My niece was recently graded in school, on her report card; the subject was "fostering a relationship with God". She was judged lacking and did not earn the highest grade. Perhaps "Needs improvement".
(One theory for the poor grade was that she asks her young teacher many questions, always a bad sign of course, and her teacher feels challenged and has no answers).
This raises many questions; how does one measure and grade such an idea as "One's relationship with God"? Does this count as part of your GPA? (Grade Point Average), How can one prove or demonstrate improvement in this area? How can one individual, even if he or she possesses a teacher's license, know the inner workings of another person's heart? What does this teach a child about faith when they realize that they will be "graded" on their faith? – that faith is something public, not private, faith is something to be displayed and demonstrated as loudly as possible?
I find all this very disturbing. Not only that it is very un American, it is very un-Jewish, un-Biblical, and we all know that both Christianity and the American Declaration of Independence are based upon Torah, the Hebrew Bible.
So what does the Torah say about this attitude?
"Educate the young man according to his way, even as he grows old he shall not deviate from it" (Mishlei, Proverbs, 22, 6)
In other words; force One way, or Your way, upon your child or student and he is pretty much guaranteed to:
Reject the teachings,
Fail in the teachings,
Gradually leave the path as he grows older.
Resent you for forcing your way upon him/her.
Moshe Katz, Krav Maga Instructor, teaching students of many sizes, North Carolina, USA
I think it was the Jewish genius Einstein who said if a fish tries to climb a tree it will spend its entire life thinking it is retarded, i.e. we were all born with a certain nature, there are certain things we cannot change.
Educate the child according to his nature; do not force anything upon him that is not in keeping with his individuality. We all must always try to improve ourselves but it must be in keeping with our nature.
The Gaon (Genius) Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna wrote that we are all born with a certain nature; we must guide that nature in a positive way but never try to break it.
This deep yet simple concept guides the IKI Krav Maga way; we do not force exact movements on our students, rather we guide them with sound concepts.
Esther has a problem with her wrist so she does not chop down on the attacker's wrist (gun defense) as I do; she modifies it to make it work for her. Shiori from Japan is somewhat smaller than Hugo from Norway, so she modifies our Nelson defense to suit her body.
I am not a dictator, but one who shows the path; it is you who must define the path for yourself.
Do not spend your life trying to force square pegs into round holes.
IKI Instructor Sean Stoopman, Virginia, USA with one of his smaller sized students, we must always be able to adapt.
Small but very tough, with Tala Arthur in Tyler, Texas, USA