Governor Christie: Being A Father Is Forever, Everything Else Is Temporary
This is about our commitment to these children and their families. And I always say “the children and their families” and sometimes people just say “the children.” They want to put the children first. Well, of course we do. But the families are just as important. I suspect there’s nothing more painful for a mother or father, but to see their child not learning. Because we as adults understand what that means for our own children’s future. That if they don’t learn, that if they don’t get a strong academic background, that they’re futures will be limited. And you know, another question I got in there was: what’s the greatest accomplishment I’ve had in my life? And I told the kids: It’s being a father. You see, all the rest of this stuff is temporary. Being a Governor is temporary, being a mayor is temporary, being a superintendent is temporary, you’re not going to be able to do it for your whole life. But being a father is something you commit yourself to for your whole life, the same way being a mother is. And so the dreams that you have for your children are the ones that stay with you for a lifetime. And if they don’t reach those dream because we failed them, that’s unacceptable. And I would suggest to you that it’s immoral. Because each one of those children is an individual gift from God. My mother-in-law is the mother of ten children – my wife is number nine of ten children. And when I was quite young and Mary Pat and I were first married and hadn’t had any children yet, I asked her one time: ten children, I mean that could not have been easy; if you had to do it all over again, would you do it? And she said to me: Chris, of course I would because every one of my children were an individual gift from God. That’s where I got that phrase, was from my mother-in-law nearly twenty-five years ago. And in the same way that my mother-in-law feels that way, I am sure that most, if not all, parents feel that way too. That their child is an individual gift from God. And if we believe that, if we believe that every child is an individual gift from God then to not to educate that child, not to allow that child to reach his or her fullest God given potential is a sin against God. And that’s why I call it immoral. So, I want you all to know, why I say the things I say, is not just words, it’s words based on my experiences as a parent. And I think based on yours too. So, we’re going to remain steadfast – steadfast in our commitment to make sure every child in New Jersey has a chance at great education, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because I truly believe it’s what’s morally required of us.
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