Travelling by train, I struck up a conversation with a gentlemen across the table. It was amazing how we so quickly moved into an unusual discussion on “values and family life”. It was fascinating listening to Chris*. He unfolded how he and his wife had been led to strategically develop quality life-values in their family involving a deliberate plan. It had not been easy or plain-sailing but they had stuck with it over the years. He shared how for some years they had not owned a television but had encouraged corporate family activities, including being part of the local Drama Society in their home town.
It was so refreshing to hear how they worked through real issues in discussion. All members of the family were personally involvement. He was now excited as he watched his children developing their own families. He was intrigued to see if they would continue to live in harmony with these values. For me it was so encouraging to hear of such rich investment of time and energy into the life of a family. Such thoroughness and courage is not seen so often .
On the walls of a community centre corridor I discovered the following words which I sense Chris* and Denise* knew something about too.
If a Child…
– lives with criticism – he/she learns to condemn
– lives with hostility – he/she learns to fight
– lives with ridicule – he/she learns to be shy
– lives with shame – he/she learns to be guilty
– lives with tolerance – he/she learns to be patient
– lives with encouragement – he/she learns confidence
– lives with praise – he/she learns to appreciate
– lives with fairness – he/she learns justice
– lives with security – he/she learns to have faith
– lives with approval. – he/she learns to like his/herself
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship he/she learns to find love both in him/herself and in the world.