the past ten articles or so, I have been sharing on the subject of the spirit. I defined this as who we really are at the very core. We are spirit. I also talked about the spirit that is in organizations and some of the characteristics of organizations with an excellent spirit.
It was only logical that I also talk about the spirit with which we raise our children. I have talked about the traditions and cultures that we revert to while raising our young men and women. We have seen that for the most part, issues related to the spirit are always negated. We find ourselves boxed into a way of thinking that is hell bent on “making it in life” and we forget about the essence of life after all.
The spirit is about fuller expansion and growth. It is about others for the most part, but not before we are fully deployed in our potential. If we learn to listen to the spirit more often, we will hear the voice of creativity and creation. We will hear the voice of innovation and growth. We will also hear the voice of reaching out to others and making this world a much better place than we found it. In other words, spirit is not just about us, it is at the core, about others.
We live in a world that is increasingly competitive, transactional, petty, selfish, and more “liberal” with everything. Our selfishness is causing us to redefine norms and standards and even use constitutions to protect our selfishness. People seldom think about others, but only themselves. There will be cries about “minorities” which in many cases are valid. However, in some extreme cases, whenever you hear cries about minorities, the spirit behind that cry is a selfish, shallow, self-centred cry that wants its own comfort.
The spirit though is balanced. The spirit as already shared wants you to cherish your full self but not from the point of view of what’s in it for you. No. It is from the point of view of how beneficial can your full self be to society. I have learnt that to be humane in this day and age is no longer by default…especially when we are raising children in this age. To be humane we have to be intentional about it.
There is that selfless, giving heart that is in all of us championed by our spirits just waiting to be tapped into. Our selflessness is perhaps one of the most starved parts of our spirits at the altar of our quest to “make it in life”. On the other hand, selfishness is so prevalent that it is becoming a culture of its own. I want my children to truly care for other people. The following are the characteristics of a selfish spirit:
To be selfish is to think of oneself at all times. Inherently, this dims your vision for you cannot have a great vision that is not involving the betterment of other people. True, you might ascend to levels high in many spheres of society, but as long as you are not impacting or influencing the world, your vision and sight are dim and limited. Very few people ever make it in life being driven by selfish ambition. Those who do will always end up destroying their world or the world itself.
If your child grows up in a selfish environment, they will end up looking at life as if it’s always half empty a glass. I have learnt thought that the spirit of selflessness is not all about an abundance of resources. The spirit of giving is about the spirit not about the resources. You have seen people living in abundance failing to be humane and those living in absolute luck showing mercy to others. Somehow, they are able to identify with their situations. I would love my children to have an overflowing heart that is ready to give ready to share because they know that there is more of what they are giving where it came from…and I want to do the same too.
I know have talked about this in a previous article. A competitive spirit at the core of it all is selfish. I do not know how I can put this clearly without sounding self-righteous but let me attempt. If you want to be “the best” for the sake of just being the best, that is a selfish spirit. If you want to be the best so as to answer the call of the spirit to be the best version of yourself so that you can use the platform you have acquired to help, to inspire, to challenge, to lead and to motivate, then be exactly that. If the very epitome of competing is just to win, then at the core of it all, it is selfishness.
I tell you, the baggage that comes with selfishness is a heavy load. I happen to know a well to do family that ostracized their neighbours who are way below them on the economic scale. There has been name-calling, court cases and all the negative energy that has its central spirit as selfishness. The contrary is like night and day, but I will talk about it in the next article. I do not want my children to have this selfish spirit with them for it will curtail their creativity and waste so much of their time.
With the example above, the family that has more and is selfish has not been satisfied. They want more, and unfortunately, they think that to get more, you have to get some of those who have less. I know of bosses who do not remit their employees National Social Security Funds! They deduct it from their salaries but do not pay it! They go ahead and eat as much as they can from what is entitled to their employees. The spirit of selfishness is insatiable. There will never be enough to satisfy that spirit. It is a spirit of utmost greed. That spirit is fueled with the scarcity mentality—there is less and less the more we get more and more!
All in all, you do not want your children in any way to be raised without being humane. To raise spirit-led children is to raise children who are humane at heart. If we can do this, we will be leaving the world a much better place than it is today.