BRINGING UP YOUR CHILD: ADVICE FROM THE BORGIA ERA.
These bits of wisdom come from a treatise by the papal secretary Paolo Vergerio:
- Step # 1: give your child a name that won’t embarrass him. For sometimes a father, out of caprice, inflicts on his child a name that is a lifelong misfortune. Was Vergerio a clairvoyant? Is he talking about Kim Kardashian’s pick, North West, or Marc Silverstein’s cringe-worthy choice, Cricket Peach?
- Step # 2: have him educated in a city of distinction. So true. Princeton comes to mind (thinking in terms of higher education), but I would also have taken Paris, London, or New York. And (thinking in terms of weather) Los Angeles.
- No possible security against the future can be compared with the gift of an education in the humanities. Hmm. Maybe in the time of the Borgias. Today it may be better to go for IT. But Vergerio wasn’t thinking of the job market. He was thinking of building character. No one educated in the humanities will sink into mere sloth or become absorbed in the meaner side of existence. No, more likely they’ll become absorbed in computer screens or, like me, sink into the mean habit of eating while reading.
- The teacher will be well advised to develop in the student a habit of speaking little and rarely, and of answering questions rather than asking them. Right. No pesky questioning of authority.
- To shelter the student from corruption, keep him away from the enticement of dancing or suggestive shows. Such as #TheBorgias? And as a rule, the society of women is to be carefully avoided. Definitely. Especially the Borgia women.
- If you feel lonely, seek the companionship of books. No, not porn mags. Vergerio is thinking of good books, which have the power of diverting our thoughts from unworthy or distressing themes. You want some examples of good books? Well,there are my novels, Playing Naomi and Head Games. So good, so diverting! And conveniently available on amazon.com.