“They are loved and lovable by the God who created them.” All belong to God. We praise and recognize children for good grades, parish involvement, athletic achievements, and musical awards. Do we emphasize and recognize those who don’t receive awards, or whose greatest achievement is in kindness to others? Do we emphasize that people are special not because of what they do, but because of who they are? It’s a tricky line to walk. Children should be challenged to explore their gifts and talents and learn to develop them for the good of the community. Achievement should be encouraged and honored. But greater attention should be paid to ensuring that each child knows that his or her value and the value of others depend upon the fact they are loved and lovable by the God who created them. Period. By helping our children make the distinction between what they do and who they are, we can gently and powerfully teach that, indeed, all people are special, because all belong to God. 19 Subscribe today! smp.org/inspire