Bacon From Acorns is now LifeCraft.

Fatherwithchild

“For the begetter is the ruler by reason of love and age…” Aristotle, Politics

Perhaps we do not normally think of parents as rulers. Aristotle did.

He seems to think that after giving children life there is nothing more important than giving them direction: direction in how to live; that is, live well. This presupposes that there are right ways of living, and wrong, and that children need to be guided to the right.

Ruling and authority have a bad name today. But for the ancients authority is an office of special beauty and importance in human life. Authority is necessary in order that people—in this case children—be able to find true happiness.

Parental rule is rooted in age, as age denotes a wisdom that comes from experience. A ruler must have knowledge of the real goal of human life, and how to get there.

Parental authority is also rooted in love, and is an exercise of love. It is always fundamentally about the children, and their good.

But if true authority must be exercised with love, it is also the case that parental love must be exercised with authority. Parents need to rule. Not that ruling and making rules are synonymous. Rules have a place; yet praise, encouragement, instruction, gentle correction, not to mention leading by example, are all essential. These can set the nurturing tone of well-exercised parental authority.

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), student of Plato, tutor of Alexander the Great, has been considered by many to be the greatest ancient philosopher.

Image: George de la Tour, Joseph the Carpenter, 1642

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
Working by Hand: Reconnecting with Our Humanity

Working by Hand: Reconnecting with Our Humanity

“In all manual work we find the primal phenomenon of culture that is human but close to nature.” “The sphere in which we live is becoming more and more artificial, less and less human,” Romano Guardini, Letters from Lake Como We have lost something today, but we can...

read more
Cherishing Your Spouse in Your Children

Cherishing Your Spouse in Your Children

“Goodbye Aeneas. Cherish our love in the son it gave us.” Virgil, The Aeneid This stunningly powerful goodbye between spouses says so much. A son, it says, was ‘given’ to a couple by the love they bore one another. Love between spouses is already itself a gift. That...

read more
Is Love Irrational?

Is Love Irrational?

“And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays. The more the pity that some honest neighbors will not make them friends.” Shakespeare (Bottom, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream) Lovers can be notoriously irrational. But is true love...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest