Media reports show that youth violence is on the rise. We find children fighting and even killing each other due to prejudices and hatred. How could such young, pure, and innocent children be involved in such tragic crimes?
Children learn from adult role models. When they see adults expressing prejudice and bigotry, they think that is the way to be. Our children are innocent and pure at heart, but they learn from our example. If we teach them to lie, they will lie. If we teach them to steal, they will steal. If we teach them to hate, they will hate. Instead, if we teach them to be loving, truthful and kind, they will be loving truthful and kind.
From the moment they are born, they are being influenced by the environment. They are learning to speak what they hear, and are learning to act in the manner they see the adults around them acting. We cannot hide what we do, from our children.
Do we want them to grow up to be kind or cruel? The choice is ours to make.
We as parents and adults need to make sure that every word and deed gives out the sweetness of respect, tolerance and concern for all people. If we let out a word of prejudice towards another group of people due to differences in culture, nationalities, or social and economic background, children are bound to absorb that and make it a part of themselves. For us not to speak and act in a manner that is prejudiced, we must even guard our thoughts. Human unity begins with an inner acceptance and realisation that we are all part of one family.
Our differences are a part of the beauty of creation, just that there are many different coloured flowers in a garden. If we appreciate our differences, then they will radiate to the young. They too will grow up in a way that they will accept and appreciate all others. This is the first step towards world peace.
An effective method to make human unity a living reality is through daily, silent meditation that helps us commune with our true Self and the divine Power that created us. Those moments are filled with bliss, peace and love. In the inner sanctum of our hearts, there is Light within us. That Light is the Light of the Creator. The realisation dawns on us that the same Light that is within us is in all other human beings. We start to recognise that Light within others. Then the outer differences that separate us start to dissolve. We no longer see the way people dress or speak. Instead we see one Light expressed by many different outer coverings, each beautiful in its own way. So, by sitting in meditation we can increase our own understanding of unity. We will then radiate that example to others.
The young need exposure to adults who are examples of these values so that they can imbibe these qualities. If they see us meditating, they too will learn to meditate and be peaceful.
Along with that they learn the values of non-violence, truthfulness, humility and purity, having love for all and performing selfless service. If we wish to make the world safe and peaceful for our children, parents need to become positive role models.
The writer is the Spiritual Head and President of Science of Spirituality outside India. [Courtesy –ToI]