HOW TO MAKE YOUR WORLD HAPPIER, SAFER and more LOVING
Children, Challenge and Changes
By: J. Marlando
It seems obvious to me that we are confronted with a great many new challenges when it comes to raising children to become psychologically and emotionally healthy adults in our mostly psychologically and emotionally unhealthy world. That is, while we have obviously advanced our technology creating our bright tomorrows, much of our mentality, as a planet of cultures, remains in the dark ages of yesterday. We are still a species warring against each other in the name of ideologies and religion; still supporting executions which are justified on the pulpits of (eye-for-an-eye) radicalism; we are still locking up our cultural defectors in modern prisons, and branding them social outcasts no matter what law they broke. World scientists, in the greatest numbers, are still creating weapons of destruction and big business is still operating under the influence of social-Darwinism. The cost of living remains awkwardly high and family life is divided by the necessity of maintaining two incomes at least by the vast majority of married couples. Where innocent, happy, loving children fit into this scenario is difficult to say.
The first challenge arises with parents wanting to push their kids into enculturation as soon as they can which, in general means, to learn the ropes of maneuvering through life in the same manner the majority maneuvers through life. What are some of the earliest beliefs placed in innocent mind of the child?
Love can be leverage
Happiness arrives at the end of achievement
Minding is necessary to good behavior
Popularity is vital
Being good is rewarded
You, the reader, will be able to add to the above list but the five instructions I mention are all intrinsic to social indoctrination and the molding of a child into the status quo of adulthood. The only intrusion into the child’s mental/emotional state that I’ve left out is the most destructive of all: The instruction that teaches the child to judge others by himself and himself by others! Once this teaching has been planted in the child’s mind, he or she is probably destined to unhappiness or, in the least, frustration for the duration of his or her life. Judging ourselves by others and others by ourselves is no doubt the most negative of the common “unhappy-makers” we burden ourselves with.
One problem is that the child believes that his or her parents’ world is the world. So, at least for a few years, the world becomes his parents’ poverty or wealth; their conflicts and celebrations, joys and sorrows, pains and pleasures. And more, his or her parents will unconsciously and consciously shower their own values on him or her. Amidst this “mental indoctrinating” will typically include laughing at others who look different, poking fun at others who are different; looking up at those who have more and down at those who have less so every child makes his entrance into adulthood with a number of prejudices and biases swarming about in the deepest chambers of his or her mind. Both sexism and racism also arrive from the parents’ world of grownups!
Let’s, for a minute or two, analyze the list of five beliefs given to most children in one form or another: The message that love can be leverage means that one’s love can be used as a commodity of trade—tell Aunt Mary that you love her and she’ll bring you a nice surprise next time she visits—the child loves the person who gives him or her their way and often withdraws that love from the same person when restricted by them. This same principle is demonstrated by moms and dads who are hateful to one another. As a result, by the time the child has grown even into their teens, his or her notions of love are conditional and based on reciprocation. This, if you will, takes loving out of the heart and places it in the intellect wherein crude calculation and analysis persist. As a result “love” must necessarily answer the “what’s in it for me” question which transplants it into a social tool as opposed to a simple personal experience. When this happens, we are not really talking about loving but rather emotional leveraging.
The child is also raised to believe that happiness arrives at the end of achievement. First of all this *teaches the child that “happiness” must be earned and is somehow a reward of struggle. For example, parents will tell their child that if they study hard, get a good education that one day they will achieve their goals and be—what else—happy! It seldom ever occurs to parents to teach their children to find joy in their studies and all along their way to achievement. The grim view that study or learning is solemn and serious arrives from our old Puritan work ethic. The idea that pleasure is fundamentally wasteful if not evil.
In this regard, Sigmund Freud said that the very young child makes a shift from the “pleasure principle to the reality principle” which indicates that pleasure and reality is in opposition. This absurd teaching belongs to the religious-socio morality in which pain is somehow good for us and pleasure harmful. What we witness from this is best described by **Joseph Chilton Pearce who says, “What we witness is the toddler, a being full of exuberant inborn love of life and self, becoming the exact opposite, a self-loathing being more suited to live in Freudian culture and world.”
