Last month we begged the question of what education actually means. We ended on the premise that the role of education is to form a harmonious development of the mental, spiritual, and physical person, with the positive formation of character being the main focus.
Why is actively engaging in our child's formation of a positive character so important anyway? There is a saying that there is "No U-Haul at the end of a hearse". That profound statement simply means that no matter how many material items a person acquires in this life, it cannot be taken with them once dead. However, good or bad, character leaves an impactful legacy.
There are character traits that just cannot be bought or its value defined. Think about it. Would you rather raise and intelligent thief or a child who may not advance in musical attainments, but has the integrity and perseverance that can bear any adversity? That type of character will make him or her successful in any line. Even though we may not have the same spiritual beliefs, I bet we can all recognize that a society with self-controlled, kind, and generous people is one that is very attractive.
Character formation can easily be compared to a growing plant. Once the seed is germinated, the formation of the plant begins. For the child, the character begins to develop either for or against the attainable positive traits that impact the spiritual, mental, and physical realm of a person. Throughout the life of the plant, there will be growth, even though one cannot see every segment of that growth. One day you look up and the plant bears fruit. The same can be said for the development of the child.
Even though one cannot see the spiritual growth as readily as the physical, you can rest assure your little one is taking in everything. I'm not sure if you have ever experienced this, but one day your little may say or do something out of the ordinary and you will say to yourself, "Now how did my child come up with that idea?" It has happened during the germination process. Remember children do as you do, not as you say.
Two essential elements to the character are the power of the will and the power of self-control. Contrary to popular belief, if your child is guided by uncontrolled passion, only headache and heartache will be the end result. So what can be done about that?
The answer is simple: If you want your child to practice patience, then you must be patient. If you want your child to practice kindness, then you must be kind. If you want your child to practice selflessness, then you must be selfless. I think you get the point. Just as your child's spiritual seed is growing, so is yours. What you put into it is what you are going to get out of it.
So whatever your faith, let's make it our point to give our children the best advantage necessary in life, which first begins with us. Children become adults, which impact the home, the community, the nation, and the world. Let us choose to be the examples of what we want our children to become.
Nikisha is the co-owner of Droolees LLC and former formal educator for over 20 years. She is passionate about the concept of true education, recognizing that the majority of learning is done outside of the classroom and that there is a stark difference between school and education. Her passion has always been teaching young people to strive for excellence and not have a victim mentality. "Live to bless others" is her motto and she and her family travel worldwide, inspiring ordinary people to live extraordinary lives in utilizing all of the talents that have been given to them.