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Oxford University Press

Tending The Heart Of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken A Child'S Moral Imagination

Tending The Heart Of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken A Child'S Moral Imagination

ISBN-13: 9780195384314
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Children are vitally concerned with distinguishing good from evil and truth from falsehood. This need to make moral distinctions is a gift, a grace that human beings are given at the start of their lives. Of course, we mustn't mistake this grace for complete innocence. Children are not pure innocents, as every new parent quickly discovers. The guile of even the smallest child can make one wonder: Where did she learn that?" Becoming a responsible human being is a path filled with potholes and visited constantly by temptations. Children need guidance and moral road maps, and they benefit immensely from the example of adults who speak truthfully and with moral strength. Our society is finding it difficult to meet these needs of children. Some well-meaning educators and parents want to drive the passion for moral clarity out of children rather than use it to the advantage of shaping their character. We want children to be tolerant, and we sometimes seem to think that a too sure sense of right and wrong only produces fanatics. Perhaps we have become so resigned to flailing about in the culture's murky waters of moral compromise and ethical obscurantism that it is hard for us to imagine other possibilities for our children. I was no exception as a young parent, and I sometimes fall into similar habits as a grandparent. I find myself doing what I often criticize in others, nervously rationalizing my laziness or unwillingness to cultivate conscience and moral sense in my grandchildren. Mostly, we all fall back on the excuse that we are respecting our children's freedom by permitting them to determine right from wrong and to choose for themselves clear goals of moral living. But this is the paean of a false freedom that pays misdirected tribute to a deeply flawed notion of individual autonomy. We end up forfeiting our parental authority and failing to be mentors to our children in the moral life. This, I fear, is the actual state of things"--


  • | Author: Vigen Guroian
  • | Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • | Publication Date: Feb 14, 2023
  • | Number of Pages: 336 pages
  • | Language: English
  • | Binding: Paperback
  • | ISBN-10: 0195384318
  • | ISBN-13: 9780195384314
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