Saturday, March 05, 2011

The Fidgets

I picked up this book at an Antique Sale a few months ago titled, Youth and its Duties.
It has many practical things to help parents in child rearing. It's about a hundred years old but the principles are good in my estimation if you don't obsess over them. This piece is about combating the fidgets ---

"Discipline the body to obey the will. You would not think to see some young folks, that the will had any thing to do with the movements of the body; for it moves in all imaginable ways, with all sorts of contortions. First flies out a foot, then a hand, then there's a twirl or a swing, then a drumming of the fingers, a trotting of the foot, or some such odd figure. This arises from leaving the body to control itself, by its own natural activity, the mind taking no supervision of its motions. Now, if you early accustom yourself to exercise a strict mental supervision over the body, so as never to make any movement whatever, except what you mean to make, you will find this habit of great consequence to you; for, besides saving you the mortification of a thousand ungraceful movements which habit has rendered natural, it will enable you to control your nerves, the necessity for which you will understand better hereafter than you do now. Make the will the ruling power of your body, so as to never do any thing but what you mean to do and you will never get a reputation of being nervous."

Now to tell you how relevant this is in a center where nearly half of the guys have used amphetamines, words fail to express. Suffice to say, if they happen to have a pen in their hands, it will soon be reduced to a pile of plastic and springs with there continual CLICKING!

Photo from the Internet


Mel said...

ha ha! Yes, continual clicking. And, I'm sure, quite a bit of chewing, spinning, twirling, swordfighting, etc. Of course, it doesn't just happen in centers like the one you work in. It happens in regular homes with little children, especially (if I might be so bold without being labeled prejudiced)-- boys! :)

I can see myself, too, all over this post. The very idea of taking every motion of my body captive to my will is so daunting as to immediately cause me to want to start chewing on my fingers! :)

I love these snapshots in to the thinking of times gone by. As you said, there is still so much relevence to today's world!

Mel :)

FCB said...

Hi Mel,
I think your boldness is spot on :)
Something in the blood of little boys especially, that keeps them bouncing until they finally drop from exhaustion. But we love them so!
God bless,