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Lessons early can pay off

Children will listen. That’s an old rule that the older folks understand. Sometimes the rest of us forget it until we’re reminded by the deeds of children.

So it is the case with Jermaine Smith, an 8-year-old student at Shiloh Elementary School. Firefighters came to his school before the year was out and talked about fire safety. They showed Jermaine the fire truck.

But the truck, while appealing, was not the focus.

Jermaine listened. About a week ago, the school lesson saved the lives of Jermaine and his family when the mobile home in which they lived caught fire. The lad crawled under the smoke and lead his 5-year-old brother to safety.

It’s how the family survived.

Jermaine was injured in the process, but a helpful nurse neighbor from across the street helped him in the process.

We never know what lessons we teach children, until those children recall and respond to them. Those firefighters did not know Jermaine would one day know to drop and get his mom to safety. They had no way of knowing. They only hoped someone would take home the lesson.

Children will listen. They will hear these lessons and learn others as well.

Adults should remember this and know that what comes from them are more than just words.