounds;
I have always been handy to soothe his feelings.
But now - things are going to be different.
This morning he is going to walk down the front steps,
wave his hand and start on a great adventure
that probably will include wars, tragedy and sorrow.
To live in this world 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.
He will have to learn that all men are not just that.
That all men are not true.
Teach him that for every scoundrel there is a hero;
That for every crooked politician there is a dedicated Teacher,
and that for every enemy there is a friend.
Let him learn that bullies are the easiest people to lick.
Teach him the wonders of books. Give him quiet time
to ponder the eternal mysteries of birds in the sky,
bees in the sun and flowers on a green hill.
Teach him that it is far more honourable
to fail than to cheat.
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas,
even if everyone tells him he is wrong.
Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd
when everyone else is getting on the band wagon.
Teach him to listen to all men, but to filter all
he hears on a screen of truth
and to take only the good that comes true.
Teach him to sell his brawn and his brain to the highest bidder
but never to put a tag on his heart and soul.
Teach him to close his ears on a howling mob....
and to stand and fight if he thinks he is 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 darling little fellow ...