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“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” -Mother Teresa
One of the most effective ways, if not the most effective way, to teach our children moral character traits is to be an example of them ourselves. Most important is to not be hypocritical about things we are trying to teach our children. Teaching a child one thing while doing another will really be detrimental to that child in not only that character trait, but other traits you try to instill also.
For that reason, I wanted to talk about us loving others–us as parents. What do we do to show our love to those around us? And what do we do to feel love to others?
I love that first quote I shared. Do not judge others–when you do, it gets in the way of you being able to love them.
It is really hard to know the intent of other people. We can try to think of what we would mean if we behaved that way, but that still is not an accurate assessment of the other person’s intentions. It is wise to assume the best–most people really do mean the best. President Thomas S. Monson said, “There is really no way we can know the heart, the intentions, or the circumstances of someone who might do or say something we find reason to criticize. Thus the commandment “Judge not.” ”
I love this story. It really illustrates a great point on not judging others:
A young couple, Lisa and John, moved into a new neighborhood. One morning while they were eating breakfast, Lisa looked out the window and watched her next-door neighbor hanging out her wash.
“That laundry’s not clean!” Lisa exclaimed. “Our neighbor doesn’t know how to get clothes clean!”
John looked on but remained silent.
Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, Lisa would make the same comments.
A few weeks later Lisa was surprised to glance out her window and see a nice, clean wash hanging in her neighbor’s yard. She said to her husband, “Look, John—she’s finally learned how to wash correctly! I wonder how she did it.”
John replied, “Well, dear, I have the answer for you. You’ll be interested to know that I got up early this morning and washed our windows!”
A great way to show love is through service. Do not revel in the problems of others. Horace Mann once said, “To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is godlike.”
Show your love for other people by not judging, being kind, and helping them in times of need. Work on these things and your children will recognize that you have a real love for other people, and will become people who also love other people. And a person who really loves others is a person we all need in this world.
Thoughts for this article inspired by the talk Charity Never Faileth by Thomas S. Monson.