It usually falls to experts to train and educate young people so that they can learn the skills required to perform a trade or the body of knowledge needed to be a competent professional. That’s not enough though. Young people also must find out how to live a good life.
Since antiquity, parents, teachers, philosophers, prophets and priests have instructed the young on how to behave ethically. They have used stories, fables, parables and proverbs to pass on their message. Often, as in Proverbs, the outcomes of right behaviour and wrong behaviour are compared and contrasted.
Before I retired, part of my job description included teaching “character values” to my class once a week. Another teacher and I joined forces to team-teach the subject. Like generations of elders before us, we employed fables, proverbs and stories to promote honesty, kindness and perseverance. Though we lacked Solomon’s wisdom, I hope our students learned that we should do what is right not out of fear of punishment or shame, but because we love and care about those around us.
We thank you, Lord, for elders who have led us in the paths of righteousness. Amen. — CKA