Embracing Epiphanies

Rita Bourland

Rita Bourland
Columbus, Ohio,
August 04
I have three sons in their twenties and have been married for 35 years. Life is good. I embrace life's epiphanies as they come to me and pass them along in my writing.


AUGUST 17, 2010 2:14PM

Teach a Child to Love

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“It costs so little to teach a child to love, and so much to teach him to hate.”  
Father Flanagan (1886-1948)

Father Edward Flanagan was most famously known as being the founder of Boys Town.  The film in 1938 starring Spencer Tracy, called Boys Town, highlighted the life of Father Flanagan and the work he did with orphaned children.  The quote above came from this man who spent his life teaching children to believe in themselves; his teachings were guided by love.
I was thinking about how teaching a child to love is rather simple.  They come into the world with open arms, ready to accept the love presented to them by their parents.  They grow, watch and learn with an avid eagerness, and absorb the way people talk to each other, the tone of their voices, the way they touch and the words they choose.  There is nothing complicated about this process – it is organic in nature.  If what they are exposed to is done in a loving way then they will absorb the love.
If, however, that same child is a witness to hatred, violence, anger, abuse, negative words, prejudice and constant fear, they will learn to hate.  All of the actions I just mentioned take a great deal of energy and are fraught with high emotion.  It’s exhausting to maintain hatred and debilitating to those surrounded by it. 
It costs much to teach a child to hate, but love is ever so easy to pass on.  A child is wired for love from birth and only needs a continuation of the peace they have in their soul to grow into a loving and peaceful adult. 

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"A child is wired for love from birth and only needs a continuation of the peace they have in their soul to grow into a loving and peaceful adult." Truer words were never spoken. It is not them; it is us. R-
Thanks, Dave. It's something I truly believe.
If a child can learn to love themselves despite what the world throws at them, the future of the world is peace.
Spencer's best role, in my opinion. Kids are like sponges and will soak up whatever is around them. I think of kids who come from abusive backgrounds who break the cycle of their family's history of abuse as real and true heroes. I have been lucky enough to have met a few of them. Thanks for such a positive piece.
So true, RomanticPoetess. We must love ourselves first before we can go out into the world to create positive change.
Dr. Spudman, I believe the cycle can be broken and am deeply impressed by those who break free. Someone surely had to nurture them along the way for the change to occur.
Wonderul words of truth, Rita