07/16/2010 § Leave a comment
4. LOVE AND HELP CHILDREN.
Today’s children will become tomorrow’s civilization. Bringing a child into the world today is a little bit like dropping one into a tiger’s cage. Children can’t handle their environment and they have no real resources. They need love and help to make it.
It is a delicate problem to discuss. There are almost as many theories on how to raise a child or not raise him as there are parents. Yet if one does it wrong much grief can result and one may even complicate his or her own later years. Some try to raise children the way they were themselves raised, others attempt the exact opposite, many hold to an idea that children should just be let grow on their own. None of these guarantee success. The last method is based on a materialistic idea that the development of the child parallels the evolutionary history of the race; that in some magical way, unexplained, the “nerves” of the child will “ripen” as he or she grows older and the result will be a moral, well-behaving adult. Although the theory is disproven with ease—simply by noticing the large criminal population whose nerves somehow did not ripen—it is a lazy way to raise children and achieves some popularity. It doesn’t take care of your civilization’s future or your older years.
A child is a little bit like a blank slate. If you write the wrong things on it, it will say the wrong things. But, unlike a slate, a child can begin to do the writing: the child tends to write what has been written already. The problem is complicated by the fact that, while most children are capable of great decency, a few are born insane and, today, some are even born as drug addicts: but such cases are an unusual few.
It does no good just to try to “buy” the child with an overwhelm of toys and possessions or to smother and protect the child: the result can be pretty awful.
One has to make up his mind what he is trying to get the child to become: this is modified by several things: (a) what the child basically can become due to inherent make-up and potential; (b) what the child really wants to become; (c) what one wants the child to become; (d) the resources available. But remember that whatever these all add up to, the child will not survive well unless he or she eventually becomes self-reliant and very moral. Otherwise the end product is likely to be a liability to everyone including the child.
Whatever one’s affection for the child, remember that the child cannot survive well in the long run if he or she does not have his or her feet put on the way to survival. It will be no accident if the child goes wrong: the contemporary society is tailor-made for a child’s failure.
It will help enormously if you obtain a child’s understanding of and agreement to follow the precepts contained in this The Way To Happiness book.
What does have a workability is simply to try to be the child’s friend. It is certainly true that a child needs friends. Try to find out what a child’s problem really is and, without crushing their own solutions, try to help solve them. Observe them—and this applies even to babies. Listen to what children tell you about their lives. Let them help—if you don’t, they become overwhelmed with a sense of obligation which they then must repress.
It will help the child enormously if you obtain understanding of and agreement to this way to happiness and get him or her to follow it. It could have an enormous effect on the child’s survival—and yours.
A child factually does not do well without love. Most children have an abundance of it to return.
The way to happiness
has on its route the loving and
the helping of children from babyhood
to the brink of adult life.
From a child’s point of view, parents are sometimes hard to understand.
There are differences between generations. But truthfully, this is no barrier. When one is weak, it is a temptation to take refuge in subterfuges and lies: it is this which builds the wall.
Children can reconcile their differences with their parents. Before any shouting begins, one can at least try to talk it over quietly. If the child is frank and honest, there cannot help but be an appeal that will reach. It is often possible to attain a compromise where both sides now understand and can agree. It is not always easy to get along with others but one should try.
One cannot overlook the fact that almost always, parents are acting from a very strong desire to do what they believe to be best for the child.
Children are indebted to their parents for their upbringing—if the parents did so. While some parents are so fiercely independent that they will accept no return on the obligation, it is nevertheless true that there often comes a time when it is the turn of the younger generation to care for their parents.
In spite of all, one must remember that they are the only parents one has. And as such, no matter what, one should honor them and help them.
The way to happiness includes
being on good terms with one’s parents
or those who brought one up.
honor: to show respect for; to treat with deference and courtesy.
compromise: a settlement of differences in which each side gives in on some point while retaining others and reaching a mutual agreement thereby.
moral: able to know right from wrong in conduct; deciding and acting from that