We are teaching the next generation

Our local little theater in Florence, South Carolina, just put on The King and I. As a child, The King and I was the first production I saw at the Akron Theater. I went with my girl scout troop. Now, my granddaughter has a role as one of the little princesses in the Florence production.

As I watch the play, the irony of the lesson hits me. As the old king takes to his bed, dying, the son, soon to be king, begins to make proclamations of changes he wants to implement. His changes are the things his father wanted to do, but was emotionally unable to do, due to the grip of custom and tradition. The young son has been “schooled” by the English teacher brought in for the royal children. His changes are the very things she has been teaching in the classroom.

I tend to be stuck in tradition and habit, even if I don’t admit it. I often know what should be, but am unable to change to do it.

For example, I am still somewhat stuck in the concept of the traditional role of wife and mother. I should cook, do the laundry, and care for the children. My husband needs to take care of everything outside the house, including my car.

Some of this is based on skills, but for a good part, it is my learned tradition. My children are less rigid in the gender roles than I am. If I were to guess, my grandchildren will be even less molded by this tradition. Things change.

We can direct the change by teaching the young, or we can allow the change to happen, trusting on society to guide the next generation (that makes me shudder!). Like Anna, the teacher in The King and I, we have the potential to make a significant impact on the next generation. The role of teacher is one we need to take seriously.

Kids look to us for leadership. What do they see? Are we guiding them toward honorable customs, or are we wishy-washy? We may go to church every Sunday, but do we live God-fearing lives? What are they learning by our example? What will they model in their adulthood?

We are teaching the next generation. Pray with me for guidance on this awesome responsibility.

Blessings to you,

Regina

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