Last post we discussed many of the great ideas put fourth by Frederick Douglass. I could not walk away without discussing one of my favorite quotes from this great man. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” What a powerful statement. This speaks to all of us.
Let us start with the obvious. If you are a parent, which I think is one of the most noble and difficult jobs, this certainly speaks to you. Raising a child that not only has a good education, but good morals, a healthy self-image and compassion for others will make a huge difference in the future of the world. This is accomplished, and affected by, a lot more than we think. It is not only making sure they pay attention in school, do their homework and chores. It is setting a good example in our own behavior. Children may listen to what we say, but they will certainly pay attention to what we do. If your children live in a household with an abusive relationship, what do you think they will learn about relationships? If they watch you speak condescending to certain people, how do you think they will treat others when they grow up? If you do not take care of your health and indulge in self-abusive behaviors, do you think your children will grow up to learn a healthy lifestyle?
Parents are not the only ones affecting the lives of children. We all are. It could be a teacher. The job I consider as noble as that of a parent. Both of which play a large role in the development of our youth. Again, it is not just the academic lessons you pass along as you teach, but the examples you set as a person. This holds true not just for parents and teachers, but for all of us.
You never know when children may be watching us. If you are screaming at your spouse in the parking lot, a child could be driving by in a car and see two adults acting that way. This often occurs to me when I open the door for Margie. I am hoping a young boy will be watching and learn that is how you should treat the woman you love. Not because she is not capable of opening the door for herself, but because you respect her enough to do it for her.
Our world is filled with people in rehab, going to therapy and sitting in prison. A lot of these cases are the result of early life trauma. It can take many years of struggle and pain, both emotional and physical, to overcome. It can cost all of us a good deal of money. Living in a world that is prone to violence because people did not learn basic respect for human life costs all of us peace of mind. These costs are far greater than spending the time to make sure we set the proper example for, and raise strong children.
Like I said last post, Frederick Douglass had a lot of great wisdom to share. A man who lived through the horrors of slavery shared what he endured, so that we may leave the world better for our children. To let those lessons, and all that he went through to bring them to us, go without putting them into action would be a shame. Let us all work together to build strong children so that we may not have to repair as many broken adults.