Inspirational Quotations on Parenting and Children

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Dutch psychologist Hendrik van den Berg on "Why?" questions from children:

Why are the leaves red? Because of the cold -- how untrue. Why is it cold? Because of the sun's position -- untrue. Why is the sun so low? Because of the earth's location in its orbit -- equally untrue. Why its location in an orbit? Because of the motion. Untrue again. Why motion? Because of continuous motion? Untrue. Why continuous motion? Because of God. What blasphemy! "Why are the leaves red, Dad?" "Because it is so beautiful, child. Don't you see how beautiful it is, all these autumn colors?" There is no truer answer. That is how the leaves are red

I am not a Very Important Man, as importance is commonly rated. I do not have great wealth, control a big business, or occupy a position of great honor or authority. Yet I may someday mold destiny. For it is within my power to become the most important man in the world in the life of a boy. And every boy is a potential atom bomb in human history.

A humble citizen like myself might have been the Scoutmaster of a Troop in which an undersized unhappy Austrian lad by the name of Adolph might have found a joyous boyhood, full of the ideals of brotherhood, goodwill, and kindness. And the world would have been different.

A humble citizen like myself might have been the organizer of a Scout Troop in which a Russian boy called Joe might have learned the lessons of democratic cooperation.

These men would never have known that they had averted world tragedy, yet actually they would have been among the most important men who ever lived.

All about me are boys. They are the makers of history, the builders of tomorrow. If I can have some part in guiding them up the trails of Scouting, on to the high road of noble character and constructive citizenship, I may prove to be the most important man in their lives, the most important man in my community.

A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a boy.

Dr. Forest Witcraft (1894-1967), "Within My Power," Scouting magazine, Oct 1950


The law of love could be best understood and learned through little children.

Mohandas K. Gandhi


I would like to believe when I die that I have given myself away like a tree that sows seed every spring and never counts the loss, because it is not loss, it is adding to future life. It is the tree's way of  being. Strongly rooted perhaps, but spilling out its treasure on the wind.

May Sarton


To love one child and to love all children, whether living or dead --somewhere these two loves come together. To love a no-good but humble punk and to love an honest man who believes himself to be an honest man --somewhere these, too, come together.

Marguerite Duras


Outings are so much more fun when we can savor them through the children's eyes.

Lawana Blackwell, The Courtship of the Vicar's Daughter, 1998


D'you call life a bad job? Never! We've had our ups and downs, we've had our struggles, we've always been poor, but it's been worth it, ay, worth it a hundred times I say when I look round at my children.

W. Somerset Maugham, 'Of Human Bondage'


"Whenever people ask me about having children I never tell them what to do." Morrie said, looking at the photo of his oldest son. "I simply say, `There is no experience like having children.' That's all. There is no substitute for it. You cannot do it with a friend. You cannot do it with a lover. If you want the experience of having complete responsibility for another human being, and to learn how to love and bond in the deepest way, then you should have children." So would you do it again?" I asked. "Would I do it again?" he said to me looking surprised. "Mitch, I would not have missed the experience for anything..."

Mitch Albom in Tuesdays with Morrie

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