children 2 - children 3 - children 4 - children 5

I must take issue with the term "a mere child,"
for it has been my invariable experience that
the company of a mere child is infinitely
preferable to that of a mere adult.

Fran Lebowitz


And then I thought: what fools we are with our children--always plotting what we shall make of them, always planning for a future that never comes, always intent on what they may be, never accepting what they are.

Howard Vincent O'Brien


It is only by introducing the young to great literature, drama and music, and to the excitement of great science that we open to them the possibilities that lie within the human spirit--enable them to see visions and dream dreams.

Eric Anderson


Children are not casual guests in our home.  They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built.

James Dobson


Those who help a child help humanity with an immediateness which no other help given to human creature in any other stage of human life can possibly give again.

Phillips Brooks
The real joy of life is in its play.  Play is anything we do for the joy and love of doing it, apart from any profit, compulsion, or sense of duty.  It is the real living of life with the feeling of freedom and self-expression.  Play is the business of childhood, and its continuation in later years is the prolongation of youth.

Walter Rauschenbach


Sometimes looking deep into the eyes of a child,
you are conscious of meeting a glance full
of wisdom.  The child has known nothing yet
but love and beauty.  All this piled-up world
knowledge you have acquired is unguessed at
by her.  And yet you meet this wonderful look
that tells you in a moment more than all the
years of experience have seemed to teach.

Hildegarde Hawthorne


You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

Khalil Gibran
The Prophet


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Daily Meditations, Year One - Year Two - Year Three - Year Four

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When you have children, you realize how easy it is to not see
them fully, and perhaps miss all those early years.  If you are
not careful, you can be too absorbed in work, and they will
be only to happy to tell you about it later.  Being a parent is
one of the greatest mindfulness practices of all.

Jon Kabat-Zinn


Parents must provide not only outer warmth for their child but also
inner warmth.  They must create an atmosphere with a sense of
security in which the child feels love and acceptance.

the Dalai Lama


I believe the powers of observation in numbers of very young children to be
quite wonderful for its closeness and accuracy.  Indeed, I think that most
grown people who are remarkable in this respect, may with greater propriety
be said not to have lost the faculty, than to have acquired it; the rather,
as I generally observe such people to retain a certain freshness, and gentleness,
and capacity of being pleased, which are also an inheritance
they have preserved from their childhood.

Charles Dickens



Every child should know a hill,
And the clean joy of running down its long slope
With the wind in his hair.
She should know a tree--
The comfort of its cool lap of shade,
And the supple strength of its arms
Balancing her between earth and sky
So she is a creature of both.
He should know bits of singing water--
The strange mysteries of its depths,
And the long sweet grasses that border it.
Every child should know some scrap
Of uninterrupted sky, to shout against;
And have one star, dependable and bright,
For wishing on.

Edna Casler Joll

children 2 - children 3 - children 4 - children 5

Children always challenge me to live in the present.  I marvel at their
ability to be fully present to me.  Their uninhibited expression of affection
and their willingness to receive it pull me directly into the moment
and invite me to celebrate life where it is found.

Henri Nouwen

Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives.  Such striving
may seem admirable, but it is a way of foolishness.  Help them instead
to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.  Show them the
joy of tasting tomatoes, apples, and pears.  Show them how to cry when
pets and people die.  Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a
hand.  And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

William Martin



If we had paid no more attention to our plants than we have
to our children, we would now be living in a jungle of weed.

Luther Burbank


Look at children.  Of course they may quarrel, but generally speaking
they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do.  Most
adults have the advantage of education over children, but what is the
use of an education if they show a big smile while hiding negative feelings
deep inside?  Children don't usually act in such a manner.  If they feel
angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished.
They can still play with that person the following day.

the Dalai Lama


Children who have learned to be comfortably dependent can
become not only comfortably independent, but can also become
comfortable with having people depend on them.  They can learn,
or stand and be learned upon, because they know what
a good feeling it can be to be needed.

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers


It might sound a paradoxical thing to say--for surely never has a
generation of children occupied more sheer hours of parental time--
but the truth is that we neglected you.
   We allowed you a charade of trivial freedoms in order to avoid
making those impositions on you that are in the end both the
training ground and proving ground for true independence.
   We pronounced you strong when you were still weak in order to avoid
the struggles with you that would have fed your true strength.
   We proclaimed you sound when you were foolish in order to avoid
taking part in the long, slow, slogging effort that is the only route
to genuine maturity of mind and feeling.
   Thus, it was no small anomaly of your growing up that while you were
the most indulged generation, you were also in many ways the most
abandoned to your own meager devices by those into whose
safe-keeping you had been given.

Midge Decter

The only thing worth stealing is a kiss from a sleeping child.

Joe Houldsworth


Very young children are not afraid to express what they feel.
They are so loving that if they perceive love, they melt into
love.  They are not afraid to love at all.  That is the description
of a normal human being.  As children we are not afraid of the
future or ashamed of the past.  Our normal human tendency is
to enjoy life, to play, to explore, to be happy, and to love.

Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements



We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!

The Kingdom of Ideas
Wilferd A. Peterson

To enter the Kingdom of Ideas, become as a little child.

"There is nothing more resembles God's eyes," wrote Nikos Kazantzakis, "than the eyes of a child."

A child has wide-eyed interest in everything.  As God did, he looks upon the world and finds it good.

A child does not block the flow of goodness into her life by thoughts of fear and prejudice. Her mind is as open as are her eyes.  She experiences the wonder of life.

