In 1989 an 8.2 earthquake almost flattened Armenia, killing over
30,000 people in less than four minutes.
In the midst of utter devastation and chaos, a father left his
wife securely at home and rushed to the school where his son was
supposed to be, only to discover that the building was as flat as
After the traumatic initial shock, he remembered the promise he
had made to his son: "No matter what, I'll always be there for
you!" And tears began to fill his eyes. As he looked at the
pile of debris that once was the school, it looked hopeless, but
he kept remembering his commitment to his son.
He began to concentrate on where he walked his son to class at
school each morning. Remembering his son's classroom would be
in the back right corner of the building, he rushed there and
started digging through the rubble.
As he was digging, other forlorn parents arrived, clutching their
hearts, saying: "My son!" "My daughter!" Other well meaning
parents tried to pull him off of what was left of the school
"It's too late!"
"You can't help!"
"Come on, face reality, there's nothing you can do!"
"You're just going to make things worse!"
To each parent he responded with one line: "Are you going to help
me now?" And then he proceeded to dig for his son, stone by
The fire chief showed up and tried to pull him off of the
school's debris saying "Fires are breaking out, explosions are
happening everywhere. You're in danger. We'll take care of it.
Go home." To which this loving, caring Armenian father asked,
"Are you going to help me now?"
The police came and said, "You're angry, distraught and it's
over. You're endangering others. Go home. We'll handle it!"
To which he replied, "Are you going to help me now?" No one
Courageously he proceeded alone because he needed to know for
himself: "Is my boy alive or is he dead?"
He dug for eight hours....12 hours....24 hours....36 hours....
then, in the 38th hour, he pulled back a boulder and heard his
son's voice. He screamed his son's name, "ARMAND!" He heard
back, "Dad!?! It's me, Dad! I told the other kids not to worry.
I told 'em that if you were alive, you'd save me and when you
saved me, they'd be saved. You promised, 'No matter what, I'll
always be there for you!' You did it, Dad!"
"What's going on in there? How is it?" the father asked.
"There are 14 of us left out of 33, Dad. We're scared, hungry,
thirsty and thankful you're here. When the building collapsed,
it made a wedge, like a triangle, and it saved us."
"Come on out, boy!"
"No, Dad! Let the other kids out first, 'cause I know you'll
get me! No matter what, I know you'll be there for me!"
(Mark V. Hansen)
CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE
If children live with criticism,
they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
they learn to fight.
If children live with fear,
they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity,
they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule,
they learn to be shy.
If children live with jealousy,
they learn what envy is.
If children live with shame,
they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with tolerance,
they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement,
they learn to be confident.
If children live with praise,
they learn to appreciate.
If children live with approval,
they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance,
they learn to find love in the world.
If children live with recognition,
they learn to have a goal.
If children live with sharing,
they learn to be generous.
If children live with honesty and fairness,
they learn what truth and justice are.
If children live with security,
they learn to have faith in themselves
and in those around them.
If children live with friendliness,
they learn that the world is a nice
place in which to live.
If children live with serenity,
they learn to have peace of mind.
With what are your children living?
by:(Dorothy L. Nolte)
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