Carly fell asleep quickly, holding my hand. My heart breaks, and all too often, when I hear the tone of voice or the rude hostility parents impose on the children they supposedly love. Clearly, most of the actual behavior we call parenting is not love. Most of what we call schooling is not love either. Comparison and competition is not love. Stuff isn’t love. The commercial exploitation of children and of childhood nearly every parent and child experience with commercial media and technology is not love. That doesn’t leave much time for love - does it?
What if it were love that the child experiences as the cornerstone, the safe place, home base, the guiding polestar of their development every day?
What if you and I were always mindful of every child’s brilliance, as is all life in all its forms? The world would change on the spot.
What if we appreciated that the child’s developing brain, heart and mind is different than ours at each step and stage, that each heart-mind-brain is unique?
What if our children and all the children never experienced comparison (and its twin psychological competition), shame, blame, rejection or punishment, physical or much more often psychological, and were instead encouraged simply to see and experience the natural consequences of things as they happen or might happen?
Children learn the two most difficult challenges they will experience, learning to walk and talk, spontaneously, with little or no formal training. What if we trusted this would be the case with everything they learn?
Recognizing that the exponential growth of each child’s capacity is model (epigenetic-environment) dependent, what if each of us understood that it was our responsibility to model, every moment of every day, the very best behavior and response to each and every challenge we face, leading by example, being the change we hope to see in the world?
Understanding that ‘story’ is the nutrient-experience that develops our capacity for symbolic and metaphoric thinking, and that this capacity opens the door to unlimited creative possibilities, and that commercial-technological counterfeits diminish, instead of enhance, this rarest of all capacities, what if our delight and entertainment was being a Pied Piper of Story, deepening and expanding in richness and complexity, throughout childhood and adolescence?
What if we refused to purchase or consume fake, poison food, 150 to 170 pounds of sugar each year, artificial chemicals, preservatives, additives or strange new substances that are genetically altered or pesticide covered?
What if all the energy and attention that now goes into defending against all these, taking the false-form of a personal ego, were instead liberated and free to focus on compassionate creativity that serves wholeness and wellbeing for everything and everyone - because that is what we and our children see and do naturally? The Golden Rule would not be something we do. It would be the natural expression of what we are.
What if we felt truly appreciative for the experience this breath represents?
What if, when we looked out the window, we saw light dancing, creating a gazillion twinkling forms that will disappear in the instant, only to be replaced by more twinkles, and said to ourselves, as the song goes, what a wonderful world, and shared that wonder with our children?
What if each of us did this, simply, quietly, in our own unique way every day?
Impossible? What do we have to lose?