After seven years of being an independent mother, I have learned that there are many paths to survival, but only a few that lead to a truly thriving life.
As a child, I idolized environmental activists like Jane Goodall and researched several ways I could be mindful of our planet’s health. From my travels to diverse lands, I have assimilated many perspectives of human needs, greeds, deceptions, lifestyles, inspirations, hardships and triumphs.
I believe there is a widespread feeling that our world is at a tipping point—one that can leave a huge responsibility to our next generation.
I see too many children who are replacing personal connection and experience with technology. I see teenagers who are suffering from a distorted concept of self and adults with new breeds of chronic diseases. I find it hard to fathom that our children’s generation is expected to have a shorter lifespan than ours because of the growing rate of cancer from environment, food toxins and emotional trauma.
Raising children must never be a work of fear, obligation or financial stress. If so, the entire meaning of life is just arduous and tense.
Our children are the most important reason we are alive. They are meant to carry on our genes, our intelligence, our brilliance and our light. So how are we to lead them?
I find it incredibly helpful and reassuring to compose a set of ideas of some of the things we can do with our kids to help them along their honorable path to becoming vital world caretakers:
Ensuring a vibrant connection with nature.
Children are most inspired outdoors, experiencing nature in all its majesty. No plans or gear required. Just being somewhere naturally beautiful will inspire all kinds of fun. If children don’t know what is important to care for, why should they want to save it?
Sustainable food sources are going to be a key to survival in our children’s future. Learning how to plant a garden and care for animals are valuable experiences for them.
To read is to be freed.
Reading to kids is a great way to inspire freedom and independence, because once they have the ability and passion to read, they can research all the information they need to nourish their minds’ growth. They are going to need to understand all they can to learn from our history of mistakes and triumphs!
Helping children nourish their senses is so crucial for their development. Children are much more connected to other dimensions and their own bodies than most adults. They may not know how to express this information, but if we encourage them to explore their imagination and love who they are, then they might find a way to relay their enlightened perspectives in one way or another.
Being unafraid of exposure to world events.
If children see what is happening in the global society, they will harbor an appreciation for their life, and it will plant a seed of tolerance and understanding. Of course, depending on the age of the child, information must be broken down so they know what we are talking about. Speaking to them as are intelligent beings will help their intelligence flourish.
I believe that the more diverse people children meet, the more they can build a fascination and respect for various cultural practices. Taking children to cultural events, cooking a traditional meal for them or even just reading a book about folk songs and rituals will help expand their curiosity and passion for understanding others.
Any sort of volunteer work or small act of generosity that a child can participate in can really resonate to their core and make them feel that they made a big difference. When they see us handing out food to a homeless person, donating clothes and toys to charity, speaking compassionately to all we meet and taking the time to help others in any way possible, they incorporate those attributes in the emotionally charged areas of their brain and memory. If we can step out of our own minds and acknowledge others around us, our children can learn how important it is that we come together as a global community to care for each other.
Considering the big picture, and not sweating the small stuff.
This can be the hardest thing for so many of us, and it’s reflected in our children. This is a lifelong practice for those who are more sensitive or perfectionist, but I believe it’s a major virtue. If we can focus on what really matters at all times and not get caught up in life’s inevitable frustrations, then our children can handle their emotions much more easily.
Building a sense of security from within.
No matter what happens in the next 10 years, 20 years or 10 minutes, our children must feel that everything is going to be okay in order to live to their highest potential. They must know that their life is worth living, no matter what. If we instill in their minds and hearts how important it is to be strong, courageous and light-bearing beings, then they will truly feel that it is their calling to save our planet. We can read them stories of the many great people in history (or mythology) who have had the courage and strength to help others in order to emphasize the concepts of self-sacrifice, selfless love and courageous compassion.
Every day I ask myself what more I can do for my children and their future. I tend to feel that I need more help from a more intimate sense of community. Nourishment from the community can come in many forms, including online forums and blogs. We can broaden our awareness of and appreciation for the dedicated workers aiming to share ideas of what our human consciousness can achieve for our planet’s future. Perhaps soon more people will check out books at the library about planting a garden, learn a native legend of mother earth or even take their children somewhere beautiful more often to truly enjoy being alive in a living world where all beings can appreciate each other. This is my wish for us and all the lives that we and our children touch.
Author: Eleyah Knight
Editor: Toby Israel
Photo: Bre LaRow/Flickr // Author’s Own