Monday, November 23, 2015

The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 28: Love and Its Source – The Child


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 New International Version (NIV)

Love, Montessori says, is not something that is learned. It is part of our heritage as human beings. We watch animals nurture and care for their young until they are old enough to survive on their own. Then, that relationship is gone; parent and young are like strangers, competing for survival.

Studying Montessori – The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 28: Love and Its Source – The Child


Not so with humans. “Love does not disappear when the children are grown up, and not only that, but it extends beyond the confines of the family.” (p. 294). Love, Montessori says, is permanent.

And at the center of this deep and abiding love, we find the child. In all the world, with all the war, poverty, alienation, and strife, “the child is the only point on which converges from everyone a feeling of gentleness and love.” (p. 288)

In the play Les Miserables, one of the characters states that “to love another person is to see the face of God.” And if God is love, then the love we have for children is a spiritual love — one in which we see all that is pure and good.


Montessori tells us that if we substitute the word “child” for “love” in the verse of first Corinthians it is a description of the Absorbent Mind.

This young child, patient and kind, forgives, trusts, hopes, and perseveres in the face of challenges and adversity. He is the hope of the future, the one in which our hopes and dreams rest. It is our job to nurture and help this child develop to his fullest cosmic potential.

Works Cited
Montessori, Maria. The Absorbent Mind. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Press, 1964.
Schönberg, Claude-Michel, Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel, Herbert Kretzmer, and Victor Hugo. Boublil and Schönberg's Legendary Musical: Les Misérables : the Musical That Swept the World : in Concert. London: Alain Boublil Music, 2003. Musical score.

Michelle Irinyi — NAMC Tutor & Graduate
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Monday, November 23, 2015.

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