By the time the child becomes an adult perfect joy or happiness eludes him or her. He or she indeed has been brain-washed into believing that happiness must somehow be earned but never quite is.
*This reminds us of the wisdom and humor of Ericurus who said around 200 B.C. that, “the fool, with all his other faults, has this also; he is always getting ready to live.”
**Joseph Chilton Pearce: The Biology of Transcendence—Park Street Press
Minding is necessary to good behavior is something ground into the child’s mind from the earliest stages of his or her life. In many instances the child is told what a “good” boy or girl he or she is when he or she simply…obeys. From this concept the child typically grows up obeying authority being aimed at ending up in the center of society as opposed to any of its fringes. In this arrives the great social hypocrisy that claims to support individualism, especially rugged individualism, but then dictates what exactly the individualist is. As long as the individualist conforms to social mores and stays on the yellow line, he is admired but the individualist who doesn’t is quickly deemed a rebel or social outcast.
The socialization of a child by parents and society itself (society includes schools, churches and other systems) to follow as opposed to think. Following, in general, means without questioning or inquiry and, in a term, just going along. Society demands some of this robotizing of its citizenry in order to keep the cogs rotating the wheels of cultural consistency. That is, a society of actual, independent thinkers would challenge the system’s leadership to be, in the least, accountable and that, in itself, would dislodge if not immediately change the status quo.
Parents tend to push their children into popularity. The concept that popularity is important translates to becoming “one of the bunch” leading the child to believe that acceptance is more vital than self-assurance to survive life’s challenges. Thus *persona most often takes over the child’s personality and forms into presentation. That is, becoming what he or she believes others expect him or her to be mixed with the image one projects in order to assure the most popularity.
By the time the child is an adult, he or she has probably lost contact with his or her real self and this is another reason why we cling to social icons and symbols; political parties and other associations becoming our titles and our costumes, our wealth or our poverty, our successes or our failures.
*Persona in the Jungian sense means the mask (or personality) we wear for others to see.
Lastly the belief that being good is rewarded is a social myth that serves to keep people on the yellow line we mentioned earlier; a myth that supports “minding” as being virtuous. Parents begin this myth by praising their children’s goodness for obeying and often will gift the child with a treat of some kind. This of course is animal behaviorism at its simplest; the way to get lions to jump through hoops, elephants to dance and human beings to follow the rules.
But what are we getting at with all this?
To begin with, it is important to understand that civilization itself is an unnaturalstate. All societies are built on contrived systems wherein the few take charge of the many---this system began with the old Sumerians of some ten to fifteen thousand years ago and has not changed since. We are ever as subordinated by the demagogues of our own times as the people of ancient lands were. A most common question, asked countless times by people of our day, is with all our modernism, our advanced knowledge, our entire history to draw from why don’t we change and become a better, more secure and loving world?
One reason that we hold on to the old Dark Age mentalities is that parents and their societies keep passing down the same old beliefs from one era to the next. While those beliefs may wear different uniforms, carry different weapons and preach different motives they remain as inhumane and destructive as ever. With this in mind, one problem is that we keep raising our children to reflect our indoctrinations and superstitions while bowing to the same totems that we bow to. Certainly religions like political parties are grown because the children are indoctrinated with the parent’s beliefs. And, even when the child grows up and he or she happens to reject those beliefs, they will, in any case, still be responding to them at one level of consciousness or another.
The goal of the parent, I believe, should be to support the child in his or her natural habitat of childhood; to encourage love, kindness, compassion and understanding as opposed to obedience and adherence to other demands of social indoctrinations.
Avoid the attempt to imprison your child in your reality; your reality has been corrupted by your parents’ reality and the realities of their times. Encourage your child to think as oppose to follow. Not only to think with his or her mind but with his or her heart.
While traditionally the heart has symbolized subjective emotionalism and romantic feelings, it is well known today that the heart actually has its own intelligence. The heart directs our will toward goodness but we are socialized to reject that will for more intellectual pursuits of the brain. The brain’s intellect can close off the heart’s will and often does. Society after all is always operated by a “brain” that is isolated from the heart. This is another reason why the child should be saved from too much socialization as long as possible; he or she needs most to experience his or her openness to the world and all those in it.
