Audrey, our future Queen, heir to all that can be owned (and what can't be owned? Can you think of anything?) is sitting cross-legged bouncing a red rubber ball against the wall of her room in the Castle by the Sea, so Rex can get some exercise. The walls, hundreds of years old, are cut volcanic stone, and the physics of the bounce is perfect, with just enough unevenness in the stone to make the rebound unpredictable, and more fun for Rex, the scruffy Rescue Dog. He is leaping to see if he can catch the ball before it hits the ground. When he does, he gets patted. "Good boy, Rex!" Tutor is on her bed, stretched out, feet in flip-flops, ankles crossed, reading what Audrey would call "a hard book." The book is grubby from having been read so often.
"Whatcha reading, Tutor?"
He is reading The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy, by Martha Nussbaum. Audrey is a grown up in the body of a nine year old. She likes hard books, as long as she does not have to read them. She likes being told what hard books say, so she can take it in and understand why grown-ups are so messed up. She heads for the bed, as if it were to be a bedtime story, and says, "So, what's it about, Tutor?"
Now, those of you with Degrees in Instructional Design, or maybe who are parents yourselves, know that this is what a Teacher calls a "Teachable moment," or "Learning Readiness." It is a good time to knock out a few "Learning Objectives" and "Competencies." As a Knave, Rogue, Dupe, or Fool yourself, that is to say a good consumer and citizen, what would you want the Heir to the Earth, she who will by law be above the law, who will rule you and your children, and her heirs your children's children, to know, feel, or be able to do? Good question, right? And here it all comes down to this disreputable, broken, Tutor in Priest pants, making what? $12 a day plus room and board and a safe place to hide from the FBI, NSA, NY Police, his former employer, an outstanding warrant for vagrancy, and several irate husbands.
While well meaning Field Leaders in the Wealth Bondage Planning Business want to be a Trusted Advisor, or Consigliere, to the world's wealthiest families, and everyone knows that it is not about the numbers anymore, or the tax and tools, it is about Family Systems, and Family Dynamics, and preparing the heir for the money rather than just preparing the money for the heir, and while everyone wants to present themselves as a Mentor, and Paragon, and Role Model for the Heirs, and some quote Vergil to that effect, implying that they were sent by a goddess, Athena, goddess of wisdom, to impart priceless wisdom at $10,000 a day plus tax, and expenses, no one has the patience or the low self esteem, or the limited career options, to serve as a glorified babysitter for a stubborn kid in her formative years, as she bounces a red ball annoyingly against the wall of the Castle, while you are trying to read a hard book. So, it falls to Tutor, who lives for this, and has since Seneca suicided himself under Nero, for speaking truth out of turn, and Tutor took over as the Mentor to emperor's kids.
Dynasties, family enterprises (inclusive sometimes of entire countries), entire civilizations, religions, even languages, come and go, but always there are the Powers that Be, and always there are the little kids growing up to one day run the world. Tutor lives for the pleasure of playing with their heads, to help them be just and fair and kind and ruthless as we know our rulers must be, if they are to be above the law, by law, and do what is right not only for themselves, but for all of us, and all living things, too. Facts, laws, don't hold Power back. Power can decree Fact and double dare you to object. Law says what lawyers say it says, and judges, and they can be cultivated as Assets to those with the Wealth to do it. Happens all the time, and always has. So it comes back down to what the Owner/Leader wants and decides. That is why we have a "Decider" at the top. So things get done.
"Well, kid, it is about flowers and a garden."
"OK, what about flowers and a garden, Tutor?"
"Well, kid, it says that you are, we all are, like flowers in a garden."
"Ok, so?" She is really asking, her attention span is short, yes, but intense. She is focused. But easily bored, if truth is not forthcoming.
"You mind, heart, soul, how you are is a garden with a big wall around it, that Momma built, but the wind blows over the wall and in come seeds of weeds, and they grow in the garden, and they choke out the flowers inside."
"So, we have to weed it, right?" Smart, kid. She is always one step ahead. Catches the point, like Rex leaping for the red ball.
"Yes, we weed our gardens, and spade, and harrow, and tie the up delicate rose tendrils."
"Like when you tell me not to pick my nose and eat it?"
"Exactly! But you do anyway, right?"
"Because you told me not to."
"Is that a weed?"
Tutor, puts the book down, and whispers in her ear, "Eating snot on purpose is a flower, kid. Keep it up!"
Audrey cuddles closer. She and Tutor are like two travelers on the bridge of time. She is a child who acts like a grownup, passing the grownup, traveling into a second childhood. They are at the balance point, where either has much to teach the other, true things, that stay true, even when the Supreme Courts agrees unanimously they are false, and the Pope concurs, and the Leader denounces the truth as fake. Even when fake stuff is against the law, and you pay for it with your life; fake includes art, which includes tragedy, and stays true.
"So, if we did pull out the weeds, we would have more flowers, right? Like my ballet? And Akido? I would get better and better?" Audrey leaps to the floor and begins her Akido kicks and chops.
"Exactly, kid. But the book is a true book and says more." Curious, Audrey climbs back on the bed.
"It makes me so sad, I don't want to tell you. No one will ever tell us, except the artists. No one wants it to be true, and no one will say it is true anymore. We are not able to accept the truth, and so it takes us by surprise, and we are ashamed."
"You may spend your whole life weeding the garden, tending the flowers, watering, pruning, and guess what?"
"Come on, tell me!"
"A worm will come in the night, or a storm will come, or drought, or hail, or a pestilence, and no matter what you have done the flowers will die."
"Inside me?" Audrey is pointing to her heart.
"Inside you, yes, inside you. You will become like a Real Grownup...."
"I love you Tutor." She puts arms around his neck and kisses his grizzled cheek.
"I love you, too, kid. You have to promise me you will never ever grow up. You will always be a kid, ok?"
"But I have to grow up, Tutor, I can't help it!" Audrey is waving her arms over her head.
"Well, maybe, but look at me. Did I ever grow up?"
Obviously not, but the moment has passed, and Audrey has vaulted onto the floor, and is now on all fours, pretending she is a dog, and barking to Rex to see if she knows dog language well enough to make him roll over. But he just sniffs her nose, which is a start.
As a free born citizen myself, I only wish that Tutor had gotten to World Leaders young enough to change them for the better. You talk about weeds! And when they get so big, who has the courage to pull them out by the roots? Not I. God bless Tutor and our once and Future Queen.