Maya sat on the library floor playing with a toy truck while a girl around the same age as he began to take an interest in the same toy. I was watching this interaction unfold from about 10 feet away, fairly confident he would give it away and then stare at her as if he invented magic — this is what he’s done in the past. And because of this history of selflessness and wonder, I was not prepared for his very angry rebuff that clearly designated what was “his” and was not going to be shared.
I don’t know when it happened, maybe while I thoroughly engaged in my own ego activity, but at some point an attachment to an identity formed within my baby boy..he has been struck with the “I, Me, Mine” disease that kinda comes with being human. Where there is attachment, there is suffering. Where there is suffering, there cannot be peace.
The Electronic Baglady wrote an excellent blog that breaks down problematic issues that arise when trying to teach and talk to our children about peace in this world. I appreciate her take on this issue because of all the blogs I read for this month’s challenge, she seemed to be the most aware of the emptiness behind typing about the solutions while also being aware of the fundamental questions that form the problem. She raised three main issues with being able to raise peaceful children: “How do we answer their questions about “bullying and hitting and fighting and war? How do we manage the influence of school and television? And most importantly, how do we preach an ideal that we do not practice ourselves?”
I posed those questions to myself and came up with three tangible answers:
How do we answer their questions about “bullying and hitting and fighting and war?
“When people believe they are separate from one another, from nature and from God, all sorts of detrimental behaviors spring forth. These include but are not limited to bullying, hitting, fighting, and war. The separation is only in our imaginations, when we look closely and with rational thought, we see that everything is a function of everything else. We realize that everything comes out from One Source and nothing in this manifest universe can stand on its own. I, Me, and Mine are disastrous distractions. When you see violence in the world, what you are really witnessing is the impossible task of attempting to solidify a separate identity.”
How do we manage the influence of school and television?
“Do not send your children to school until you have provided a firm foundation of your family’s values. This means no nursery school, no preschool, and most likely no elementary school. It also means that your family will probably have to live on one income, unless someone can work from home. The school system is not set up to teach our children about peace. There is too much focus on competition, fitting in even if you don’t, and being forced to identify and assert a separate self on a daily basis. The school system, in general, is spiritually destitute. There are no courses on emotional intelligence, loving-kindness, or ecstatic dancing in these places. All of which are far more important than learning how to distinguish one noun from another.”
how do we preach an ideal that we do not practice ourselves?
“Live your practice. Strive to be better at it everyday and be honest with yourself and your family in the areas in which you are not. This is the most important thing you can do for yourself, your children, your community, the nation, and humankind in general. Do not give up. Do not let yourself off the hook. Keep a watchful eye over all the things you need to improve upon. If all you can do is crawl, then crawl. Your greatest, and maybe only, contribution to world peace will be that which you create within yourself. Sober up, don’t let them fool you, and become the anchor of peace in the world you are destined to be.”
May all beings be at peace.