far in the series, we have seen that spirit is about growth. It is about creativity. It is about others. It is about the fullness of oneself. It is about nurturing whatever hints of potential or seeds that are within a human being. In raising spirit-led children, we will be moving far away from the dynamic culture of the day as well as the traditions of the past. Let me explain.
The culture of the day is for the most part selfish, steeped in competition (which fosters things like lack of authenticity), transactional and mostly materialistic. In other words, in the culture of the day, you have “make it “if you can accumulate as much as you can (never mind how for as long as you don’t get caught), and you are esteemed in the eyes of your peers as having “arrived”.
Many people in the culture of today are shacked in this philosophy. To them, they will “arrive” one day, sometime in the future. Unfortunately, that is not the way the spirit operates. If you are teaching your children that they will one day “arrive” at a specific location called, “made it”, you are short-changing them. The spirit is about the now and how we can fully deploy whatever we have within our vicinity so we can keep growing.
Now, about traditions, it is all about what used to work previously. There are very many traditions that we have inherited over there years. These include governance systems such as “democracy”, economic systems such as “capitalism” and education systems such as “schools”. What I can tell you is simple. The spirit is not in any way locked on traditions. The spirit is free and is more interested in delivery as long as the process does not impede on others…but I digress.
Raising children is perhaps the greatest responsibility any generation can have. To be successful in raising spirit led children, we have to be aware not to be shackled by the traditions of the past or the popular culture of the present. We have to be spirit-led ourselves.
You are not raising spirit led children if you…
You are not Raising Spirit Led Children if you...
- Do not teach them to cherish their inner compass
- Do not teach them to the importance of "self-extraction"
- Do not nurture and nourish their creative capacities
4. Do not teach them to value Personal Growth/Personal Development
From my own life and from the lives I have encountered in my work, many people get on the “personal development bandwagon” late on. That is mostly the result of following either tradition or popular culture. If your children will not learn to cherish personal development, then you are missing out on something so huge that is a spiritual aspect of their lives. The spirit is about the fuller expansion of the self and growth. It is about coming to the fullest of your potential.
In order for them to be Spirit-led, children need to understand that they are treasure or that there is a treasure inside of them. The only way you can unearth human treasure is through personal development.
This must be the central theme in raising children. You and I are doing our children a pretty great disservice if we do not teach them the value of developing themselves. In order for them to be Spirit-led, they need to understand that they are treasure or that there is a treasure inside of them. The only way you can unearth human treasure is through personal development.
There are books upon books on this topic. In raising a child, the first person that has to have their mentality right is the parent. We need to understand that a child does not have potential when they start going to school or when they start passing examinations in school. The potential of a child is not necessarily limited to the world of academia. Academics should be a conduit through which any kind of potential is developed and deployed.
Raising a spirit led child would mean teaching them about the potential and possibilities that exist in them. It would mean supporting them in as many “experiments” on this as possible. The converse of this would be to let the child pass through a “system” either dictated by the culture of the day or the traditions of the past alongside other children. In other words, the worst you can do to a child is to pass them through a system that “mass-produces” people.
Interestingly, the spirit is not about “mass production”. The spirit is about uniqueness. It is about each different soul developing to their fullest potential. The best we can do perhaps is to teach children that they can shape themselves…I kid you not! The following could be instructive:
Teaching Wholesome Personal Development:
This talks about the mind, the body and the spirit. In one of the series on this blog, we talked about “seeds” and we said that the body is a seed. It needs intentional personal development to keep it in great shape. The same applies to the mind. Unfortunately, some people have come out of the school system and have literally burnt their books declaring that “education has ended” upon graduation.
Crucially, people seldom take some time to develop their own spirits if you will. That is why you find people that are not deep enough or people that are not connected to their vision or purpose in life. A spirit-led child will understand their contribution to life and what its unique meaning is to them. This is a great paradox to many people.
Teaching Self Competition
In a previous article, we talked about “self-extraction”. This is about looking at one’s potential and excavating it to the core. The correlation to that is to teach our children to, first of all, compete against themselves before they can compete against others. If anything, competing against others might not necessarily be healthy. “Is this your absolute best?” should be the rallying call. Can a child keep improving and getting better? That is the way they are going to grow.
Teaching about Personal Initiative
Personal initiative is what personal development is all about. If a child can know what time they will sleep, how long they will sleep, what time they will wake up to do what…that would be the day. I am talking about children here but I firmly know that many adults need this thing called initiative. A silent virtue with initiative is discipline. The two go hand in hand.
Spirit-led children will be those who have embraced personal development to the core. They will be living day in and out thinking of their education probably more than they think of their entertainment. I am willing to contend that one of the greatest missing links in raising children is to show them and teach them personal development. We shall carry on with these thoughts in the next article.