Remember how the teachers and parents celebrate the victorious acts of our tiny accomplishments in kindergarten and childhood? We had taken lots of time and effort to teach ourselves to eat, wash, get dressed, and put on our shoes with our tiny fingers. we were dignified humans.
- Then when we are on our own independent and free, we do not follow the natural laws of development. We skip a few steps here and there, ignoring the process and focus on the achievement. Why do we not sit down have a decent breakfast, drink tea or coffee from a cup and saucer? Instead, we stand at the kitchen to drink coffee or tea from a mug, have cereal in front of lounge room while watching the morning news and then rush off without cleaning up.
- We come home at the end of the work day complaining how tired we are, when in fact the entire fault lies in our own bad habits. Our bodies are already tensed by the time we walk out of the door, what more of our minds when we arrive at our work desk? When we arrive home, we want to be rewarded so at times when things are not done properly for us, we become angry. Why isn’t the bed made yet? Where are my socks?
- I had maids who cleaned house and looked after my child while I went out to school to teach. I was easily angered when things did not get done around the house. If I had made the bed myself, be independent, I will not be an angry person. I act by myself, expend my strength, and perfect myself. I stopped teaching at school and focused teaching my own child at home.
My child was happier, the maid felt more appreciated.
“If men of the future are to be strong, they must be independent and free.“ (Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child, page 58)
- When we become useful, we can concentrate and focus. We are calm when we are performing a task which we have power to control our own skills. We serve our world better. We have tendency to abuse the mastery of skill we have learnt in our childhood. We replace a skill with convenience of technology like washing machines, hand held vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens, laptops and mobile phones.
- As long as we continue to utilize these modern conveniences to benefit our immediate social environment, we are contributing to development. If we find ourselves becoming lazy, easily tired or unhappy after prolonged use, then we have to ask ourselves, why?
- Maybe we should have not watched so much television while the machine is running, or perhaps we should take the opportunity to learn a new skill while the machines are working for us.
p.s. I know there is need to correct grammar on the title. “Put Your Shoes By Yourself”? what is that? I meant to write:”Try Putting On Your Own Shoes, You Do Not Need Any Help When You Know You Can.”