Daughter

Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.

I have been told by the third grade teacher that my daughter Poppet is reading at middle school level. Yet if I leave Poppet a note in block letters telling her to feed the dogs I will come home to find the dogs have been ... given a swim in the above-ground pool, dressed in tutus, provided with hair weaves. What I will not find is that the dogs have been fed. 'I thought you wanted me to free the dogs,' says Poppet whose school district is not spending quite what D.C.'s is, thanks to voter rejection of the last school bond referendum.

I am the daughter of Earth and Water, And the nursling of the Sky; I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores; I change, but I cannot die. For after the rain when with never a stain The pavilion of Heaven is bare, And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams Build up the blue dome of air, I silently laugh at my own cenotaph, And out of the caverns of rain, Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb, I arise and unbuild it again.

I used to tell women graduate students, half-seriously, that the role of slightly rebellious daughter was one of the better roles for women living in patriarchy.

My daughter’s direct, spontaneous, and affectionate nature released me from many of the protective mechanisms I had developed, above all the fear that my love might be exploited. With her I had no need to protect myself. At last I could love, trust, and be tender without any apprehensions about my openness being misused for corrective educational purposes – as was the case with my mother – or my feelings being hurt. As I did not have the good fortune of enjoying an open and warmhearted relationship with my mother, this new opportunity for communication – for all its tragic aspects and the restrictions it brought with it – was more of a blessing than anything else… The spontaneity with which my daughter expressed her childlike, innocent, affectionate nature at whatever age she happened to be, and her sensitivity to insincerity and disingenuousness in whatever form, gave my life new dimensions and new objectives.

That was where the story of my childhood finally broke through. Today, I am convinced that I have only been willing and able to face up to my true feelings thanks to the existence of my daughter. She would tell me frankly and uninhibitedly what she saw in my pictures and what she felt about them, something that otherwise only very few people did. It was a kind of emotional communication which I found very precious… Without the relationship with my daughter I would have been even more remote from myself that I already was… In many ways it is only now, in retrospect, that I begin to appreciate something like the full extent of the boon my daughter has been to me.

When I wrote It Takes a Village ten years ago, our daughter Chelsea, a lively teen, was engaged with school, church, ballet, and friends. Now that Chelsea is grown up, I look back and see more clearly than ever how much we benefited from the village every step of the way and how much better off she is for having not just two parents, but other caring adults in her corner. And I have yet to meet a parent who didn't feel the same way.

Believe nothing a man tells you and everything he shows you....(Taken from a farewell video from a dying father to his infant daughter on dating)

Blues, spirituals, and folk tales recounted from mouth to mouth; the whispered words of a black mother to her black daughter on ways of men, to confidential wisdom of a black father to his son; the swapping of sex experiences on street corners from boy to boy in the deepest vernacular, work songs sung under blazing suns? All these formed the channels through which racial wisdom flowed.

A fluent tongue is the only thing a mother don't like her daughter to resemble her in.

I would by no means wish a daughter of mine to be a progeny of learning; I don't think so much learning becomes a young woman: for instance, I would never let her meddle with Greek, or Hebrew, or algebra, or simony, or fluxions, or paradoxes, or such inflammatory branches of learning; nor will it be necessary for her to handle any of your mathematical, astronomical, diabolical instruments; but... I would send her, at nine years old, to a boarding-school, in order to learn a little ingenuity and artifice: then, sir, she would have a supercilious knowledge in accounts, and, as she grew up, I would have her instructed in geometry, that she might know something of the contagious countries: this is what I would have a woman know; and I don't think there is a superstitious article in it.

Love is not to be purchased, and affection has no price.

That beast of the Apocalypse, to whom is given a mouth speaking blasphemies, and to make war with the saints, is sitting on the throne of Peter, like a lion ready for his prey.

Gayety is to good humor, as animal perfumes to vegetable fragrance: the one overpowers weak spirits, the other recreates and revives them.

Pride is utter poverty of soul disguised as riches, imaginary light where in fact there is darkness.

Repentance lifts a man up. Mourning knocks at heaven's gate. Holy humility opens it.

Sociobiology is not just any statement that biology, genetics, and evolutionary theory have something to do with human behavior. Sociobiology is a specific theory about the nature of genetic and evolutionary input into human behavior. It rests upon the view that natural selection is a virtually omnipotent architect, constructing organisms part by part as best solutions to problems of life in local environments. It fragments organisms into traits, explains their existence as a set of best solutions, and argues that each trait is a product of natural selection operating for the form or behavior in question. Applied to humans, it must view specific behaviors (not just general potentials) as adaptations built by natural selection and rooted in genetic determinants, for natural selection is a theory of genetic change. Thus, we are presented with unproved and unprovable speculations about the adaptive and genetic basis of specific human behaviors: why some (or all) people are aggressive, xenophobic, religious, acquisitive, or homosexual.

The most futile thing in this world is any attempt, perhaps, at exact definition of character. All individuals are a bundle of contradictions — none more so than the most capable.

Bear your faithful ministers upon your hearts when you are wrestling with God. They can tell when they want your prayers, and when they enjoy your prayers. Did you pray more for them, they might do more for your internal and eternal good than they do now.