Today, I was particularly struck by the reference in the children's story to the thematic notion of "habits", as analogized to things we wear. This is a really interesting analogy for me, thinking about Foucault, and even Judith Butler, and post-structuralist understandings of the social self as "imprinted", as a set of performances or habits we wear that eventually become deeply enmeshed with our inner lives too. It is useful to think about habits in the context of fall, and back to school, and the not insignificant struggle that is involved in getting a squad of teens and tweens up and out to church on a Sunday morning. It is difficult sometimes to mindfully and intentionally model good habits, but also worthwhile, as our habits accrete together to shape not just us but also the lives we lead. It reminds me of a quote I like, which has been attributed to both Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher, but probably comes from an ancient Buddhist text:
The thought manifests as the word,
The word manifests as the deed,
The deed develops into habit,
And the habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its way with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.