But why bother? Why exert all this effort to focus totally on the boring prattlings of a six-year-old?First, your willingness to do so is the best possible concrete evidence of your esteem you can give your child. If you give your child the same esteem you would give a great lecturer, then the child will know him- or herself to be valued and therefore will feel valuable. There is no better and ultimately no other way to teach your children that they are valuable people than by valuing them.Second, the more children feel valuable, the more they will begin to say things of value. They will rise to your expectation of them.Third, the more you listen to your child, the more you will realize that in amongst the pauses, the stutterings, the seemingly innocent chatter, your child does indeed have valuable things to say. The dictum that great wisdom comes from the mouths of babes is recognized as an absolute fact by anyone who truly listens to children. Listen to your child enough and you will come to realize that he or she is quite an extraordinary individual. And the more extraordinary you realize your child to be, the more you will be willing to listen. And the more you will learn.Fourth, the more you know about your child, the more you will be able to teach. Know little about your children and usually you will be teaching things that either they are not ready to learn or they already know and perhaps understand better than you.Finally, the more children know that you value them, that you consider them extraordinary people, the more willing they will be to listen to you and afford you the same esteem. And the more appropriate your teaching, based on your knowledge of them, the more eager your children will be to learn from you. And the more they learn, the more extraordinary they will become. If the reader senses the cyclical character of this process, he or she is quite correct and is appreciating the truth of the reciprocity of love. Instead of a vicious downward cycle, it is a creative upward cycle of evolution and growth. Value creates value. Love begets love. Parents and child together spin forward faster and faster in the pas de deux of love.
M. Scott Peck
Thus there is need of deeper reflection. Before entering into an examination of individual texts, we must direct our attention to the whole picture, the question of structure. Only in this way can a meaningful arrangement of individual elements be obtained. Is there any place at all for something like Mariology in Holy Scripture, in the overall pattern of its faith and prayer? Methodologically, one can approach this question in one of two ways, backwards or forwards, so to speak: either one can read back from the New Testament into the Old or, conversely, feel one’s way slowly from the Old Testament into the New. Ideally both ways should coincide, permeating one another, in order to produce the most exact image possible. If one begins by reading backwards or, more precisely, from the end to the beginning, it becomes obvious that the image of Mary in the New Testament is woven entirely of Old Testament threads. In this reading, two or even three major strands of tradition can be clearly distinguished which were used to express the mystery of Mary. First, the portrait of Mary includes the likeness of the great mothers of the Old Testament: Sarah and especially Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Second, into that portrait is woven the whole theology of daughter Zion, in which, above all, the prophets announced the mystery of election and covenant, the mystery of God’s love for Israel. A third strand can perhaps be identified in the Gospel of John: the figure of Eve, the woman par excellence, is borrowed to interpret Mary.
Pope Benedict XVI
The Friend of Your Youth is the only friend you will ever have, for he does not really see you. He sees in his mind a face that does not exist anymore, speaks a name – Spike, Bud, Snip, Red, Rusty, Jack, Dave – which belongs to that now nonexistent face but which by some inane doddering confusion of the universe is for the moment attached to a not happily met and boring stranger. But he humors the drooling doddering confusion of the universe and continues to address politely that dull stranger by the name which properly belongs to the boy face and to the time when the boy voice called thinly across the late afternoon water or murmured by a campfire at night or in the middle of a crowded street said, Gee, listen to this–’On Wenlock Edge the wood’s in trouble; His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves–’ The Friend of Your Youth is your friend because he does not see you anymore.And perhaps he never saw you. What he saw was simply part of the furniture of the wonderful opening world. Friendship was something he suddenly discovered and had to give away as a recognition of and payment for the breathlessly opening world which momently divulged itself like a moonflower. It didn’t matter a damn to whom he gave it, for the fact of giving was what mattered and if you happened to be handy you were automatically endowed with all the appropriate attributes of a friend and forever after your reality is irrelevant. The Friend of Your Youth is the only friend you will ever have, for he hasn’t the slightest concern with calculating his interest or your virtue. He doesn’t give a damn, for the moment, about Getting Ahead or Needs Must Admiring the Best, the two official criteria in adult friendships and when the boring stranger appears, he puts out his hand and smiles (not really seeing your face) and speaks your name (which doesn’t really belong to your face), saying, Well, Jack, damned glad you came, come on in, boy!'s Men
Robert Penn Warren