A professor at the University of Stockholm returned home from a trip through the United States. Someone asked him what impressed him most about America. What would you imagine he would have said. Our skyscrapers? The vastness of our country? The system of government that seems to work in spite of people and circumstances that try to tear it down?

No, it was none of those. What impressed this professor more than anything was sod. Some of you may not know what sod is. You may be driving through the countryside in America and see acres and acres of nothing but grass growing. When the grass is just right, machines come in, cut underneath it a few inches so that what you have is like a carpet of grass. The machines then roll it up, put it on trucks, and those trucks head for new housing developments. The crew unloads the rolls of precut sod and then in a very short time they lay all the pieces down and produce the best looking lawn on the block. A carpet of grass, and it only took a few hours to create. Instant transformation.

The professor could sense that we are not a patient people. We don’t like to wait a whole summer for a lawn to come up. We want it today. We don’t have the patience to plant a seed and wait a few years for bush to grow up. Instead we go to the nursery, buy a bush, come home and set it out—all within an hour. A yard that’s downright shabby can be transformed into a picture in just a short time.

Funny things about this, though. You can transform the yard, you can transform the house overnight—but you can’t so easily transform the home that lives in that house. In a home you’re dealing not with plants, but with people . . . and that makes a big difference.

To have an influence on the children in a home requires careful attention. Lynn Okagaki, a professor of child development at Purdue University in Indiana, has published her research in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. She found that even if parents hold strong moral and religious beliefs, the only way their children will pick those up is for the parents to talk about what they believe and teach the children what they want them to know. Otherwise, children won’t “get it” on their own.

How much do you talk to your children? I don’t mean about their homework and their chores. I mean about the values, the standards you believe in. What your children believe, the principles they will live by the rest of their lives, they will have learned from you only if you have consciously taught them through the years. Important things take time. Begin now.

Do you need to know where to start? Write us at KNLS, Anchor Point, Alaska USA 99556. Or we’re at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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