...sometime in the 1970s, my mom read this poem and decided to calligraph it for her classroom (you can see it in part on the walls in this candid photograph). She was an art teacher for 30+ years in the Indianapolis Public School system. She never let her students leave her classroom without a hug because, she said, that might be the only one they'll get that day, and she always ended her classes before the bell rang by having her students proclaim "I'm great!!!" because she didn't know what kind of support they got at home and she wanted each kid to feel special and important and loved. My mom has been a hero and mentor and shining example to me for my entire life of how to treat all creatures, great and small. She is a unique and special soul. Here's a hug for you today. You're great!!!
Children Learn What They Live
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn . . .
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight . . .
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive . . .
If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself . . .
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy . . .
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel envy . . .
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty . . .
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient . . .
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident . . .
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative . . .
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love . . .
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves . . .
If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is . . .
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice . . .
If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal . . .
If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous . . .
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and those about him . . .
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns the world is a nice place in which to live.
-- Dorothy Law Nolte