So, what does all this talk about Wisdom have to do with stories?

Well, I like to think that good stories and wise people have much in common.

Good stories and wise people help us to love more

A wise African proverb tells us, “what you help a child to LOVE is more important than what you help them to learn.”  And E.B. White, that marvelous author of Charlotte’s Web maintained that, “All I want to say in books, all I ever wanted to say, is – I love the world!”  Now of course, the love we are referring to here is not the sappy, soppy Hollywood version.  No!  The love we mean is the nitty, gritty, sacrificial kind that makes a spider called, Charlotte, use her last reserves of strength to save the life of her best friend, a pig called, Wilbur!

Good stories and wise people give us courage

The word courage comes from the French word, La Coeur, meaning, HEART.  Wise people and good stories FEED OUR HEARTS with beauty, truth and goodness.  So they strengthen our hearts, and help us in the words of Blake’s beautiful poem, to “burn bright in the forests of the night.”  We know our job as parents and teachers is not to eradicate all the trials and troubles for our children, but rather, it is to give them what they need to face their dark days and troubled times – COURAGE, that will help them feel bold and brave and unafraid!

Good stories and wise people impart an “all wellness”

Madeleine L’Engle maintained that this “all wellness” should be at the core of ALL children’s stories.  It does not mean that there cannot be sad stories, but simply that there must be some glimmer of hope, some pinprick of light simmering there beneath the sadness.  She was referring to the words of Julian of Norwich, the medieval mystic, who maintained, “all shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”  This is not a Pollyanna, naïve disregard for the sadnesses in our lives, but rather a stalwart belief in what all good stories tell us- GOOD will triumph – LOVE will conquer! (more on this topic in April)

Some of my favorite words of wisdom to ponder this week

Be the change you want to see in the world.”  Gandhi

“Beneath the muck and scum of things, there something always always sings.” Emerson

“See our children as they are – unique persons with a song to sing, a dream to live.  Children are endowed with an inner power that can guide us to a more luminous future.”  Maria Montessori.