What good is knowledge unless we pass it on? Before we had the written word information was memorized and passed on from generation to generation. Later we had scrolls, then books to store and pass on knowledge.
You may have heard: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). Isn’t that what parents do with their children pretty much from the beginning? We teach our children fire is hot and can be used for good and bad purposes. We teach our children right from wrong while instilling values.
Children are natural learners and between birth and five years old. From birth to three years old, children grow and learn at the fastest rate of their lifetime. It is easy to see the enormous opportunity parents, and those who care for children, have in these early years to help shape children’s learning before they start school.
I recently watched again a video of Dr Ben Carson discussing how important education is to our children, families, and country and remembered a discussion I had with my grandson who was in the seventh grade at the time.
You may be familiar with Dr Carson’s life story which I think is inspiring. Look how far he came after overcoming a long list of disadvantages. His mother knew enough to encourage him to keep going. Dr Carson knew he could go anywhere and learn anything initially through books.
He like many others learned you can always work things out if you really want to. Sometimes things look pretty hopeless. When they look the worst you have two choices: give up or keep going. Give up and you’ve lost any possibility of winning. Keep going and you could find the blessing is just ahead as you clear through the fog and hailstorm. It is a sure thing that the blessing won’t come if you give up.
Here is one example in the history of the USA which determined whether we were going to remain an independent country:
“On a rainy September 13, 1814, British warships sent a downpour of shells and rockets onto Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, relentlessly pounding the American fort for 25 hours. The bombardment, known as the Battle of Baltimore, came only weeks after the British had attacked Washington, D.C., burning the Capitol, the Treasury and the President’s house. It was another chapter in the ongoing War of 1812.
A week earlier, Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old American lawyer, had boarded the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay in hopes of persuading the British to release a friend who had recently been arrested. Key’s tactics were successful, but because he and his companions had gained knowledge of the impending attack on Baltimore, the British did not let them go. They allowed the Americans to return to their own vessel but continued guarding them. Under their scrutiny, Key watched on September 13 as the barrage of Fort McHenry began eight miles away.
“It seemed as though mother earth had opened and was vomiting shot and shell in a sheet of fire and brimstone,” Key wrote later. But when darkness arrived, Key saw only red erupting in the night sky. Given the scale of the attack, he was certain the British would win. The hours passed slowly, but in the clearing smoke of “the dawn’s early light” on September 14, he saw the American flag—not the British Union Jack—flying over the fort, announcing an American victory.
Key put his thoughts on paper while still on board the ship, setting his words to the tune of a popular English song. His brother-in-law, commander of a militia at Fort McHenry, read Key’s work and had it distributed under the name “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” The Baltimore Patriot newspaper soon printed it, and within weeks, Key’s poem, now called “The Star-Spangled Banner,” appeared in print across the country, immortalizing his words—and forever naming the flag it celebrated. “
Back to the conversation with my grandson, we were discussing our country’s history when I learned that he did not know key events leading up to the Second World War Being a student of history I imparted what I knew about WW II. I thoroughly enjoyed the time with my grandson. I remember thinking at the time what a sad indictment of our schools that our future leaders don’t know how we got to where we are today.
How can the children of today become tomorrow’s parents, teachers, doctors, and leaders without knowing how to gather the facts? Anyone can read from a script handed to them, which means they are just followers. However life is about new challenges everyday. Being new means the script has not yet been written. Leaders in any field may need to pave through uncharted waters, without a script. How can cures for diseases be discovered without critical thinking scientists?
Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles can all do our part in shaping tomorrow by instilling family values, a thirst for knowledge, and knowledge of history in our future leaders. Remember, those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. Edmund Burke
Are you ready to shape tomorrow?
Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) http://www.narrowpathministries.org and http://www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org