I was reading to my son days ago from a collection of nursery rhymes. This particular collection culls from a multitude of countries and cultures, and a few lingering lines took me back to my youth. An unexpected nostalgic. Reacquainted with prose that friends and I recited as youngsters, maturity helps me to understand the compact allegories in ways formerly beyond me. As enjoyable, the collection features cultural iterations of common rhymes that I had never heard before. Little Miss Muffet has globe trotted and her time Down Under is particularly compelling.
Part of the draw of the nursery rhyme is that it speaks in metered archetypes that convey human truths; truths that often transcend time and location as is evidenced by the theme and variation that is presented in this particular collection. The device of the rhyme scheme is a brilliant memory device, as it promotes memory retention much more effortlessly than rote repetition. I do my best to come up with effective memory devices when I teach at Ludusport, maybe it’s time to add sing-song and meter to my lesson plan.
In reading this particular version I was confronted with three particular morals that are valuable coin in our mundane world as well as the combat sports milieu.
- Know the rules before you agree to the fight– In common parlance, don’t show up to a gunfight with a knife.
- Never underestimate your opponent – Showing up to a knife fight with a gun might not be enough.
- Don’t street fight. If you want to fight, join a gym– An “associate” of your opponent might show up to the street fight with a knife and a gun. They might show up to your house the next day with something heavier. Join a gym.
These are indispensable truths with which I will inoculate my sons. If I can succeed in this task I will have gone a long way towards fulfilling my obligation to them as a parent.
Post Script: Understand these aforementioned morals prior to having kids!
Courtesy of “Over the Hills and Far Away” by Elizabeth Hammill