Education and knowledge by themselves do not bring inner peace to individuals, families or the society in which they live. But education combined with warmheartedness, a sense of concern for the well-being of others, has much more positive results. If you have a great deal of knowledge, but you’re governed by negative emotions, then you tend to use your knowledge in negative ways. Therefore, while you are learning, don’t forget the importance of warmheartedness…Dalai Lama
Seeing this quote reminded me of when I watched and listened to the Dalai Lama speak at the University at Buffalo several years ago. He spoke of the importance of ‘warmheartedness’ being a part of our child’s education, that it should be a part of our school’s curriculum from age 3 through college…his message has stayed with me through the years. It shapes how I want to raise my children, and fuels my desire to begin “planting seeds” of abundance for all of our children.
I believe now more than ever, we have to be so “in-tune” with what is happening in our children’s lives. What are they learning from us…parents, teachers, society? It would appear on the surface we are to believe that we are a more ‘connected’ society because of technological advances…I feel differently. Children are now spending their days on i-pods, x-boxes, cell phone texting, and yes, even social media! Relationships have become disconnected, fragmented..our children have become de-sensitized, communication skills lagging. We can’t expect our children to know how to live from their hearts, have healthy relationships, and lead productive lives so long as their noses are stuck in their i-pods 24/7! In our schools I have learned that children at the age of 10 are led to believe that their teachers are too busy for them if they need additional support…and that learning has become less of a joy and more of a struggle. How can a child embrace ‘warmheartedness’ if they don’t know how to use their voice much less acknowledge what they are feeling?
How about the cost for these toys & devices? Wicked expensive, right? Toys aren’t cheap today! Here’s a question for you…did you use cash or credit to pay for those toys or cell phones? From what I have seen of many of my clients…the answer is credit. We create debt to give our children these expensive toys. Ask yourself this, “Is creating debt to purchase a toy in alignment with my core values?” “Do I really want to teach my son/daughter that it’s ok to buy things on credit when I know I can’t afford it?” Think about the money messages you’re sending and how those lessons will play out when your children become adults. When I was a child my sisters and I did all kind of chores on a regular basis…it was expected of us. But, I had no memory of an allowance…and for good reason. My mom explained to me that she and my father couldn’t agree on the “allowance thing”. My mother felt that as long as our work was done, it didn’t matter how long it took us. My father however, believed in establishing deadlines…we had our list of chores along with when they were to be completed by. Because my parents couldn’t agree, we did the chores but, never received an allowance. Now, I’m guilty of nearly the same thing with my own kids! My children have chores, they are done in a timely manner but, I have been inconsistent with payment…and the last thing I wish to teach my kids is that they are undeserving or unworthy of being compensated.
Did your parents or teachers encourage you to dream big when it came to a career or life? Or were you told to play it safe–that work was hard? What do you tell your children now? My 9-year-old step-daughter recently asked me , “Chris, do you think I would be able to become a Massage Therapist AND and an Artist at the same time?” I told her, “ABSOLUTELY!!! What a wonderful idea!” Then we talked about what it would take to accomplish both…time, education, money, art supplies…and most of all, her love of both! My 10-year-old son, whenever he gets ‘stuck’ choosing between sports, I ask him, “Where does your heart lead you?” And like magic, when he asks himself that question, his answer is immediate…he ‘knows’ instantly!
So, what can we do as parents and teachers?
In the words of Neale Donald Walsch, “Be the Source”! If you want your children to know compassion, then “BE COMPASSION”, if you want your children to live life inspired, then “BE INSPIRATION”! Live with integrity, honesty, authenticity…and lead by example consistently…