Children should be very understanding of grown-ups.[translation by Richard Howard]Children should always show great forbearance toward grown-up people.[translation by Katherine Woods][Les enfants doivent être très indulgents envers les grandes personnes.]
All grown-ups were once children first. But few of them remember it.[translation by Richard Howard]All grown-ups were once children – although few of them remember it.[translation by Katherine Woods][Toutes les grandes personnes ont d’abord été des enfants. (Mais peu d’entre elles s’en souviennent.)]
We never know how to put ourselves in the place of children; we do not enter into their ideas; we lend them ours, and, always following our own reasonings, with chains of truths we heap up only follies and errors in their heads.[Nous ne savons jamais nous mettre à la place des enfants; nous n’entrons pas dans leurs idées, nous leur prêtons les nôtres; et, suivant toujours nos propres raisonnements, avec des chaînes de vérités nous n’entassons qu’extravagances et qu’erreurs dans leur tête.]
Sick children inevitably become arrested: You are fated to live out your days as the child you were when diagnosed, the child who believes there is life after a novel ends. And we, as adults, we pity this, so we pay for your treatments, for your oxygen machines. We give you food and water though you are unlikely to live long enough…
It’s the well-behaved children, that make the most formidable revolutionaries. They don’t say a word, they don’t hide under the table, they eat only one piece of chocolate at a time. But later on they make society pay dearly. Watch out for good boys.
If there is anything that we wish to change in our children, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.