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Morals should be taught at a young age

February 20, 2013
Harry Patten, Marshalltown , Times-Republican

Current news of children shot at in their classrooms by mentally disturbed adults, we are outraged to consider such a thing would take place in our schools.

So as early as 2 to 4 years of age we should begin in the teaching of moral standards to our children, and assume personal responsibility for their actions. Especially instilling the knowledge of right from wrong. Our juvenile courts and our jails are filled with young people devoid of moral standards which landed them in trouble with the law.

I believe that my mother and father had their hands full raising us four boys. No liquor in the refrigerator and no allowance for filthy language. Although dad wasn't a church-going man, he and mother wanted us boys to attend Sunday school and God's house, the church. With six schools to attend, we didn't get to always have the church available. Dad and mother tried their best to set an example before us. Dad was addicted to tobacco, which shortened his life to around 62 years. Outside of that dirty habit, he was a good man. His being a building contractor, had him outdoors.

We had a mother who went to church and also read and embraced God's word, setting an example to adhere. Dad was an inventor. He could draw up house plans in a matter of hours.

In the 1920s, our family made camping trips. One trip was to Big Bear Campground. We had to use barrels of water every 100 feet to cool down the car on the steep road, and on another camp out, I can still smell the campfire. At the time range of around 1924, dad and mother bought and raised chickens and rabbits on a one acre ranch in Encino, Calif. I had a Jersey cow. Mother sold milk to the neighbors. My brother, George, learned where chickens came from. The folks bought an incubator to raise chickens. Dad took the time to make a bow and arrow for both of us so we could shoot at the chickens flying overhead to spot a meal.

To entertain us, dad took a used water heater and placed a 12 foot plank over it for a teeter totter. Around 1929, the folks bought a 148-acre ranch where us boys were helping dad farm the ranch. We had four horses to help not only to put the seed in the ground, but to harvest the crop. George and I learned to milk a cow and learned the livestock. We missed school due to lifting heavy milk cans.

 
 

 

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