A child is an explorer.  He is curious.  He wants to know what is on the other side of the moon, or the room.  He investigates things to find out what they are and how they work.  He asks questions.  He loves to experiment.

A child lives in the world of fantasy where all great ideas are born.  It was probably a child who first dreamed of flying through the air, hearing voices and music from the sky, penetrating to the ocean depths.  Before the reality comes the dream.

A child has the magic gift of imagination.  She sees things that aren't there.  She creates in her mind the kind of a world she wants to live in.  She visualizes things as she wants them to be.

A child has freshness of response.  To him the world is ever new and full of miracles and adventures.  He reacts spontaneously to the discoveries he makes each day.

A child follows the simple way.  She does not become bogged down in the complex and the obscure.  She is natural, direct and genuine.

A child is confident.  He has not learned all of the reasons why a thing cannot be done.  He ignores obstacles because he does not know they exist.

This we learn from the child:  The more childlike we are in our approach to problems, the more creative we will be.  Try the fresh approach of a child.


I love little children, and it is not a slight thing when they,
who are fresh from God, love us.

Charles Dickens

Accept the children the way we accept trees--with gratitude,
because they are a blessing--but do not have expectations or desires.
You donít expect trees to change, you love them as they are.

Isabel Allende


Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely
descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves.  To be concerned about
being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to
blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of
childhood and adolescence.  And in childhood and adolescence they
are, in moderation, healthy symptoms.  Young things ought to want to
grow.  But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this
concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development.
When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been
ashamed if I had been found doing so.  Now that I am fifty I read them
openly.  When I became a man I put away childish things, including the
fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

C.S. Lewis

children 2 - children 3 - children 4 - children 5


One of the most dramatic manifestations of the life force is seen
in the plant kingdom.  When times are harsh and what is needed
to bloom cannot be found, certain plants become spores.  These
plants dampen down and wall off their life force in order to survive.
It is an effective strategy.  Spores found in mummies, spores
thousands of years old, have unfolded into plants when
given the opportunity of nurture.
When no one listens, children form spores.  In an environment hostile
to their uniqueness, when they are judged, criticized, and reshaped
through approval into what is wanted rather than supported and
allowed to develop naturally into who they are, children wall the
unloved parts of themselves away.  People may become spores young
and stay that way throughout most of their lives.  But a spore is a
survival strategy, not a way of life.  Spores do not grow.  They endure.
What you needed to do to survive may be very different
from what you need to do to live.

Rachel Naomi Remen
Kitchen Table Wisdom

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you
want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

Albert Einstein

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.

Margaret Mead


I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them
to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to
experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway. . .
let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.

C. JoyBell C.


Mentally, emotionally, and physically, the human being is designed
for a long childhood, followed by a short adolescence and then
adulthood--the state of responsible, self-reliant wholeness.  What
we see our children experiencing now, however, is an ever-shorter
childhood, followed by a premature, prolonged adolescence from
which ever fewer seem to be emerging.

Benjamin Hoff
The Te of Piglet

For the children of the world
Every single little boy and girl
Heaven plants a special seed
And we must have faith for these
Red and yellow, black and white
They are precious in the Father's eyes
Like the Father may we see
That they have a destiny
And give them the light of love to lead
Through the darkness around us now
To a place where hope is found



For a Child

Your friends shall be the tall wind,
The river and the tree;
The sun that laughs and marches,
The swallow and the sea.

Your prayers shall be the murmur
Of grasses in the rain;
The song of wildwood thrushes
That makes God glad again.

And you shall run and wander
And you shall dream and sing
Of brave things and of bright things
Beyond the swallow's wing.

And you shall envy no man,
Nor hurt your heart with sighs,
For I will keep you simple
That God may make you wise.

Fanny Stearns Davis

Every child comes with the message that God is not
yet discouraged of us.

Rabindranath Tagore

Our religion is one which challenges the ordinary human standards by holding that
the ideal of life is the spirit of a little child. We tend to glorify adulthood and
wisdom and worldly prudence, but the Gospel reverses all this. The Gospel says
that the inescapable condition of entrance into the divine fellowship is
that we turn and become as a little child. As against our natural judgment
we must become tender and full of wonder and unspoiled by the hard
skepticism on which we so often pride ourselves. But when we really look
into the heart of a child, willful as he or she may be, we are often ashamed.
God has sent children into the world, not only to replenish it, but to serve as
sacred reminders of something ineffably precious which we are always in danger
of losing.  The sacrament of childhood is thus a continuing revelation.

Elton Trueblood



Articles and book excerpts on children:

Embracing the Everyday      Susie Michelle Cortwright
Fireworks, Barney, and Santa Claus:  An Unholy Trio      Gene Curry

Getting Rounded by Kids      Lucy Lopez

Giving Grandchildren a Great Time      Colleen Moulding

Living with the Heart of a Child      Joe Mazzella

If. . . .      Author Unknown

Nineteen Somethings to Say to Children      Author Unknown

Parenting in Times of Crisis      KellyAnn Bonnell

Two Versions of "Three Letters"      Elizabeth Silance Ballard

I Want to Be Six      Author Unknown

101 Ways to Praise a Child      Author Unknown

What's Wrong with Grown-Ups?

In the Wink of an Eye      Lewis Frost

You Are a Marvel      Pau Casals


Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



Explore all of our quotations pages--these links will take you to the first page of each topic, and those pages will contain links to any additional pages on the same topic.

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