Hush little baby

By Mathias Maurer, September 2015

Julian wanders bored into the living room. He is in combative form or, let us say, in the mood for a good debate. He notices a book called Healing Education.

“What’s this about then? How does education heal? What rubbish! Education means bugging, grumbling and being let off doing things! That would make you ill, wouldn’t it!”

I look up from the newspaper and check first of all to what extent he is trying to wind me up. “Yes, but there are many children who are ill. Not just physically but also mentally.”

Julian counters: “Do you seriously believe that everyone who’s a bit fidgety is ill?”

“Well, quite a lot of harm can be caused by our lifestyle: the wrong kind of nutrition, too much media, stress, too little exercise, or being sent off to the crèche at three months ... Ever heard of affluent neglect?” I ask.

Julian is just getting into his stride: “Education is supposed to help that? Bollocks! Just three words: freedom for children!”

“If only it were that simple. Childhood today is full of stress – particularly for parents. Actually, they could do with special healing attention. Healing sounds good, doesn’t it,” I try to explain.

Julian scoffs: “You mean kissy, kissy better?”

“Listen,” I answer, “healing is something beautiful, healing means making whole. Don’t you remember ‘Hush little baby’ when you were small – it worked in your case too. And if education heals, isn’t that a good thing...”

“Oh how sweet, how romantic,” Julian interrupts me, “typical Waldorf! Apart from way out cases: a bit of heat, bit of a harder edge wouldn’t do the odd Waldorf dud any harm.”

I try to stay calm: “If you were in bed with a temperature and I said to you: ‘Out of bed now, slacker, go for a run, do your homework,’ that wouldn’t be quite appropriate, would it? A leg compress would probably be better and there is also the equivalent in education.”

“A leg compress from my teacher? Spare me!”

I do not give up: “Well, I mean if you get support so that you can concentrate better or ...”

“Eurythmy therapy, creative speech and Hauschka – here they come,” Julian howls.

“But,” I insist, “didn’t you have a few sessions with the support teacher because of your scrambled letters in class 3? It did help.”

 “Okay, okay, so no one can escape your desire to heal. It might even be a good thing to have a few idiosyncrasies and things wrong,” Julius looks at me triumphantly.

When I do not react immediately he follows up: “Hush little baby...”


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