Good Morning,

I am amazed at children today, just when we think they aren’t watching or listening to our teaching, they perform an act of kindness, totally out of character, for a stranger, be the most polite and level headed person in a tense situation or pour out some “old” wisdom when we need to hear it and we were not expecting them the be the source from which it came. Once upon a time, our son was just a wee lad and we came to a traffic light in town I knew had a short green light window so I shot across the intersection just as it was changing. Later in the day, we returned from the opposite direction to the same intersection and the light was red. I was slowing to stop when my son said, “Dad just keep going!” I said, “I can’t son, the light is red and we have to stop.” His comment back to me was, “You drove through here a few minutes ago and it was red then too.” And I thought he wasn’t paying attention, who knew, right?

What’s so amazing is I watch the children, from afar, in our neighborhood. You can definitely distinguish the children whose parents take time with them because they emulate their parent’s personalities, actions, reactions, beliefs, manners, you get the idea…they become us/them only better because hopefully they have learned something from the parents, that was passed down from the parents of the parents and so on and so forth. However, it’s not that simple, is it? There is always an outlier. I remember I studied to be a Black Belt Six Sigma. During one of the sigma events, we had to collect data that created a data point described as outliers, a data point that doesn’t align with other data points. It falls outside the normal data collected and there is always some factor causing the outlier. It could be any number of things, a unique one-time event, a celestial alignment that went astray, an absent ingredient that causes a paint mix to be unstable, etc… It’s the same with teaching our children.

Certain events in our lives may get them off-course but it may be a one-time event and not imprint a permanent change in their lives, however there are some events catastrophic enough to change them forever or at least create a life altering detour, such as death of a parent, divorce, bulling at school, feeling of not being loved and accepted by family or peers, being different, smart or slow, many, many factors. It reminds me of a ducking or a gosling, when they first hatch from the egg, the first sound and movement of a larger body, animal or human, they imprint onto and this object, individual or animal becomes the parent figure in their life. The treatment, good or bad, love or hate, abuse or tender care, they receive at this early development period in their young lives affects them for their entire life and once it is imprinted, it is difficult to alter.

So, all this rhetoric to make a point about my opinion of when we as leaders in our families, communities and organizations should  begin teaching our children about the unconditional love and forgiveness of our Lord… on day one and continue it throughout their lives or as long as we are with them in our life. We must set and be the example or what is right and good in the world. We are gifted the responsibility to teach and show them the way.  It’s similar to building a house; the roof can’t be installed until the walls are stood in place, the walls can’t be stood in place until the floor system is installed, and the floor system can’t be installed until you have a good and reliable foundations. So where do we start when we build a house? We start with a good foundation. Where do we start when we build a life, we start with a good foundation attached through our faith, hope, love and joy for the Cornerstone, the Rock, the Light of the World, our Lord and Savior…

I encourage each of us as leaders to take time with our children. Teach them the way they should go and they will not depart from it as they mature into adults. It is a wonderful thing to be blessed with the opportunity to pour into these young spirits. They are hungry for our attention and time, give it to them. It will pay huge dividends in the long run and make a difference and add value to so many more lives than we can imagine. Psalms 22:6

Have a wonderful day,

JD