The brain is a very wonderful thing. Not only does it receive, interpret and record information on a daily basis but with the passage of time, the wonderful mind sorts and orders our experience. When it does, it gives increased worth to all the memories and recollections of events that seemed so unimportant in our earlier years.
When we grow up, we began to understand the nature of human thought and wisdom. And as our maturity looks back in time, it teaches us that what may have appeared important to us when we were young loses much of that importance as we get older. And, conversely, what we may have taken for granted gains in value as time passes.
"I made a great mistake in my youth" wrote one man in his diary. I supposed that what was important to me then would remain important for a life time, like winning at football, buying my first automobile, dating the most attractive girl in my class, and being invited to join a fraternity in college, were all matters which might have an eternal value. But age has brought me home to the great lesson we must all learn. As memory takes me back to my childhood - the sports, the cars, the puppy loves, are all gone. And in their place are the sacred hours spent with my father and mother - hours of work, play, of discipline; irreplaceable hours with parents who are no more.
The truth is that those words provide us all with insight. For those of us who are parents, we learn that we do not always have to be understood by our children to be loved by them. And the love we give them, even if it includes a portion of discipline, will be more valued in time. We come to understand that there is no more important time than that which we spend with our children. To provide children with happy, meaningful memories is a primary responsibility of parenthood.
For the young, this truth supplies a lesson for future reference, something perhaps not fully understood but a precept for consideration. As for those who are now older, this principle confirms our own suspicions, for our recollections of childhood have brought us to the realization of what is the greatest value in life.
How families, now, are the hours of childhood to those that are old; and though gone from reality and from present sight, their image is seen clearly through memory's eye.
Rev. Hans Lillejord