One of the oddest features of our new SUV, which I receive via the app I installed on my phone, is a reminder to “check the back seat”. I quickly realized this was the “don’t leave your dog or baby in the back seat (to possibly die or seriously injured)” reminder. Social media from time to time reports both on negligent or distracted adults who leave either in a car on a hot day while running an errand. Unfortunately, our society is leaning less on teaching responsible behaviors and community relationships – the “village raises a child” practices – since there are no standards that human beings can agree upon universally.
It is then all the more important, as a grandparent, I continue efforts to influence our children and grandchildren, neighbors and friends, in the social skills, intellectual curiosity and foster wonder and amusement in the natural world. From infancy, a child needs to feel loved, cared and protected, and to see it expressed by parents and grandparents. Building up a child’s regard for the world, confidence, and teaching self-discipline are all skills the latter impart. As a grandparent, I am grateful for the opportunity to model and teach my grandchildren; as a parent, I am willing and able to help my grown children as the need arises, and once past, to reinforce their confidence in their independence and interdependence again. While one village may not make an obvious impact on the world, positive values and attitudes have a way of being attractive to people who seek change. In reality, everything begins with lessons learned from a great Teacher. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, it is His lessons that are the perfect solution for each and every person and situation. And within a community that helps each other practice those lessons, forgives our failings and encourages a return to those lessons, the benefits are really child’s play.