Though I do like to write about positive people and events, I cannot help questioning some of the things we practice without any thought of its implications. Some may say this is not important but let us remember all thoughts and practices are important, perhaps the most important thing of all.
One of the craziest things we, both parents and teachers, who learn and teach English to children is in the choice of nursery rhymes. What really is the message we are trying to convey through “Three Blind Mice” the modern version of which is “See how they run. See how they run. They all ran after the farmer’s wife, Who cut off their tails with a carving knife, Did you ever see such a sight in your life, As three blind mice”.
Incidentally, “Three Blind Mice” is supposed to be an ode to Bloody Mary’s reign, with the trio in question believed to be a group of Protestant bishops—Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Radley, and The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer—who (unsuccessfully) conspired to overthrow the queen and were burned at the stake for their heresy. Do we really need to learn or teach this silly rhyme?
Other than learning and in fact, learning these words by rote which is what most children and in fact, even mothers do. Is there any joy and more importantly, sensitivity in these words?
If at all one understands the meaning, it only teaches laughing at others who have problems, disability or not and showing us that what is actually important is the power that one has, be it through a carving life, a gun or in the modern context, a bomb.
In the modern era where we claim to be striving towards gender sensitivity, racial sensitivity and saying even obvious things that being economically poor with the euphemism of under privileged, I do think we should be more sensitive or at least be more aware of teaching the right values to the children. Children are after all unpolluted by any ‘isms’ when born and accept the world as it is shown to them.
Let us try to show a better world by teaching them songs and poems of joy, positivity and happiness.