A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9

The emperor Frederick, who ruled the Roman Empire in the 13th century, thought it would be a useful experiment to discover what our original language was--Hebrew, Greek, Latin or whatever. So he decided to isolate a few infants from the sound of any human voice. He reasoned that, if so isolated from anything prejudicial, when they spoke, it would be in the universal, natural tongue of the human species.

Wet nurses were obtained to care for these infants. But they were sworn to absolute silence and could not engage in any socializing with these infants in any way. From the moment they were born, these infants never heard the sound or hum or song of a human. Within a year they were all dead.


The story is told of how a man tried to stop his son Matthew from stealing comic books. He tried various uses of the law over several years and continued to fail. Finally, he resorted to something he rarely used: a spanking. He did it deliberately, almost ritualistically, and he was so upset when he finished that he left the room and wept. After pulling himself back together, he went in to Matthew and hugged him. A number of years later, Matthew and his mother were doing some general reminiscing, and Matthew happened to bring up the time when he kept stealing comic books. "And you know why I finally stopped?" he asked. "Sure," she said, "Because Dad finally spanked you." "No!" replied Matthew, "No, because Dad cried."

A little girl and her family were on their way to the Kingdom Hall. Half way into the trip, the little girl all but shouted: "STOP! We have to go back home!"    After settling down from the sudden outburst from the back seat, the father responded: "Why? What's wrong, honey?" "Dad, we HAVE to go home now. We just HAVE to!"   Seeing the concern in her eyes, and a little tear forming in the corner, he said: "Okay, we will, we will, but can you please tell me why?"   With a brief sigh of relief, she exclaimed, "Because I forgot my notebook."   The father and mother smiled to each other. "Oh, I see. Well, that's okay. You can ..."   "No, it's NOT, Daddy!" the little girl interrupted, choking back her tears that were beginning to well up in her eyes.   "Don't you remember, Daddy? The story of the people of Noah's day? Remember, they took no notes and the flood came and swept them all away!"  

A small child waits, thumb in mouth, doll in hand, with some impatience, the arrival home of a parent. She wishes to relate some small sandbox experience. She is excited to share the thrill she has known that day. The time comes the parent arrives. Beaten down by the stresses of the workplace the parent so often says to the child, 'Not now, honey. I'm busy, go watch television.' The most often spoken words in many American households, 'I'm busy, go watch television.' If not now, when? 'Later.' But later rarely comes.

Years go by and the child grows. We give her toys and clothes. We give her designer clothes and a stereo but we do not give her what she wants most, our time. She's fourteen, her eyes are glassy; she's into something. 'Honey, what's happening? Talk to me, talk to me.' Too late. Too late. Love has passed us by.

When we say to a child, 'Not now, later.' When we say, 'Go watch TV'; when we say, 'Don't ask so many questions'; when we fail to give our young people the one thing they require of us, our time; when we fail to love a child; we are not uncaring. We are simply too busy to love a child.

Some children walk the high road

While others tread the low,

A parent's life determines

Which way a child will go.

"Crowd pressures have unconsciously conditioned our minds and feet to move to the rhythmic drumbeat of the status quo. Many voices and forces urge us to choose the path of least resistance, and bid us never to fight for an unpopular cause and never to be found in a minority of two or three."

Once there was a boy who always looked on the bright side and always expected the best. He expected to like brussels sprouts before he ever tasted them, for instance, and to like his teacher on the first day of school. Because he had such a 'sunny outlook' on things, he was rarely disappointed.

But the boy's father thought he wasn't realistic, so he decided to test him. One day he brought home many presents. All but one small one was for the boy's brother. The brother opened his gifts with glee, a train set, a toy robot, a cowboy outfit, even his own TV!

Through all this, the boy smiled expectantly, confident the contents of his small box would equal the splendor of his brother's gifts. When it was his turn he ripped the box open to find only a pile of hay and some very smelly animal droppings.

To his father's astonishment, the boy clapped his hands with joy and ran immediately to the backyard. "Yippee!" he cried. "There must be a pony here somewhere!"

Do you have a positive attitude?

Pouring concrete is hard work. A solid base must be prepared before anything else is done. Then, when the concrete is poured, it must be shaped before it sets, because once set up, change is only possible if preceded by removal of what has already been laid down. If done correctly, a well-poured footing will last far beyond the original owner's lifetime. If done incorrectly, the evidence will appear soon enough as a crumbling surface, structural cracks, and a shift in walls and floors. 

Raising children is like pouring concrete. Before a baby arrives, a couple should prepare a solid base in their marriage and share a readiness for parenting. After the child arrives, the first few years can be likened to the time before the concrete sets up. By our presence (more than presents), by careful and thoughtful attention to the thousands of details and tens of thousands of repetitions required, by unfailing prayer and careful instruction in Jehovah's ways, we parents attempt to set a mold that will last a lifetime and more - into eternity.

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