Tuesday, November 22, 2022

What are the most important things we need to teach our children early in their life?


Today’s globally interconnected and interdependent world where we raise our children is very different from the world we grew up in.

In order for children to grow up prosperous and happy in today’s world, they need to gain awareness of how connected we are, and the sooner they learn about it, the better.

We should teach them about the planet we live on, so that they understand how we exist in a single ecosystem, with myriad interactions running throughout nature’s still, vegetative, animate and human levels.

We should also teach them about the solar system, the influence of the sun and the moon over the Earth, how seasons change, and how natural forces shape our lives.

In terms of human development, we should show children that divided civilizations and nations become antagonistic and filled with problems, while united ones prosper.

Most importantly, we need to teach them the interconnectedness and interdependence of nature’s forces as a single system and their effect on us. They should understand that even though they connect through today’s technologies, their connection extends beyond technology to other people and nature on all of its levels.

The goal of emphasizing humanity’s and nature’s interconnectedness in children’s education is to nurture their positive connections with their environment, i.e. with other people and nature. If they grow up with a sensation that caring for other people and nature positively affects them, and vice versa, that not caring about other people and nature negatively affects them, then they will bypass a lot of suffering and live enjoyable, peaceful and harmonious lives.

The key point in this connection-enriching education is to understand that our attitude to other people and nature is an ongoing relationship. We can then understand the reciprocity in nature. Thriving relationships, whether in families, friendships, couples, work relations, or in society at large, require mutual consideration. The advantages of reaching genuine friendship and even love in a relationship always override the efforts we apply to get there. Therefore, gaining awareness of our interconnectedness and interdependence should lead us to the conclusion that we should invest in our connections to realize our interdependence positively.

Animals have no instinctive drive to harm other animals. Any killing of other animals that they do is out of necessity for their survival, but not out of a sinister intention to enjoy the other animals’ suffering. People, however, have an additional egoistic quality, as it is written, “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth.” We should thus raise our children with a constant concern that they will learn the interconnectedness and interdependence of everyone and everything, and think and act accordingly.