After the death of Mrs. Dubose, Atticus tells Jem that even "if you hadn't lost your head, I would have made you go read to her. I wanted you to see something about her..." What is it that Atticus wants Jem to understand? Why is this so important? [Note to reader of blog: It is impossibly hard to capture Atticus's voice, so, if you have read To Kill a Mockingbird, you will know that I haven't quite been able to.]
I told Jem that I had wanted him to see something about Mrs. Dubose, that I would've sent him to read to her anyway. As usual, I wanted him to learn something. That seems to be what I most often do with my children. I teach them life lessons. However, I'm getting off topic. See, I wanted Jem to understand what real courage was. Not only to understand what it takes to say sorry for something that one has done, but also to understand the courage that Mrs. Dubose had. I wished for Jem to understand what Mrs. Dubose had been through with her morphine addiction, and all that she had been through, breaking the addiction and dying free. That took real courage.
I am not entirely sure why this was so important to me, however as I wrote above: my life is full of teaching the children life's lessons (and for that matter, many other people-I hope-learn from me). I teach the children the lessons that they won't be learning in school. They will never quite realize how important it is (what I teach them) until they must one day teach these things to someone else. However, I do my best to raise the children as properly as they may be raised without a mother. I feel that these little lessons, such as that of Mrs. Dubose's courage, are very important for them to learn...and for me to teach.