I envision a world where children are encouraged to have a Spiritual head start, a world where spirituality is introduced to our youth in everyday life. It would be encouraged from a number of places; however, the most influential place it would start is in their very own home. It would include people that work with or interface with children through schools, childcare, sports, clubs, and academic groups.
The vision promotes love over fear, acceptance over judgment, tolerance over rejection, self-worth over comparison, and self-responsibility over blame. We would teach our young people to use the expansive thoughts and gifts that are emerging visibly in society today. At a time where many in our society at large feel hopeless about the future, I’m filled with hope. When society approaches a tipping point, we see members grasping old ways with desperation as the world beckons for and responds to change. This is happening now.
How Can Help Our Youth Create a New Way of Living?
Love … is Energy in its highest form. It’s not enough to tell our children to love, we must embody it ourselves. This means “walking” with love, acceptance, tolerance, self-worth, and self-responsibility. Our children’s most profound lessons are learned by watching. They are learned by living through the experience firsthand. Living it makes it part of your being. Frequently, a child’s closest experience to unconditional love happens at home. They deserve this.
Listen … with an open mind. Children connect the dots in life in ways that may be totally different than adults. Because of their small amount of “programming” they are often able to see things in a different and fresh way. Listen to their concerns and make sure they feel heard. This doesn’t mean agreeing with all of their concepts. Our ideas communicated back to our children will be heard and understood with higher degrees of openness if the child is first heard. Have you ever asked a question of an adult and received an answer that had nothing to do with your question? Telling children something important without first listening to their concerns is somewhat analogous. People, including children, disregard information that isn’t relevant to their concern.
Learn … from listening. Children often offer a mirror in which we see ourselves, if we look closely. By listening and responding to what we’ve heard, new doors open to both the child and adult. The relationship becomes a dynamic, learning adventure. Not only do we learn new concepts and new ways to view our world, we learn how to be heard. That’s very powerful! It’s a clearer, cleaner exchange of information where both parties feel so much more appreciated. It’s happening in the moment, not based on a situation that happened to the adult thirty years ago or a situation that happened yesterday. It’s created genuinely and uniquely for the people involved.
Reflect … let’s slow down, just a bit. Take the time to reflect on our experiences. Take the time to observe our emotions. Take the time to set an intention based on what we just experienced. Take the time, to feel whether or not our interactions were what we wanted them to be. How would we like to revise our experience? Reflection, not criticism, is key to improvement. Let’s teach our children cause and effect. When it’s appropriate, ask them if they liked the result of their actions. When they’ve been involved in an unpleasant experience, ask them why they think it happened as it did.
Promote … love over fear, peace over war. As we’ve grown and developed as a society, we must grow and develop how we handle conflicts. That learning process starts with our closest relationships. Let’s teach our children how to negotiate. Negotiation skills can start small, with extra play time. The same skills, practiced over time and in more difficult situations, will help save relationships. They will help save lives, as we find people solutions to complex situations between countries. They’ll even help save money.
Join me in this vision … a society which promotes love over fear, acceptance over judgment, tolerance over rejection, self-worth over comparison, and self-responsibility over blame. It’s beautiful, indeed!
Kimberly W. Lipscomb, MSW practices counseling in North Fulton. Specializations include Relationships, Parenting as a Spiritual Practice, Conflict Resolution, Maximizing Your Full Potential, and Self Realization. She can be reached at 404-441-8797 or NorthsideSpiritualCounseling@gmail.com