Fandango asked the following question, and I felt compelled to answer it: If there are only three things in life that truly matter, what do you think they are and why did you choose those three? In no particular order, my answers to the question are:
- Being Loved as a Child: it is in being loved as a child that we learn early that we are special and have value. When a child wonders if they are loved or don’t believe that they are loved, then they come to see themselves as worthless. That sense that no one cares what happens to them can lead them into the hands of predators and people who will mistreat them, and they won’t know that twhat they are experiencing is not right and is not love. A lifetime of harm is done when a child never knows that they have value. So, knowing how to give love, what love looks like, and how to receive love starts with a loving home.
- A Love for Learning and Reading Books: Books take us to places in our minds that our bodies may never visit. We learn that there is a world beyond our own that can be populated with good or bad people, which teaches us both tolerance and wariness. Books make great friends for the lonely child, teaching them lessons that some parents fail to teach or don’t know how to teach. Books tell of adventures in which the impossible happens, stirring our hearts to dream. To learn early in life to enjoy reading just for the sake of learning new information is a great gift to give a child.
- Faith in God: To know that you are not alone in the world, that Someone is watching over you and will be with you no matter where you go is a comfort that has made my life so much sweeter. Psalm 27:10 states that when my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. That has been true for me as a child who changed aunts’ homes three times in four years. I think we need something to believe in that is greater than us, so that we feel anchored in a love that isn’t fickle or will desert us.