When I got mad today 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 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 was paid,
And than I blushed at this sad feat...
Today I taught my child to cheat.
I smugly copied a cassette,
To keep me from 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 they are led
By what is done and not what is said.
Today I gave my child his due
By praise 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 all that I have made.
And now I know that this dear youth,
Today has learned from me the 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 up above.
Today I taught my child to love.
Someday my child must face alone
This fearsome undertone,
But I have blazed a sure pathway:
Today I taught my child to pray.