There are no one-way streets in our world. There is no way to give without getting, there is no one who gets but does not give.

So it is with the child. Just as the adult gives the child the knowledge and wisdom of life, so the child can give the adult the keys of how to live it.

What is it that the child has to teach?

The child naively believes that everything should be fair and everyone should be honest, that only good should prevail, that everybody should have what they want and there should be no pain or sadness. The child believes the world should be perfect and is outraged to discover it is not.

And the child is right.

Watch the child involved in an activity. Whatever the child is doing, there the child is, all the child.

A child's enthusiasm comes in a storm, taking over the child's entire world. That is why, when a child embraces a new, good trait, it enters forever.

The child delights in the simple things of life. Sometimes that delight could lead in the wrong direction. But the delight in itself is good.

We need to embrace and nurture the delight while weaning it from those things unwholesome.

A child cannot learn something without running out and screaming it to others. And so it should be with all those who have knowledge.

When a child feels something is missing the child wants it, demands it with all the heart and soul — and demands it now.

We are all lacking, because the world is not the way it should be and none of us are in our proper place. We need to demand from the Owner Above that all this be repaired and be repaired now.

A child gives love for the sake of love. But even an adult can learn to do the same.

The child is certain that he or she is the center and focus of all. Father and mother and the rest of the universe exist merely to cater to his or her needs.

The undesirable aspects of such an attitude are self-evident, and weeding out the negative in man's base instincts is what education is all about. But the "selfishness" that the child exemplifies has a positive side as well. A child has no problem dealing with an insignificance of self in face of humanity's billions and the vastness of the universe. He is utterly convinced that his existence has meaning and his deeds have consequence.

This is the child in ourselves that we must learn to cultivate: the conviction that our every thought and deed is of real, even global, significance.

We know that a sneeze in New Jersey can cause a thunderstorm in China. Can we say the same of the social universe? Can a single act, word or thought on your part resound in billions of lives?

Ask your child. Or the child in you.

How will we preserve the innocence, the genius and the beauty of the child into adulthood?

First, we will nurture that beauty from its very beginning. We will surround the child with Torah and sing to it songs of wisdom even before it leaves the womb. We will make the child's room into a sanctuary with holy books, posters with thoughtful messages hanging on the walls and a charity box to be used daily.

And then, as the child emerges to discover that the world outside is not quite the same as that sanctuary, we will explain, "Yes, this is not the way it is supposed to be. But it is only temporary. You and I and all of us, we are going to change it. We are partners in the act of creating this world, because it is our mission to perfect it. And we are doing this now, with acts of beauty and kindness, one good deed at a time."