When Children Learn
By David L. Weatherford

  When children learn that happiness is not found in what a person has
but in who that person is,

 
When they learn that giving and forgiving are more rewarding
than taking and avenging,


When they learn that suffering is not eased by self-pity,
but overcome by inner resolve and spiritual strength,


     When they learn that they can't control the world around them,
but they are the masters of their own souls,


     When they learn that relationships will prosper if they value friendship over ego, compromise over pride, and listening over advising,


     When they learn not to hate a person whose difference they fear,
but to fear that kind of hate,


     When they learn that there is pleasure in the power of lifting others up,
not in the pseudo-power of pushing them down,


     When the learn that praise from others is flattering but meaningless
if it is not matched by self-respect,


When they learn that the value of a life is best measured not by the years spent
accumulating possessions, but by the moments spent giving of one's self
sharing wisdom, inspiring hope, wiping tears and touching hearts,


     When they learn that a person's beauty is seen not with the eyes but with the heart;
and that even though time and hardships may ravage one's outer shell,
they can enhance one's character and perspective,


     When they learn to withhold judgment of people, knowing everyone is blessed with good and bad qualities, and that the emergence of either often depends on the help given or hurt inflicted by others,


     When they learn that every person has been given the gift of a unique self,
and the purpose of life is to share the very best of that gift with the world,


     When children learn these ideals and how to practice them in the art of good living,
they will no longer be children they will be blessings to those who know them,
and worthy models for all the world.