In view of the above avoid indoctrinating your child with dogmas, ideologies and concepts belonging to you. Teach your child to seek the truth in his or her heart and that will be enough education to last a life time. And, from this prospective, the child will weave into socialization on his or her own.
None of this is saying that there are no social rules—every child needs to know the very fundamentals such as keeping one’s dress down and one’s pants up but this is probably all the formal socialization the child will need at least until he or she reaches school age. But even then love, kindness, compassion and understanding will prevail in all social situations and without the need to mirror others in order to fit in.
There is a challenge here, however. It is essential for the parent to treat the child with love, kindness, compassion and understanding. *The child that is neglected, mistreated or in any way unloved will enter society with those negative qualities attached, if you will, to his or her soul.
Recall that society is really made up of a collection of individuals and of course this also applies to the entire globe of cultures. And so, how the child enters society is how society will eventually unfold. This is only another way of saying that our tomorrows to come as a nation and as a world belongs to the children of today.
The children of today will merely serve to repeat human history as their parents did and their parents did (back through all the generations) as long as they are indoctrinated with the same paradigms and beliefs that their parents were indoctrinated with. The most basic indoctrination is that we live in an “us and them” world. In our minds we occupy the center while everyone else lives outside the perimeter. Those outside the perimeter of our center are different and therefore dangerous and so they must be recruited or removed. This is the basic reason the demagogues have been giving for war since the old king/gods decided they could enrich their domains through winning battles. When **Moses fought the Midians (in the name of God) the bounty was 675,000 sheep and goats, 782,000 cattle, 61000 donkeys and 32,000 virgins. Not a bad haul for a short lived war in the name of “goodness.”
We human beings should have made war obsolete at least 500 if not a 1000 years ago but we cling on to the aspects of murder and torture because we are still being raised to believe there is some kind of honor and glory in these things. Indeed, the poster child for this kind of mentality is the fundamentalist Muslim who has been brain-washed in childhood that “his” way is the only way. But when we put dogma aside what the entire world is motivated by is the drive to enlarge their centers and therefore their wealth.
There is no center…well, that is except in the concepts of one’s own mind. This is exactly what makes religion and nationalism such harmful negatives as both support the “us and them” world we have just mentioned; the praise the Lord but pass the ammunition mentality.
Children who are raised with love, kindness, compassion and understanding will not grow up to see the world like this. They will recognize that we people, no matter what our color, creed or customs, are all the same and that our differences are only apparent.
Once this view became widely accepted the world will simply become more loving and peaceful.
When we realize that most suffering around the globe including right here on the home front is unnecessary we begin to grasp that the world really could change…if the world ever actually decided to.
We’ll talk about this next.
*Our prisons are populated by men and women who were unloved and not nurtured when children.
**See Numbers 31:13-18.
Most all of us are aware that there is terrible hunger and starvation in faraway places such as Somalia, Ethiopia, the Congo and India but there is hunger virtually everywhere, indeed, in Saudi Arabia and across the U.S.A. Little of this human suffering evolves from nature but rather is caused by government systems, political corruption and just plain greed. Half the world or around 3 billion people live on less than two dollars a day and many on less than that while globally income differentials keep widening. 20 % of the global population account for 75% of world income so no matter who denies it, the old saying that tells us that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer is no longer a metaphor—in our own country millions are falling through the fracturing middle class and landing on Poverty Road.
We all see a growing population of street people if we live in a community bigger than small town U.S.A. when before the 1980s no one even imagined that such a population could, much less would ever exist in our country. The state with the greatest increase in stark poverty is Alabama. By 2011 around 25% of Alabamians could not afford to feed their families. But, another statistic tells us that 1 out of every 5 Children across the U.S. go to bed hungry every night. The 2012 predictions are looking even more downcast and there are really no statistics on people that are barely scratching out a living but under tremendous stress to do so or those who don’t have enough to eat…at least some of the time.
