What sort of world will our children have in 20 to 30 years from now?
What’s our legacy going to be for them?
Later on today, I am visiting some friends who have a baby daughter of 3 months old.
When I first met their newly born baby a few weeks ago, I wondered what sort of future world she could look forward to.
At the time it struck me that the only thing we can do for a child is be the best role model for them and create as loving and caring a home environment as we possibly can.
Then recently in an old journal, I came across a poem by Amanda Cater, which sums up beautifully what it takes to bring up a child.
The poem is called “If a Chid”:-
• If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn
• If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight
• If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy
• If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty
• If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient
• If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident
• If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate
• If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice
• If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith
• If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself
• If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.
It is many years since I last read this, and somehow it seems more poignant and meaningful today. It makes more sense to me today as I guess I am in a different space and perhaps more grounded.
Also, over the intervening years I have been blessed with numerous nephews and nieces and I have done a lot of work with the children at Nirvana School.
The above words ring so true for today’s world – and yet they are much more universal and not just for children.
These wise words in their simplicity offer us a way of living with each other.
Imagine how all of our relationships would change instantly, if we refrained from criticism, hostility, ridicule and shame.
So from today, get committed to live with tolerance, encouragement, praise, fairness, security and approval.
Most importantly I feel we should live with acceptance and friendship.
By treating every other human being with acceptance and friendship, all the other things will follow too.
From today, be prepared to be amazed by how much all your relationships improve as you apply Amanda Cater’s words in your life.
Please share below your experience of applying the simple principles above. And of course add your own suggestions too – no need to be shy:-)
Images courtesy of laihiu
I would like share with you an incident that took place yesterday, when I decided to behave as I would have, at age of ten.My neighbor and I have very friendly relationship, but suddenly the way she kept the windows opposite to ours half opened (usually we used have our daily conversation through windows that are kept wide open throughout the day) disturbed me a lot. I somehow felt that windows were opened just to allow the air and light and also to avoid seeing me! I couldn’t bear uneasy feeling more than two days, I didn’t want to know the reason behind it also, I just straight went to the her door,rang the bell asked her whether she was busy for the past two days, immediately I could see her confused reaction on her face which I didn’t want to comprehend either, spent nearly an hour talking various topics and came back home.
The next day morning the windows were wide open as usual! I felt the same happiness I used to get while come to terms with the classmate after a silly fight during my school days!!
After all your piece of mind is more important than anything else!!
Vijayalakshmi, thanks for sharing your story!
As you found out it’s all about acceptance and friendship, no matter how old or young you are:-)
Your post reminds me that every day we create a memory in a child – good or bad.
SA has been a democracy for over a decade but I see the fruits of the memories that were planted in the children before 1994.
Those children are now mature adults in age but immature in many other ways. A sense of lawlessness and a “could care less” attitude prevails which in turn is passed down to the younger generation. An endless cycle of destruction.
It is my prayer that we commit to live with friendship and acceptance.
Andre, thanks for sharing your heart rending story from your own life in South Africa.
Though it may seem like an endless cycle of destruction, I do believe that it’s up to us to break this pattern and more importantly, I believe we CAN.
Here’s a post I wrote a while ago about how an amazing lady in South Africa was transforming prisoners:-
The videos on the BBC.co.uk website are still viewable but only in the UK – but by reading the linked web pages you will get an idea of what really inspires me.
You can also read more at this page:-
Thanks again Andre.
If only we would ask ourselves this question each and everyday and then adjust our actions accordingly: “What sort of world will our children have in 20 to 30 years from now?”
What a beautiful poem and encouraging article. Acceptance and friendship are transformative keys. Let’s open our arms.
Sandra, what a wonderful vision – let’s all open our arms:-)
As we have both said – “What sort of world will our children have in 20 to 30 years from now?”
Let this be a guiding principle for our lives from here on.
Thank you for bringing back memories with this little inspirational poem. I used to have this on my kitchen wall, when my children were small. I have tried to adhere to it for the best part, but am sure there were times I failed. I have always tried to give my children a complete sense of acceptance and unconditional love. I think if all human beings have this, they can in turn love others while achieving their own potential founded on a solid base. This morning I saw a young boy about 18/19 years on the bus. He travels every day with his little toddler. I engaged with him this am when the baby started playing with me. He told me his little boy was two years. Both looked amazingly like each other. I complimented him as a father and told him what a wonderful job he was doing and that he should be proud. He seemed really pleased as his slightly shy demeanour, open up the great big thank you and a beaming smile. I felt he deserved this recognition. Perhaps he is a loan parent, perhaps he allows his partner to work while he stays at home to mind their little boy. Praise recognition and acknowledgment are priceless gifts for all of us and have the effect of sunlight and water on a young seedling.
Fiona – you are a shining example of how one single person can make such a huge difference to the children of today and tomorrow.
Today there is a 18/19 year old man in Dublin who is beaming and whose world is now that much brighter.
Thanks for sharing your story – I am proud to know you as one of my friends:-)
By treating others with grace and dignity, we create more of that in our lives, too.
Thanks for these important reminders.
Indeed, we get back what we give out. So yes, treat others with grace and dignity and we create more of that in our lives:-)
This post has the simplest yet most effective kind of lesson. We teach our children and everyone we meet by our own actions. If we can give kindness, compassion and respect the world will quickly fill with these values. I love you for sharing this with the world. Thank you.
Phil, thank you!
Somehow the simplity of this post has touched a chord in many people. That’s been a lesson for me too – not every article has to be a mega-post!
And here’s to more kindness, compassion and respect to all the people we meet every day.
A very inspiring post! I think everyone up to a point, is the reflection of how they are treated by others. What we experience as children has a huge impact on how our self-concept will turn out. In general, everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and if we can focus on being compassionate to others this will have a far reaching impact. To sum up, kindness is contagious! Thanks!
Welcome to my blog Joe, and thanks for your kind words.
Kindness is indeed contagious – let’s spread it and infect the whole world rapidly:-)
I have just come across your blog and this post is so simple yet so very profound! All of these values are so important to give to children and also to anyone else that we come in contact with. It can change and transform lives!
Welcome to my blog, Stacy.
As I am learning, blog articles can be profound, even if they are simple.
Let us all endeavour to change and transform the lives of everyone we meet:-)
Keeping an open heart to the world, and to natural every day miracles. The greatest miracle is that we are alive! 🙂 – then we can be compassionate with ourselves as well as to others… big hugs my firend!
Thanks Satya – for your kind words as ever and your friendship:-)