Several weeks back, I went for a walk with a friend. It was evening, and we found ourselves near Novato City Hall. We were observing the construction site of the future city offices. My friend was complaining. "They've been working already for two months, and still no progress. They barely did anything! All I see is a big hole."
I thought for a moment; then it dawned on me. What they are doing now is actually the most important part of the building. The foundation is built by digging deep in the ground, and placing poles and beams about 20 feet deep. It's all underground. There is no grand structure yet.
But in truth, these poles pave the way for a beautiful building to come. Although you can't see the results, since it is underground, it is the key to guarantee success for the future. A strong foundation is crucial and pivotal for a sturdy, long lasting building. If the foundation is constructed properly, the building will be able to hold up in any weather, etc.
A most valuable lesson can be learned. As a parent, and highly involved in education, I feel that the years of youth are the most crucial time in one's life. It's laying the groundwork for a bright future. A strong foundation in one's younger years will help our children grow, so that they will have the strength to weather any obstacle that might stand in their way. The responsibility rests on us — parents, teachers, and role models — to make sure their foundation is strong.
When you plant a seed, you nurture its growth. If the seed gets even a little scratched, the tree that sprouts forth can be crooked or even deformed. All because of a little scratch! But if you plant the seed carefully, watering it and protecting it, that seed can grow into a beautiful, fruit-bearing tree. We play a crucial part in assuring the foundation and base of our children's lives. Everything we say and do can affect them. An extra smile can go a long way. Most of it is "underground." We don't realize that what we say or do might change things. But in truth, you are paving your child's tomorrow.
My Jewish New Year's resolution is to give more attention to our youth. We have started a Jewish Kids Club, with 20 children at each of our first two events (click here for pictures). I am working on creating a fun and interactive program for our teens. Our goal is for our children to know that they are special and unique. And that they can make a difference. They can change the world.
I think, in honor of Hailey Ratliff, we should do something for our children. Think of one small way that you can let them know that they are loved and special.