There are a few obvious reasons for this—State and federal nepotism and irresponsible spending by Washington certainly plays a major roll; large corporations allocating owners and top management a glutton’s share of the profits and the irresponsibility of Wall Street; the disappearance of many small businesses’ being eaten up by the conglomerates, price gauging by the medical profession, over pricing of pharmaceuticals, high pricing of mandatory insurances added to the diminishing need for physical labor and a rising cost of living already too high for a great many Americans to afford and expanding poverty and hunger is not difficult to understand.
Can this be changed?
Yes, the children who will be taking over in the next generation entering business, politics, science, religion, medicine, technologies and other enterprises can make positive changes. That is, if they enter these major arenas with empathy and so with motivations based on love, kindness, compassion and understanding. If they do, the world will necessarily unfold better, kinder and far more peaceful than it is presently. After all, the world simply does not have to be as frightened, unhappy and hungry as it is. Look, even in our own country the ghettos themselves are not constructs of dopers, drinkers and welfare-loving losers as we are typically told that they are. Instead, the stark poverty of most people living in those hopeless hell holes is merely the result of a system with interests that pamper the haves and neglect the have-nots.
We all need to awaken from the deep sleep of social engineering we’ve been dulled by as world citizens. And as a nation become an example of humaneness and true advocates of the pursuit of happiness in individual action for the rest of the world to see. And, as a result, becoming the light in the window for everyone’s tomorrows to come!
Our planet seems quite gigantic to most of us but in the universe it is less than a pin drop; a minute colony of human beings that emerged from the wilderness to launch what would come to be called civilization. From that advent evolved the city/state, dictatorships and warlords with torture, murder, coercion and rape creating most of our past as a species. Adolf Hitler certainly serves as an icon for inhumaneness but attempted genocides, and terrible (unnecessary) human suffering continues around our globe to this day; there is a continuum of hunger, starvation and illnesses that simply need not be. Indeed, one statistic tells us that if less than 1% (one percent) of what the world spends yearly on weapons, every child could be sent to school and so we ask, how many people could be fed and treated medically if 5% (5 percent) of expenditures on weapons and research into greater destructive devises was donated to those in need. We people spend over eleven billion dollars a year on ice cream and in America alone at least eight billion dollars on perfume. It just isn’t necessary for one child to go to sleep hungry especially in the world’s wealthiest country but, for that matter, not anywhere else either.
In regard to the above, it seems obvious that capitalism is evolving into the world’s economic system since even communistic and socialistic nations have adopted certain aspects of it in order to conduct trade and international banking, etc. Nevertheless, emerging after the collapse of feudalism the system of capitalism evolved, mostly defined in the U.S.A., especially because of individual property ownership rights. And capitalism played the major role in the U.S. gaining world prestige and power during the Industrial Age when American ingenuity was hailed the most inventive and productive the world had ever known. The result was becoming, in a term, the richest most powerful country on the face of the earth. So what happened…why so much poverty and struggle?
Greed and self-centeredness became the aim of capitalism giving birth to a new kind of elitism creating widespread gaps between rich and poor; feudal in its nature. Soon enough capitalism became an activity of social-Darwinism and supports that view to this day. Social-Darwinism is a choice, however, and not a condition and so it is hoped that today’s children will begin our trek into a better world by deconstructing the old monetary ways and reconstructing a compassionate capitalism; a capitalistic society that simply recognizes that, as I have already said, we are all the same and our differences are only apparent.
Most certainly we human beings have greatly advanced in our technologies but it is too obvious that we have failed to transcend the base mental structures that maintain the “us and them” worldview and forbid us to overcome our ancient reptilian natures. How difficult is it really to choose loving our neighbors and treating others as we would like to be treated?
In this regard, Mahatma Gandhi told us all that each of us had to become the changes we desire for the world. In thinking on this, I am convinced that making the world a better, safer, happier and more loving place will never be done by governments or armies. And so, it is we, the people, who must change becoming teachers of the minds and hearts of our children. After all, only if we give the children love, kindness, compassion and understanding will they be able to take those qualities into the future with them.
The Biology of Transcendence * Joseph Chilton Pearce *Park Street Press
The Crack in the Cosmic Egg * Joseph Chilton Pearce * Park Street Press
And by the author of this article:
The Politics of Childhood*J. Marlando*Merrygolds