"I am sure we will all agree that these
laws of ours should be as wise and as
few as possible.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Some small boys went into my neighbor's yard this spring
and with sling-shots killed the wild birds that were nesting there.
Only the other day I read in my daily paper of several
murders committed by a nineteen year old boy.
At once there was formed a connection in my mind
between the two crimes, for both were crimes of the same kind,
though perhaps in differing degree-the breaking of laws
and the taking of life cruelly.
For the cruel child to become a hard-hearted boy
and then a brutal man is only stepping along the
road on which he has started. A child allowed to
disobey without punishment is not likely to have much
respect for the law as he grows older.
Not that every child who kills birds becomes
a murderer nor that everyone who is not
taught to obey goes to prison.
The Bible says, if we "train up a child in the
way he should go: and when he is old, he will not
depart from it." The opposite is also true, and if
a child is started in the way he should not go,
he will go at least some way along that
road as he grows older. It will always be
more difficult for him to travel the
right way even though he finds it.
The first laws with which children come in
contact are the commands of their parents.
Few fathers and mothers are wise in giving these,
for we are all so busy and thoughtless.
But I am sure we will all agree that
these laws of ours should be as wise
and as few as possible, and once given,
children should be made to obey or shown
that to disobey brings punishment.
Thus they will learn the lesson every
good citizen and every good man and woman
learns sooner or later- that breaking a
law brings suffering.
If we break a law of nature, we are
punished physically; when we disobey God's law
we suffer spiritually, mentally, and usually in our bodies also.
Man's laws, founded on the Ten Commandments, are
really mankind's poor attempt at interpreting the
laws of God, and for disobeying them there is a penalty.
The commands we give our children should be
our translation of these laws of God and man,
founded on justice and the law of love,
which is the Golden Rule.
And these things enter into such small deeds.
Even insisting that children pick up and put away
their playthings is teaching them order, the
law of the universe, and helpfulness, the
expression of love.
The responsibility for starting children in
the right way is the parents'-it cannot be
delegated to the schools or the state,
for the little feet start on life's journey
from the home.
Did you Think To Pray
"Everyday Implications of the Golden Rule"
By Laura Ingalls Wilder
From the book, Little House In The Ozarks
A Laura Ingalls Wilder Sampler
The Rediscovered Writings
Edited by Stephen W. Hines
1991 Guideposts Edition