Wednesday, July 11, 2012


A distinguished consulting room-
MARGARET sits silent, as an EMINENT DOCTOR checks her blood pressure. The beep of the machine, steady and monotonous until-
DOCTOR Just look straight at me, straight
ahead, that’s it.The Iron Lady - FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT - 8th April 11 (c) Pathe Productions 53
The DOCTOR scribbles some notes, considering-
DOCTOR (CONT’D) Are you noticing night sweats?
DOCTOR Hallucinations?
MARGARET hesitates. She shakes her head. MARGARET
No. Sleep?
MARGARET Yes, I sleep. Four, five hours a
DOCTOR So you wake early?
MARGARET And I stay up late. I always have.
She looks at him as if he really should know this about her. The DOCTOR notes this down.
DOCTOR We just want to keep abreast of
MARGARET Yes. Of course.
DOCTOR Grief is a very natural state.
MARGARET My husband has been gone for
years. Cancer.
DOCTOR Carol says you’ve decided to let
his things go. Probably a good thing.
MARGARET Yes. It was my idea. To Oxfam.
Perfectly good stuff. People can use these things.
The Iron Lady - FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT - 8th April 11 (c) Pathe Productions 54
DOCTOR Still it must be a bit
disorientating. You are bound to be feeling.
MARGARET What? What am I ‘bound to be
The DOCTOR looks up from his note taking, hearing the quiet challenge in MARGARET’s voice.
MARGARET (CONT’D) People don’t ‘think’ any more.
They ‘feel’. ‘How are you feeling?’ ‘Oh I don’t feel comfortable with that’ ‘Oh, I’m so sorry but we, the group were feeling...’ D’you know, one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than thoughts and ideas.
(beat) Now thoughts and ideas. That interests me.
(beat) Ask me what I am thinking-
The DOCTOR hesitates, letting MARGARET settle until-
DOCTOR What are you thinking, Margaret?
MARGARET looks at the DOCTOR, quietly struggling with a fury, threatening to unleash-
MARGARET Watch your thoughts, for they
become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. What we think, we become. My father always said that.
(beat) And I think I am fine.
(beat) But I do so appreciate your kind concern.
The sudden and persistent buzz of an intercom-
MARGARET (CONT’D) Oh, do please answer that.
The Iron Lady - FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT - 8th April 11 (c) Pathe Productions 55
MARGARET holds his gaze, with quiet unwavering steel unsettling the DOCTOR a little.
MARGARET (CONT’D) It might be someone who needs you.
The DOCTOR reluctantly answers his intercom-
From 'THE IRON LADY' movie.
I love this scene in the movie "The Iron Lady". The progressive development of our thoughts eventually influencing our destiny, is a quote from Thomas a Kempis, which I quoted 3 posts back "PARENTS TEACH RESPECT BY TRAINING" Week 88 Quote 88
In this post, I want to discuss the reference Margaret Thatcher made in the movie, to thoughts and ideas. I want to ask you to consider how substantial your personal thoughts and ideas are, because they have immense influence on the ideas and thoughts developing in your children.
A short criticism! I am not a facebook person, though I am on it so I can see my kids photographs from their travels. Facebook itself is fine, what appalls me is the way it is used by some people, even adults, to publicly display private conversations, even hostile feelings through angry words. These people must be ignorant to the distress and disastrous damage they are causing - to their own reputation, to the reputation of the one they are aiming their comments at, to their family and children who read or hear about it.
Where does this behaviour come from? Some would say they have a lack of self control-true. In the case of women, it would be said that it's hormonal-true. Therapy and more medication, however are only part of the solution. A vital part of a cure is found in the thoughts and ideas we choose to surround ourselves with. 
How great are your ideas?
What is an idea?
It is something which when it comes to a person, leaves behind a vivid mental picture which has the force or power to grow and grow. As it does this it feeds on and connects onto other things in our mind which to us relate. The mind has an 'appetite' for ideas. The process or development of an idea, just as the selection of what is an interesting idea, is individual, unique to each person.
This is how the mind takes up an idea, it "strikes us, seizes hold of us, catches hold of us, impresses us and at last, if it is big enough, possesses us." A Philosophy of Education: Charlotte Mason. You may wish to read my post  "HOW A PARENT'S LIFE INSPIRES THEIR CHILD'S LIFE" Week 39 Quote 39 to understand the process more.
Parents have the responsibility in caring and bringing up their children, to nourish children with ideas - great ideas.
The writer Coleridge suggests that the mind needs to be previously prepared to receive great ideas. Our routine home life contributes immensely to this, providing the rain, sunshine and soil for ideas to grow in.
