Wednesday, June 24, 2009

If I Could Teach My Kids One Thing....

Learn to like what doesn’t cost much.
Learn to like reading, conversation, music.
Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking.
Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills.
Learn to like people, even though some of them may be different . . . different from you.
Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction of doing your job as well as it can be done.
Learn to like the song of birds, the companionship of dogs.
Learn to like gardening, puttering around the house, and fixing things.
Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day.
Learn to keep your wants simple and refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.
-Lowell Bennion

I ran across the above quote the other day and really LOVED the last line. The whole thing makes for a rather sensible life lesson for our children, but the last line is key.
If there was ONE thing I could teach my kids in life...and have them grab it and own would be the last part of the last sentence...

...refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.

Wouldn't it be so freeing to be able to teach our children this? Teach them to be who God created them to be. Teach them to be true to themselves above all else. Teach them to believe in themselves above and beyond their friends and their peer group.

Can you see the possibilities?

We wouldn't have little girls in such a hurry to wear make-up, contacts over glasses, have their eyebrows waxed when they are 10 and shave (and nearly bleed to death when they cut their knees or ankles) before they are even out of elementary school.

They would feel free to combine stripes and dots. They could wear every color of the rainbow. They could wear black without being labeled. They could wear a different color on every nail and not worry about what anyone thinks.

They could determine what their hobbies are without wondering who is going to make fun of them.

They could choose not to carry a cell phone and laugh at the drones that harass them over it.

They could put away their toys when they are ready...not when their friends are.

They could be friends with ANYONE they wanted.

They would be able to work any job as a teen.....not refuse employment over someone else's stuck-up opinions.

They could chose to wear their hair how they like....over what the current style is.

And all these things would be a CHOICE.

For this to work, we'd have to fix the adults in the world. You know, the ones that think they have to have two new cars and carry the everyone else.

Or the ones that have to have a big house...even when they can't truly afford it.

The ones that chase after the newest phones or other electronic gadgets.

The ones that have to have their kids in a million activities ...because everyone else does....and yet they are overcommitted financially, time wise or physically.

But what I think would be the very best result of this kind of thinking....would be that we wouldn't be afraid to support someone who thinks differently than we do. It frees us to be more supportive of others and their views.

Respecting ourselves leads to respecting others.

If we were able to love ourselves enough to make our own decisions, it would free us up to love others for making their own decisions. We'd be happy for them.

And there would be no more...

Working vs. stay home moms
bottle vs. breast fed
homeschool vs. public vs. private school
shots vs. no shots
home birth vs. hospital birth
organic vs. plain ole grocery store
vegetarian vs. meat eaters
one child vs. 8 children families

And accountability would make a reappearance in our world. We would own our own decisions instead of shrugging off the blame because everyone does it.....

Yes. I think if there was one thing I could teach kids in life, it would be
refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.


  1. THAT WAS GOOD. I agree, and pray that God will help my children to be confident enough to live this way.

  2. Excellent post. I struggle with this as much as anyone. If I could spare my kids the same grief, I would do it in a heartbeat. Thank God, He's big enough make it happen if I remember to ask.

  3. Well said.
    One person at a time, right? If each of us reading this can be content with who we are, and LIVE like it, then that is a great start! The next generation is sure to pick up on it.

  4. My favorite post of yours to date. Loved this, Autumn.

  5. Great post! Thank you for sharing.

  6. I am posting a link to this on my blog, this is GREAT STUFF!!!


  7. This is just brilliant! How wonderful the world could be if we could all teach our kids those things. You are so correct.