“Do not educate your child to be rich. Educate him to be happy,
so that when hegrows up he knows the value of things not the price.”
“The soul is healed by being with children”, is not just a marvelous saying by one of my favorite writers, Dostoyevsky, in my case, these words represent an attitude that I try to live by day by day. My daughter is no longer a child, but I never lose an opportunity to be around children, their candor, laughter, inquisitive minds and innocence are perpetual reasons that forever draw me to their company.
A few days ago, I had the pleasure of being invited to the International Montessori School in Auburn, Georgia to participate to their International Day, and to share with the students of this wonderful school a little bit of our Romanian culture, traditions and heritage. Miss Gabriela Talpes, one of the Romanian teachers at the InternationalMontessori School was kind enough to invite me in the past to participate to similar events; however, I have to say, being able to talk about one of my great passions, Romania, with children that in many cases do not speak the language or do not know much about our wonderful country represented a pleasant challenge.
I donned my most colorful Romanian blouse, and with a basket full of Romanian artifacts, I braved a rainy day, and met the young and bright children of Montessori School that were eagerly waiting for me. I found them around Miss Nora, listening attentively to one of our most beloved Romanian tales, The Little Purse with Two Halfpennies, by Ion Creanga. If today’s children still find joy in these tales the way we did while we were growing up in Romania, here in America, their parents and teachers definitelymust be doing something right! …It was such a joy to see how fascinated they were to learn more about Romania! I was delighted to tell them about our flag, surprised to learn that they already knew the symbolism of the colors, they were curious to know about Vlad Tepes, our beautifully hand-painted Easter eggs and the colorful Romanian folk costumes. There were so many inquisitive faces, so many questions, so much pure joy and delight on sharing our history and heritage with the young minds present, I really wanted to stay around them longer! I was impressed to find out that they already knew a few Romanian words, and they were all eagerly anticipating the delicious Romanian dishes that were about to be served for lunch on that day!
An old African proverb tells us that “It takes a village to raise a child”, I could not agree more! We are all part of a big family, a smile, an encouraging word, a piece of good advice when we see someone struggling, these are all simple gestures and we cannot afford not to do them! The children of today, are tomorrow’s men and women, we owe it to ourselves to be a positive influence and a worthy example, we are the present, but, let’s not forget, they are the future!
I will always cherish my brief encounters with the wonderful students and teachers of Old Peachtree Montessori School, I was impressed to see the quality learningenvironment offered, the great atmosphere in which these beautiful children have the opportunity to learn and develop.
Thank you again, Miss Gabriela Talpes, for inviting me! Your students gave me such an amazing gift, being around them lifted my spirits, and infused me with their own special kind of magic! Thank you, dear students, for being such a great audience, it was a delight to be around you! Just like we teach our children, they teach us! A child can teach an adult the most invaluable thing, a thing which we, as adults, often forget, to be happy for no reason! I invite all of you, regardless if you have children or not, observe them, pay attention, learn from them, and teach them, above all, teach them to be kind, the ingredient that today’s society needs the most!!