“How are the children?” is the traditional greeting of the Mesai tribe in Africa. That is because children are important. They make up at least one-third of the population and all of the future. Having children and teaching them well is an investment in the future. They are our most valuable natural resource. “That energy which makes a child hard to manage is the energy which afterward makes him a manager of life,” noted social reformer, Henry Ward Beecher. The children in your life are the doctors, lawyers, teachers, farmers, mechanics, and plumbers of tomorrow. “The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation,” stated Dr. Ray L. Wilbur.

Be an inspiration to children by loving them and laughing with them and you are a success. At first you think you are giving to children but as years go by you realize how much children are giving to you. Children are the freshest gifts from the hand of God; they bring something of heaven into the midst of your rough earthly existence. They live in the present. Be their model and example not their critic. Never break the tender, sensitive heart of a child. “A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child,” wrote Longfellow. Moreover, children may not listen to you but they will imitate the behavior and words that they see and hear. Strive to be worthy of their admiration. Children will live up to what you believe of them. “A great man is one who has not lost the child’s heart,” said the philosopher, Mencius.

As you go through life, preserve the spirit of the child within you. Let something of the nature of your first year of life always remain within you. That fresh spirit of enthusiasm and wonder is just too precious to lose. Bring it with you into your mature years. Why let the fire of youth burn out? Why let lethargy steal over your soul? Enter into the imagination of a child at play. “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see,” wrote Neil Postman. They go before us and beyond us leading the way. The time that you and I have to influence their impressionable minds is so short. Once children leave the borders of childhood, they can never return again. Make the minutes that you spend with a child count. Remember, they carry your message to the future.

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