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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Greater Expectations

Our planet's greatest reserve is its young.

Yet, when I look at the youth of my society today in England, I see that our future adults who will take this great home of ours into their care are not ready for that responsibility. Anti-social behaviour is on the rise.

It is not just a matter of us taking responsibility for our children, but that we should also teach children to be responsible for themselves and their actions.

I believe in giving a child the freedom to learn and be nurtured through open discussion, and unless it stops violence, I do not agree with censorship. But, for these to work properly there has to be respect.

In any civilised society we all have the same values as human beings and our values have a base in our spiritual values. There is a rising trend in contemporary society to look to its social fabric to give it values, while forgetting the spiritual base. This is why we are losing "respect" as we would define it in the previous generations.

In my generation I was taught to respect elders, neighbours, the authorities and teachers. The moment that discipline breaks down what happens is a loss of respect for teachers, for your parents, your religion and the law.

It is always healthy to question authority, but being an activist or liberal doesn't mean you have to be a libertine, or that you have to create havoc to make a point. Respect is the keyword here.

I was also taught to share an empathy with my neighbour, and to always try and see from the point of view of others, too.

With respect for others comes self-respect, and leads us to hold greater expectations for ourselves - to do more and to be more.

It is a simple equation; for example the more good you do, the more praise you get and the better you'll feel. Once you've stockpiled that positive energy, even if you don't receive praise for the good you do it won't matter - because you'll feel good enough already.

Your spiritual base doesn't have to be one of the world religions, it could be the spirit within you. It is merely the requisite to open your eyes and ears to your own soul, and know that it is more important to go to bed with your conscience first, and not just your own particular Bible.

This is what we have to teach our young, if they are to have any worthy inheritance to leave their own children.

My Life Handbook: Part three: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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