Manners of the Heart® (MOH), a nonprofit, community-based organization headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is dedicated to transforming homes, schools and communities through instructional programs designed to build character, strengthen morals, and increase respectfulness among children and adults. This character education program, referred to as “Heart Education,” offers resources for children, parents, teachers and business professionals. MOH provides classroom application-level learning through our own evidence-based curriculum for students and professional instruction through seminars, workshops and conferences for adults.
My heart is aching today…not for myself, but for our children, the children of our land. There was a time in our country that parents brought children into the world with great hope for their future. To be born in the USA meant to be born into prosperity, safety and joy.
Have you looked around lately, not through colored lenses but through the unfiltered lens of reality?
I left one of our Manners of the Heart schools yesterday deeply disturbed, praying for God’s grace to fall on the school, that He would fill the hearts and minds of the teachers with His love overflowing for their students.
The faces of those students stay in my mind. Looking in their eyes, I see hearts in desperate need of filling. It is not their fault they can’t sit still. It’s not their fault their minds are filled with images that no child should see. It’s not their fault their world is filled with hatred and disdain for all things good and right. Not all the children. But, too many of the children. But then, one is too many.
Children growing up without love, without hope, and without a prayer.
We can’t pretend they don’t exist, because they do. We can’t pretend they are someone else’s problem, because they’re everyone’s problem. Children growing up in homes where men pass through to take advantage of women who grew up abused and neglected. Children growing up in homes that do not support learning, because the adults in the home are illiterate themselves. Children growing up in homes with drugged out adults. Children growing up in neighborhoods riddled with gunfire and sirens.
We don’t have to go overseas to find children who are neglected, abused and hungry. The greatest mission field is in this country. I don’t believe in enabling people to just sit on the porch. I believe in helping those people get off the porch to become givers rather than takers. We must do all we can to reach into our troubled neighborhoods for the sake of the children growing up there.
Most of you have never driven through the roughest part of your city. I suggest that you do and think about the children living there. The children are not at fault. We are, if we don’t do everything we can to help them.
From my heart to yours,