CULTIVATE MORAL COURAGE.
Moral courage will be cultivated in your children as they observe that you say and do whatever you conscientiously believe to be right and true, without being influenced by the views of others; thus showing them that you fear nothing so much as failing to do your duty. Perhaps this may be difficult to do, but every mother can at least show her appreciation of moral courage when she sees it exhibited by others, and in this way incite its growth in the souls of her children. Moral courage is a rare endowment, and those who possess it are able to act with perfect independence of the opinions of others, and govern themselves only by the laws of propriety, uprightness and charity.
THE PERNICIOUS INFLUENCE OF INDOLENCE.
If you would preserve your children from the pernicious influence of indolence and all its corrupting tendencies, you must be earnest in purpose, active, energetic and fervent in spirit. Earnestness sharpens the faculties; indolence corrodes and dulls them. By the former we rise higher and higher, by the latter we sink lower and lower. Indolence begets discontent, envy and jealousy, while labor elevates the mind and character. Cultivate in your children habits of thought which will keep their minds occupied upon something that will be of use or advantage, and prevent them from acquiring habits of idleness, if you would secure their future well-being.
It has been said that he who performs no useful act in society, who makes no human being happier, is leading a life of utter selfishness—a life of sin—for a life of selfishness is a life of sin. There is nowhere room for idleness. Work is both a duty and a necessity of our nature, and a befitting reward will ever follow it. To foster and encourage labor in some useful form, is a duty which parents should urge upon their children, if they should seek their best good.
It is the mother’s duty to see that her children protect themselves from the many pit-falls which surround them, such as malice, envy, conceit, avariciousness, and other evils, by being clad in the armor of self-respect; and then they will be able to encounter temptation and corruption, unstained and unpolluted. This feeling of self-respect is something stronger than self-reliance, higher than pride. It is an energy of the soul which masters the whole being for its good, watching with a never-ceasing vigilance. It is the sense of duty and the sense of honor combined. It is an armor, which, though powerless to shield from sorrows that purify and invigorate, yet will avert all hostile influences that assail, from whatever source they come. The mother having once made her children conscious that always and everywhere they carry with them such an angel to shield, warn and rescue them, may let them go out into the world, and fear nothing from the wiles and temptations which may beset them.