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.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Monday, November 23, 2015.