The events of late have reminded me of a poem that I had up on the wall at the farm during the years my children were growing up. It’s still here. I tried to live by them, but of course, I’m human. I did my best.
Children Learn What They Live
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns patience.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns faith.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.
As I watch the world blow up with hostility, I am afraid these words have been forgotten. How do we remember them now and more importantly, live them? When I was a kid, people jeered the hippies for their tie-dye, long hair, and weird music, but I’ll give you this, the hippies knew that peace and tolerance were important. They understood the Golden Rule.
The Golden Rule is at the core of every religion, so when countries go to war over religious differences, it makes no sense at all. What happened? Someone isn’t teaching the core values – and how do you combat ignorance?
I have a lot of questions and no answers. I understand King Arthur’s dilemma. I want to give the world a spanking or a time-out and ground everybody. Maybe that is what mother nature is doing. Maybe if we have enough natural disasters, earthquakes, sinkholes, and fires, we’ll quit fighting each other and pay attention to our planet instead. Might For Right doesn’t seem to have worked.
20 years ago, a small community in eastern Colorado put together a foundation and built a community center. They had nothing more than an idea and a shoe-string budget that came from baking pies, and basically begging. Today, they are doing wonderful things from art to the physical well-being of the community. Check out their Facebook page: Grassroots Community Center, and send them a donation. Paying the monthly operating budget is still, 20 years later, the most difficult aspect of staying open for the NON-tax supported, all-volunteer organization. Sometimes, we have to look at the small things around us in order to find a reason to keep passing the smile around that the world needs so desperately. Grassroots is one of those worthy smiles.