Let Us Not Forget the Little Children

Copyright 2012 by Blair Atherton

Copyright 2012 by Blair Atherton

Children today are raised in a society that values wealth, prestige, personal appearance, and professional accomplishments. Therefore, these are the things for which our children strive. Too often these materialistic aspirations are not sufficiently complemented with spiritual values.

This is a challenge for those families that do not participate in organized religion. It takes an enormous effort and resolve on the parent’s part to introduce children to a higher being and spiritual concepts on their own at home. Consequently, spiritual matters are sometimes overlooked entirely in a child’s upbringing.

If this happens, it is regrettable because it can cast the child adrift in the sea of materialism without a compass. They may soon be lost to the dark forces that lay in waiting. They can’t help but think that the material world is all that there is. Perhaps this has contributed to some extent to the state of society today.

Maybe it is a matter of breaking things down to their most basic level. What are the central attributes of spirituality that provide us with a code by which to live? What are the guiding principles we can use to shape our behavior and become spiritual citizens of the world community?

Most important for nurturing spirituality in our children is the role model we provide. Children learn a great deal by example. The pre-teen years are perhaps the most critical for instilling the concept of a Creator and spiritual principles and values in children. We must be constantly aware of our own behavior around children and how we demonstrate spiritual values and their application in our everyday lives.

Let us not forget the little children for they will shape the society of tomorrow. Let us not forget the little children for they can help us to become better human beings.

Author’s note

I would very much like to hear from readers about how they have instilled spirituality in their young children outside of religious practice.

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Compassion and 911

 

Photo Source: looktvonline.com

Photo Source: looktvonline.com

Today is the twelfth anniversary of the 911 attack on the US. There are many reasons why people want to remember that day. One reason I want to remember this event is because it demonstrated the worst and best of humanity in stark contrast. Mass murder motivated by hatred, envy, the quest for power and notoriety, and misguided religious zeal versus an unselfish love and compassion for our fellow human beings.

On that day, there was the most massive outpouring of compassion on a worldwide basis in human history. It is truly remarkable that the overwhelming outcome of the attack was not hatred or the desire for revenge, but rather an outpouring of love and compassion.

It was a true testament to the triumph of good over evil, and it demonstrated the collective compassion of people everywhere. So you see, compassion is at the core of our divine nature as human beings. It crosses all boundaries of race, religious belief (or lack thereof), or country of origin.

On that day we were all one people, grieving the massive loss of life, and feeling deep compassion for all of those who lost loved ones. We need to find a way without disasters to allow it to become what defines us as human beings in our everyday life. We need to love without fear, reservation, or qualification.

I believe the expression of love and compassion is the secret to finding true happiness and fulfillment in life. But not just for your circle of friends and family, for people around the world, just as people everywhere did on September 11, 2001.

A Spiritual Lifestyle

Behind This Door... Copyright 2008 by Blair Atherton

Behind This Door…
Copyright 2008 by Blair Atherton

This blog has discussed what it means to be a spiritual person from a variety of perspectives. From what has been covered so far, we can begin to see the attributes of a spiritual lifestyle.

How many of us have the fortitude, commitment, and determination to actually live a spiritual life? It would seem that much of the world is headed in the opposite direction. There is immense pressure for us to conform to the materialistic, self serving, and ego driven ways of the majority. Truly spiritual people are oftentimes unseen, sometimes down trodden, and seemingly left behind in today’s fast-paced, narcissistic society.

However, in reality, it is the materialists who are being left behind. Society fosters the attitude of “live for today” without regard for the consequences of our actions for tomorrow, for the karma of this, or our next lifetime, and especially for one’s spiritual development and progression.

We are all caught up in this windstorm of materialism to varying degrees. It is all around us, and it has shaped the values of a declining society. It seems a great many people do not know any other way to live.

The disillusionment and distrust with organized religion has certainly not helped. It has resulted in not only a self imposed excommunication from religion, but also from many of the moral and scared values embedded in religious teachings. I hope that those who have left their religion have not also abandoned a belief in God.

A major theme in my writing and in my beliefs is that the most important thing whether you participate in organized religion or not is to live a life of goodness, moderation, compassion, humility, and charity. What matters most is how we treat other people. To a great extent this is what defines us as individuals and as a society.

“What would you have me do I ask [of God]?
The answer came swiftly and powerfully in a single word
That echoed and resonated in the essence of my being—LOVE!”

(This quote is an excerpt from my blog on 6/8/13 titled To What Doth My Heart Hearken?)