The Club House


OUT IN THE SCHOOLYARD THE CHILDREN PLAY. The teacher looks on as a group of them play in the sand box, pushing and shoving each other and having fun. Other children are throwing balls around, skipping rope and playing all sorts of games. The children are all the same today but there was a time when that was not how it was.

Some time ago, on a brighter day, the teacher was watching as groups of children played in the sand box, threw balls around, skipped rope and played all sorts of games. However, the members of another group of children, were off by themselves. They hunted around and found building materials for a club house. They put the club house together and put a door on it so no one else could come in and mess the place up. They then set about to make some nice things for the club house. It was decorated with pictures they had drawn, and clay figures that they had sculpted. They designed and built their own checkerboard and finally a nice set of chess pieces with which they used to play. They created their own games and thoroughly enjoyed their recess time.

Then the teacher noticed that the other children had to play in the outdoors and did not have a club house. They continued to play in the sandbox and threw balls around while the club kids had it much nicer. This was not fair. So, rather than instruct and motivate the other children to build their own club house, the teacher forced the club kids to remove the door to their clubhouse and let all of the other kids come in and use it.

The other kids just loved coming into the club house. They took glee in ripping down the pictures from off the walls. They really enjoyed pulling the clay figures apart and stepping on them to watch them squish. The chess pieces became projectiles and soon were lost or destroyed and the new kids built a large mud pile on the top of the chess table before they broke off one of its legs.

As the club kids tried to protect their club house and its furnishings, the teacher yelled at them for being insensitive to the others' feelings. Complaints were labeled "hate talk" and forbidden. It was wrong to defend the club house because it belonged to everyone equally, even to those who had done nothing to build it. Soon, of course, the roof was off from the club house and the walls knocked down.

The teacher was very proud of herself. She now knew that she had made the right decision in having the door taken off the club house. It was clear that the children could not properly take care of a club house and so, she made a rule that there would be no more club houses built. She smiled to herself as she saw the old club kids with their sad faces. It was for their own good. She thought, "In this world no one deserves to live any better than anyone else, no matter how hard they work to build their own club house."

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