"The Hand May Be a Little Child's"

The Hand May Be a Little Child's

Silas and Eppie

In high school, I had to memorize several hundred lines of poetry or prose each year. I did not enjoy that academic task while in high school. I did not like the process of memorizing the lines and then standing in front of the teacher reciting them. Additionally, I thought that I knew what the writer meant in the line that I memorized. One of the great benefits of growing old is that of facing the reality that you did not know as much about life as you thought you did decades before.

For example, George Eliot, which was the pseudonym for Mary Ann Evans, wrote a novella entitled Silas Marner. Eliot published it in 1861, precisely a century before I stood in front of Mrs. Davis to recite this passage from Silas Marner. Even though I did not enjoy the memorizing process, I thought that I got Eliot's message.

In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's.

However, a half century after high school, I realize that I did not come close to understanding what Eliot meant. Nonetheless, I get it now. Eppie came into the life of Silas Marner, and in that process, changed who he was. That small child "led him away from threatening destruction." Little children can do the same for each of us. Trust me; I know that firsthand. It intrigues me how little children teach, guide, and redeem us, which is a juxtaposition from what we normally think. We think that we are the instructors and the change agents for children. That is not always the case.

This is a video of the movie, Silas Marner, with Ben Kinsley as Silas Marner.




Fearless Girl thumbnail Fearless Girl The Times They are a Changin’
the-amazing-process-called-learning thumbnail The Amazing Process Called Learning Thinking Outside the Box
What Donald the Dumb is Missing in Life?  thumbnail What Donald the Dumb is Missing in Life? Eppie
From van Gogh, Darwin, Shèngdàn Dăo, and Truman thumbnail Merry Christmas Owen From van Gogh, Darwin, Shèngdàn Dăo, and Truman
Merry Christmas Jack  a  thumbnail Merry Christmas Jack From van Gogh, Darwin, Shèngdàn Dăo, and Truman
Jack and Owen's Fossil Collection thumbnail Jack and Owen's Fossil Collection No Pain, No Gain
Teach Your Children, Part 2 thumbnail Teach Your Children, Part 2 But When?
GiGi's Psychoanalysis thumbnail GiGi's Psychoanalysis Me and My Hauntings
The Fighting Téméraire thumbnail The Fighting Téméraire Explained My Nostalgia to Me
Owen Teaches Me thumbnail Owen Teaches Me About Fossils
The Value of Giving Gifts... thumbnail The Value of Giving Gifts... To Young Children
A 21st Century Unicorn thumbnail A 21st Century Unicorn A Creative Moment
What I Learned About Toddlers  thumbnail What I Learned About Toddlers From Two Toddlers
A Pit Stop Can Be Our Destination thumbnail A Pit Stop Can Be Our Destination Don't Miss Your Destiny
Owen's Christmas Gifts thumbnail Owen's Christmas Gifts From Around the World
Jack's Christmas Gifts thumbnail Jack's Christmas Gifts From Around the World
Traumerei< thumbnail Träumerei The Dreaming of Schumann and Me
Want to See What I'm Wearing for Halloween? thumbnail Want to See What I'm Wearing for Halloween? A Profound Question
Doubling Down... thumbnail Doubling Down... To Make Dreams Come True
Squirt's Observations of Her Papa thumbnail Squirt's Observations of Her Papa A Modern Day Eppie's Reflection
Riders on the Streetcar Named Desire: thumbnail Riders on the Streetcar Named Desire: Elizabeth and Rosa
If thumbnail If— A Message for Jack and Owen
Darwin, Chagall, and Lindbergh's Gifts thumbnail Darwin, Chagall, and Lindbergh's Gifts For Jack on His Fifth Birthday
Darwin, van Gogh, and Lindbergh's Gifts thumbnail Darwin, van Gogh, and Lindbergh's Gifts For Owen on His Third Birthday
A Gift on Papa's Day thumbnail A Gift on Papa's Day You Both Have Hearts of Gold
What Makes Me Tick thumbnail What Makes Me Tick Finally, an Explanation
What I Learned About Life... thumbnail What I Learned About Life... From Facing Down the Dragon
Father's Day thumbnail Father's Day What Fathers Can Learn on Their Day
What a Wonderful World thumbnail What a Wonderful World You Think to Yourself....
A Hand Is Put Into Theirs... thumbnail A Hand Is Put Into Theirs... And the Hand May Be a Little Child's
The Still, Small Voice thumbnail The Still, Small Voice Emerson and All of Us Have that Voice
O Ship of State thumbnail O Ship of State Thoughts While Sailing My Ocean
Ants thumbnail The Ants Will Lead Us Revisiting George Eliot and Silas Marner with Argentine Ants