Our friend, Mike, had 300 parents.  Yes, 300! How is this possible, you might ask?

The answer is simple.  He had his biological parents, of course, and then an entire community looking out for him.

Mike grew up in a small town—we’ll call it Anytown—in the 1960s and early 1970s.  Everyone looked out for everyone else in Anytown.

Mike is now in his early 60s.  And as he reflected on his life recently, he said, “I am thankful I grew up in Anytown with 300 parents.”

His hometown is small and close-knit.  And he grew up under the watchful eyes of the community.

This setting kept him honest and set him on a good path with good habits for later on.  Indeed, his upbringing helped him become who he is today.

Back in the day, Mike’s best friend had “cool” parents, or so Mike thought at the time.  His best friend’s parents didn’t care if their son came home for supper. Mike’s parents insisted that he do so.  At the time, Mike thought they were “jerks” for doing so.

Over time, he realized that his parents were right and the other parents were wrong.  Now he thinks his parents were “cool” and his best friend’s parents were the “jerks.”

There is a lesson here.  Parents usually know best.  We learn this lesson as we get older.

Just the other day, we listened to a lady talk about her two sons—one who is 17 and the other who is 20.  The 17-year-old son thinks he knows everything and doesn’t listen to her at all. Her 20-year-old son has started coming to her for advice.  Until recently, he was like his younger brother. Now, he knows his mother is wise.

Parents usually know when to advise and when to step back.  This was certainly true in Mike’s case. His parents—all 300 of them—knew when to guide him and when to let him grow.

He was a normal teenager and never got into any real trouble.  As time went by, he grew and matured as a person.

Today Mike is a man of faith who truly helps others in his community.  As a parent and a grandparent, he looks out for his kids and grandkids.  And he is close to his parents, who live near him.

They did a fine job with their only child.  He is a loyal son, a good man, a caring husband, and a model citizen.

Mike is grateful to his biological parents and the 300 parents of Anytown.  He’s living proof that looking out for the next generation pays off.

Mike’s example reminds us that every effort matters to nurture the next generation.

What we do today shapes young lives tomorrow!