With the celebrations of our mothers and fathers over the next few weeks, I offer some observations. From David O. McKay, “If I were asked to name the world’s greatest need, I should say unhesitatingly; wise mothers and … exemplary fathers”. George Sunderlin gives a reason why, “A child learns more by imitation than in any other way. … The persons he imitates the most blindly and trustingly are bound to be his parents.”

Joseph Joubert said succinctly, “Children have more need of models than of critics.”

I have had many role models over my nearly 79 years. One example that had great impact on me was my parents encouraging my brother and me to read. That encouragement was enhanced by my Norwegian grandparents who gave their grandchildren books for Christmas. In this electronic age, I can see my grandparents adding books to my tablet.

That love of reading has continued these many years. Initially I read for enjoyment. As I grew, I read as part of my education, followed by reading to progress in my professional employment.

As parents, my wife and I also encouraged of our children to read. Our children have continued that emphasis with their children.

A joy of mine is for my grandchildren to get books from my library. The younger ones would want someone to read to them. Some kids would lie on the floor or flop in a chair and read. Some of the older grandchildren are borrowing my books.

Now, in my later years when I want to read for enjoyment, I pick up a book and go to those places on this great earth I have not been. I travel there by book and by the imagination formed and stimulated by my parents and by my grandparents.

Robert Mooth, Decatur


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