Wise words on childhood

This morning a friend share a quote from Father Flye, an Episcopal priest involved in education for many years:

The age of twelve or fifteen is as truly life as is forty. Childhood years are life in a very lovely aspect of it. And a true scheme of education, while preparing us for the future, whether we are six or sixty, will at the same time make the present as rich and happy as possible....

Childhood is not just preparation for life. It is life at that stage. As well say that the age of forty is a preparation for being fifty or sixty. The age of ten or twelve or fifteen is justifiable in itself.

Preparation? For what? What is the age conceived of as being really of importance, so that childhood is significant only as preparation for it?

Why not say that perhaps the intrinsically worthwhile age is childhood and youth? That perhaps in nature's eyes senility begins at say eighteen? That possibly nature permits the human race to exist not so that there may be adults, but so that there may be children."

-Father Flye "Some Movements in Modern Education", Sewanee Review, Jan-March 1932.


I found this to a powerful idea to contemplate. Reminds me of a Keith Johnstone quote:

I began to think of children not as immature adults, but of adults as atrophied children.—Keith Johnstone*Impro*

I love the picture of childhood as an end in and of itself. 

What does this bring up for you?