Teach Your Children Well

It is a line within a song by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young that popped into my head the other day.  The title is ‘Teach Your Children’ and it was out in the seventies. It was good advice then and it’s good advice now.  Actually, if we don’t do it right, we are dooming ourselves, our species.

We screwed up. Racism, poverty, intolerance.  These are fixable issues.  They truly are.  So why are people still dying?    It is happening because of greed, apathy and intolerance.  Learned attributes.    So, what do we do?  We teach our children to love, how to show compassion. We teach them the truth:  we are ALL important.  Each and every one of us.  That is a truth too many try to hide with their hatred.

Many years ago, two different groups of children were introduced to each other. They spent a week or so, in each other’s company.  They only learned the other’s names, no backgrounds.  Eventually it was discovered that one group was from Northern Ireland, the other from England.  They didn’t know that they were supposed to hate each other.  They truly did become friends. I couldn’t find the experiment on-line so maybe I dreamed it but I do not believe so. I read it many, many years ago and it stuck with me.  Hate is taught to our children.  And we teach it.

Okay, okay not all of us are so narrow minded that we instil our biases in our young but it happens far too much. If we can change that, we can make an enormous leap towards global acceptance.   It is probably pretty close to impossible to change the attitude of many of the adults. That may simply be because they have lived so long with their hatred, some don’t know to survive without it.  That doesn’t mean we should stop trying. Old dogs can be taught new tricks.

With everything that has been going on in the last few weeks it is no surprise we have reached a boiling point.  The pandemic has lit the match on an already volatile society.  We are cooped up and tensions are high.  But the problems are not new ones, just old ones we refused to face.

If we want a future, a viable future, we must change. It must start with the children.  Teach your children well.



Teach Your Children

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.


36 thoughts on “Teach Your Children Well

  1. Dan Antion

    It’s a wonderful song, Pam. It was written by our generation, for our generation. I’m not sure we all were listening. There’s still too much hate and injustice. But, there’s still time and there’s still hope. I’m going to hang onto those thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. quiall Post author

      I’m like you Dan, I’ll hang on to the hope. Did you get my request about your house? I would like to use it in a post but not without your permission. If you prefer I not use, no problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Murphy's Law

    Powerful piece Pam, and well said. I used to think that today’s kids didn’t learn very well. Then I realized they’re learning just fine…..it’s what they’re being taught that’s at fault.

    How did so many people become so bias, so racist, so full of hate that it seeps out of their pores? We can teach old dogs new tricks, but I’m not so sure about people. Let’s hope that the ‘good’ messages kids hear begin to override what they hear from their parents and other authority figures whose thinking has been tainted.

    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

  3. delphini510

    To me your post rings strong and true, Pam. From the homes, through the schools all children should be free to feel free with each other. With no hateful ideas inplanted. It has gone on for long.
    Let us believe there are ways to stop hate and instil equality – which I think any child would have
    unless taught otherwise.
    The song and video are great.


    Liked by 2 people

  4. Mark Lanesbury

    That is the most amazing thing down here Pam. As children we lock in who we are by about 9 or 10 years old (this is in all the psychology books). And during that time our parents, the one’s we love and look up to, are teaching us (unintentionally) all the faults that they have because at that age they haven’t resolved who they are yet.
    So as children we are given this way of being to drag through our lives, and yes we are most certainly influenced by our environments as well, and schools are the best place to teach those ‘better’ ways of being so that they can be ‘tempered’ to be more mindful of who they are.
    But that core personality built by a love of ‘I’m going to be just like mom/dad’ is so powerfully ingrained that it becomes a speed hump for life.
    And in truth it is meant to. If we don’t have that hard journey we will never find that beauty that is waiting within each of us. We will only ever appreciate this journey when it takes that time and effort to find ourselves.
    I can give you $500 dollars a week for nothing and after a while you will spend it willy nilly without any appreciation for it. But if you have to work, and work hard, you will stop and think of each penny you spend simply because you have appreciated what it took to earn it. Our lives are like that. And meant to be or we will not actually respect life and start to kill without thought. And yes, we are slowly moving closer to that place, hence the reaction as it is. To be that change we must do some hard earned looking within and become those changes. Love will be even more stronger and beautiful because of it ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    Liked by 3 people

    1. quiall Post author

      Oh Mark that it is so well said! I don’t think the books are right (me, no MD) I think kids can change for good or for bad. But their early life is important but not insurmountable.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mark Lanesbury

        It most certainly can be ‘tempered’ dear lady, but as spirit said to me…would you dare go up to each and every parent and tell them they are bringing their children up wrong and try to correct it? There would be many, many very upset by that because of the fears that ‘they’ still hold. But what we can do as ‘we’ break through is create that environment that will break down this world to a more ‘balanced’ way of being.so that love is the normal but still room for adventure. Apparently it will all eventually become a new world…an unconditional one ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ancient Skies

    What a great article! Thank you Pam. I have over the years noticed that the far far right teaches much more division and prejudice than progressives do. But we need to change inwardly as well as politically.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Faye Arcand

    Hi. Great piece. I love the way you related this back to art and the eras that have silently passed as we’ve continued to allow the sentiments passed from our parents to grow generation over generation. A silent and invisible virus passed through the centuries to reflect back on today…Kind of like a pandemic of faulty wiring and thinking. I’m writing from Western Canada. We have our issues here but we watch the US closely as we’re so close. I fear civil war with the entrenched within history and “rights”. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. quiall Post author

      I am pleased you like it! I love that line: “A silent and invisible virus . . . ” I understand how you feel about the states. I am in Southern Ontario and I worry about the ripples crossing the boarder.

      Liked by 1 person


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