Today’s hectic pace, as discussed previously, makes for increased
pressure on our family life.
Our education systems implicitly and explicitly place a huge
emphasis on competition, materialism, and getting ahead. Good and
necessary as that may be, things are out of balance.
Education is also all about developing our character, gaining
self-knowledge, learning about mankind, and opening our hearts. I
therefore feel that education should be called educare. Educare contains
the word care. Sounds warm, doesn’t it? This is how education should
be – enabling the child to develop and manifest his or her own inner
wisdom and beauty.
Human values are the most powerful tool you can use to improve
yourself to empower your family and to make the world a better place
for all of mankind.
There is a dramatic increase in violence in schools – and everywhere
in society for that matter. I recall giving a human values workshop at
a school in the Netherlands somewhere in the 1990s. At that point,
European parents were a bit concerned about increased reports in the US
media about shootings at schools. The parents present at the workshop
were convinced this was an isolated US situation. I calmly told them
that, notwithstanding my everlasting optimism, they were wrong and
that there could be violence of that same nature at our schools, both at
the middle school as well as the high school levels.
Regrettably, I was right. The last decade in Europe has been rife with
stabbings, death threats to teachers, shootings, killings, and increased
violence of every possible kind. Documentation of these tragedies is
available in old news records of almost every European nation.
The number of suicides amongst students is increasing in many
nations. The number of students who have taken their own lives in
England and Wales has increased dramatically since the start of the
recession. Between 2007 and 2011, suicides by male students in fulltime
higher education grew by 36 per cent, from 57 to 78 suicides,
while female student suicides almost doubled from 18 to 34, according
to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
(http:// www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/2012/ nov/30/
Many psychiatrists and psychologists report a whole new target
group in their practices – primary schoolchildren with stress and
burnout symptoms. Let me repeat that. Primary schoolchildren with
stress and burnout symptoms are unable to cope mentally.
To stop this escalation of violence, inhumanness, stress, and misery,
human values are much needed.
Fighting against violence is completely futile. And by fighting, I
mean you must refute violence completely, becoming an activist against
it, and so on. But there is something else that you can do.
When you enter a dark room, what do you do? Do you start yelling
and shouting that there needs to be light? Do you send a letter to your
congressman? Of course not! You switch on the light.
Perhaps it is a funny example; however, it is the most appropriate
one of the fight against violence. The only remedy is to turn on the light.
In our case, this means the application of human values.
Because our society is mainly dominated by financial values, it is
a good idea to balance that out by explicitly using some human values.
Almost everyone has some idea of what human values are. Usually,
respect and peace are mentioned and honesty as well. The Indian leader,
Gandhi, was a fine example of freeing an entire nation from a tyrannical
and violent rule by the British occupiers through the application of
nonviolence and passive resistance.
Most values can be related to five human values that are all
interconnected: love, peace, truth (honesty), right conduct and non-violence.
You can find more out about my parenting methodology in my book, Oops The Parenting Handbook.
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