Jessica Watson in her book "True Spirit", tells of her mother reading Jesse Martin's book, "Lionheart". "It was as if something clicked in my mind. This guy wasn't a superhero, he wasn't privileged in any way, ....he definitely wasn't old. Jesse was a normal, everyday person who had a dream and decided to make it happen. He was someone I could relate to and it made me wonder....Could I do it? Could I sail around the world on my own?" The idea grew and eventually was actioned when Jessica at 16 , circumnavigated the world alone in 2010. Jessica's siblings heard that same book read but they didn't find the same idea or seed.
"There is no way of escape for parents; they must needs be as 'inspirers' to their children, because about them hangs, as its atmosphere about a planet, the thought-environment of the child from which he derives those enduring ideas which express themselves as a life-long 'appetency' (natural tendency of longing) towards things sordid or things lovely, things earthly or divine." Parents and Children: Charlotte Mason.
How great are your ideas?
Why does the mind need ideas?
The body needs food to develop and grow. The mind also needs sustenance for it to increase and be strong. " .... children are well equipped to deal with ideas; and explanations, questions, amplifications are unnecessary and wearisome. Children have a natural appetite for knowledge which is informed with thought. They bring imagination, judgment and the various so-called 'faculties' to bear upon a new idea pretty much as the gastric juices act upon a food ration." A Philosophy of Education:Charlotte Mason.
"Our business is to give children the great ideas of life, of religion, history, science, but it is the ideas we must give, clothed upon with facts as they occur, and must leave the child to deal with these as he chooses." A Philosophy of Education:Charlotte Mason.
"They (children) experience all the things they hear and read of; these enter them and are their life; and thus it is that ideas feed the mind in the most literal sense of the word, "feed". " A Philosophy of Education:Charlotte Mason.
Reading this you may respond that your child would be totally disinterested if you tried to read a book to them. You could help the situation by looking at your routines of home life and by asking yourself how you could become an 'inspirer'. Consider too if you need to pull back on directing their thinking - you don't need to help them chew the food they eat, likewise you don't need to explain or talk about matters which they are able to understand for themselves. Have confidence in your child and let them think for themselves, your job is to provide the great 'food'.
How great are your ideas?
Where do you find ideas?
As already said, your home environment and routines are filled with opportunities for a child to find great ideas. They require large quantities and in great variety.
The main source for great ideas is found through reading books of quality. Books about the different areas of life, culture and traditions, travel, literature in its various forms, history, religion, all the fields of science, music, the visual and performing arts, crafts, sport.... variety. Then the mind of the child has copious material to sort, arrange, select, reject, classify... all on its own. This gives the mind strength to struggle with the pathetic ideas in life which come along, and hopefully because of its substantial diet, it will choose to reject the impulse of living a life, as Margaret Thatcher said, based on how one feels alone.
An amazing experience happens when a person reads - it is them and the material and ideas of the book alone, an intimate connection. In the case of a child that intimacy is greater as their mind is learning and gathering at a far greater level than an adult's. Hence the need for "direct and immediate impact of great minds on ... a child." Books with ideas written by people with great ideas. The gaining of knowledge and great ideas "... is passed, like the light of a torch, from mind to mind ..... thought, we know breeds thought; it is as vital thought touches our minds that our ideas are vitalized, and out of our ideas comes our conduct of life." "A child must read to know." A Philosophy of Education:Charlotte Mason.
Back to Coleridge, "From the first ..... idea as from a seed, successive ideas germinate." The ideas we surrounds ourselves with or accept, form our opinions and attitudes which we live by. This is why we need to give our children access to great ideas so that the empty, peer-pressured, short-sighted, self-centred, manipulative ideas that present themselves everyday, will be recognized by our children for what they are - counterfeit. And our children will choose to step aside and not be sucked-in by them.
This situation is illustrated in the movie, "Lions for Lambs", where a student, Todd, is encouraged and pressed in discussion with his university professor, to stop being apathetic, as he repeatedly asks the question What are you willing to do for what you believe? In a critique of the movie, Lisa Pease says, "'Lions for Lambs' challenges each of us to live more consciously, to make deliberate choices, rather that to sit back and let choices be made for us through our passivity."
Another movie which works in this same area, is "The Lady" (photo at the top of the post is from this movie), the story of Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest in her Yangoon home for years while she worked to support Burma's democracy movement. The sacrifice of family and a couple for a higher cause.
How great are your ideas?
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ do you intend to prepare a meal for your family to eat tonight? And tomorrow, will there be 3 square meals so they grow up healthy and strong? The mind too needs its square meals, everyday, not casual, meagre offerings.
Your local library probably has books with great ideas. Borrow some every week, leave them open around the house so a curious eye can find them. It may take time, but persevere.
"No phrase is more .... promising than, 'I have and idea'; we rise to such an opening as trout to a well-chosen fly." A Philosophy of Education:Charlotte Mason.

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