One of my favorite cartoons used to show a young boy showing his obviously poor report card to his irate father and asking, “Gee, I don’t know, Dad, is heredity or environment?”  That used to be one of my favorite cartoons – until I had children of my own.

It is all too easy to blame someone or something else for our bad behavior.  It would be a great improvement if we as easily gave credit to someone or something else for our good behavior.

One of the reasons I like the Christmas story compiled from the books of Matthew and Luke in Christian scriptures is that it includes the identity and character of the Mary and Joseph.  Both Mary and Joseph were loving and honorable.  Both believed their child was someone special.  Their early imprints on the mind of their infant son had to have been a force for good.

Loving parents are not guarantees of developing a loving person, but it surely is a good start.  If you were blessed to have such parents, honor them by paying it forward.  If you were not blessed to have been raised by such parents, you can still resolve to pass on love to others.

Generations of abuse can be stopped and legacies of love can be started simply by deciding to love.  This means letting go of bitterness and grief, but it can be done.  A good place to start might be identifying with Jesus, not as a messiah, but as one who was mothered by Mary

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