A Gift in the Viewing
Graceful; a lovely sounding adjective, and a quality full of gift-having and gift-giving.
For the teacher observer it is most wonderful to observe this in action in a little girl - invariably its highest expression - where deftness of movement takes on a balletic quality and unintentionally displays the innocent equivalent to the high style of a lady. This perfection of poise carries over to stillness, with no loss of marvel and power. The same gracefulness in little boys translates to a miniature musketeer. Properly considered, the graceful is the means whereby the numinous enters our life; a small sort of golden moment by which beauty suddenly and naturally reveals itself in the otherwise mundane life of school.
The expression of such gracefulness is not only a delight to the grateful observer, but a positive power to the holder. Alas, although this is a natural attribute of young children, it seems to be fighting against cultural trends. For it does seem that modern sofa-bound habits, and slovenly templates displayed in screen life, have conspired to deny and even denigrate this quality to those who need it most. And parents and teachers, themselves victims of a lamentable lack of instruction in this regard, pass the same habits of movement, posture and expression to their children, as can be seen at handing over time daily -it is as if EastEnders has come to the playground!
As adults we need to fight back against this trend, in order to properly empower our girl children. Grace and charm are not signs of feminine weakness, but of essence. Nor is a soldierly bearing in little boys evidence of an unwholesomely masculine home life, but rather of boyness encouraged. Luckily, though, where degeneracy has taken from nature, correct instruction can return it.
As we note:
Marie de Guise Academy in Leith, having abolished tolerance, is replacing it with daily gracefulness. The girls practice walking, sitting and various charming gestures of assent; the boys marching and standing to attention in silence. It seems to be working, as press reports confirm the Venetian ambassador’s words in his attempt to purchase the children for the Doge:
Che ragazze affascinanti avete in Scozia. E i tuoi ragazzi scozzesi sono così dignitosi. Vorrei che avessimo questi bambini a Venezia.
What think ye?