When I got mad and hit my child
"For his own good," I reconciled
And then, I realized my plight
Today, I taught my child to fight.
When interrupted by the phone I said,
"Tell them I'm not at home."
And then I thought, and had to sigh
Today I taught my child to lie.
I told the tax man what I made
Forgetting cash that I was paid
And then I blushed at this sad feat
Today, I taught my child to cheat.
I smugly copied a cassette,
To keep me free of one more debt.
But now the bells of shame must peal
Today, I taught my child to steal.
Today, I cursed another race.
Oh God, protect what I debase,
For now, I fear it is too late.
Today, I taught my child to hate.
By my example, children learn
That I must lead in life's sojourn
In such a way that they are led
By what is done, not what is said.
Today, I gave my child his due
By Praises for him instead of rue.
And now I have begun my guide:
Today, I gave my child his pride.
I now have reconciled and paid
To IRS on all I made.
And now I know that this dear youth
Today has learned from me of Truth.
The alms I give are not for show
And yet, this child must surely know
That charity is worth the price;
Today, he saw my sacrifice.
I clasp within a warm embrace
My neighbor of another race-
The great commandment from above.
Today, I taught my child to love.
Someday, my child must face alone
This world of fearsome undertone,
But I have blazed a sure pathway;
Today, I taught my child to pray.