How does your garden grow?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. On one occasion he was talking with a visitor to his home, who argued strongly against giving children spiritual and moral instruction because it would prejudice them and keep them from forming their own opinions. Coleridge said nothing, but later took his visitor into an unkempt garden behind his house. ‘This is not a garden,’ his visitor exclaimed. ‘There’s nothing here but weeds.’ ‘Well, you see,’ Coleridge explained. ‘I did not wish to infringe upon the liberty of the garden in any way. I was just giving the garden a chance to express itself and make its own choices. And, as you see, it has.’

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