Raising the Future – Part Two
Our future lies in the hands of our children and in our hands lies the future of our children. It sounds like a riddle but it’s really quite simple; how well we raise the world’s children will determine the quality of our future on earth. The most important contribution any man or woman can make to world peace and prosperity is to parent the next generation well.
The first step in doing so is to realize that none of us was perfectly parented. We all have wounds of the heart that we picked up in our journey to adulthood. As a result we all need to embark on a conscious journey of healing and restoration. At the core of this restoration process is the belief that as individuals we are valid and valuable and have something of great and unique value to offer the world. The greatest gift anyone can give to the world is to be fully alive and fully whole, living with love and compassion and using their gifts to add beauty to the world. The best parents are those who are emotionally whole, modeling to their children what it means to live life well.
Secondly we need to examine what we believe. If our belief system teaches that we are more valuable than people who are not like us, we need to question that belief. Because it’s simply not true. Every human being is of equal intrinsic value and deserves to be judged on the basis of their character and actions, nothing else. We need to embrace and adopt the universal values of love, compassion, tolerance and respect, and model these to the next generation.
Thirdly every person contemplating parenthood needs to examine both their motives for wanting a child and their readiness to raise one. Parenting should never be about the parent, it should always be about the child.The only valid reason for having a child is a desire to love, nurture, prepare and launch a well-adjusted, well equipped person into the world to make a positive contribution to humanity. It’s irresponsible and selfish to bring a child into the world for any other reason. Anyone wanting to become a parent needs to make the decision consciously and deliberately, knowing that they are willing and able to give the child everything they need to grow up into a whole, healthy adult, fully equipped for life.
Fourthly every parent needs to know that being a parent is the most important role they will ever play. And they need to commit to giving their all to this all-important task. Of course there is no such thing as a perfect parent, and that’s okay. Children don’t need perfect parents to grow up healthy and whole. They need present and engaged parents, parents who love them, are there for them; parents who put their needs first and who teach and model good values and behavior.
Finally every man and woman, whether or not they have children of their own, needs to realize that they can and must play a role in shaping the next generation.
Good mentors and role models are in short supply, and yet every man and woman has the potential to make a significant difference by actively and consciously mentoring younger people. Many children who have not had the benefit of an involved mom or dad have found what they needed in older men and women who have played the role of the missing parent in their lives. Men and women who don’t have their own children can play this role in younger lives and parents can mentor children who are not their own.%0