This is another of the New Age-isms that I take issue with. I am all for opening up our children and filling them with light and possibilities but I also believe in teaching them discernment and truth.
I grew up in a world where little girls, especially, were raised to be “nice.” Reduced to expectations, that meant that having an idea, opinion, feeling, or need that was not the same as other people’s – made you bad, needy and selfish. You were meant to go along with the flow, to always sacrifice yourself for others, and never ever ask for anything. Your happiness lay in making others happy. Period.
The seventies had a mini revolution to guarantee women more rights, including the right to actually self-determine their own lives and not just be a host for their partner and children to suck the life out of. Well, that is what the pamphlets said.
Today we tell our children that if they will just reflect kindness and love, if they will be positive, or visualize nice things . . . they will get nice in return. We tell them that is how the world works.
But that is absolutely NOT how it works. The world is not fair. There is no balance, where in the end, everything always gets neatly tied up in Fair Wrapping Paper bought at the Justice Store. Often the mean horrible people end up getting all the breaks and living with money and power. The bullies don’t end up alone and miserable. The nice guy frequently does finish last and he is left as the only idiot being nice, being honest, loving and respecting others while everyone else takes advantage of him. They go on to amazing success with a world that claps every time they fart and the nice dude ends up living alone, in poverty, with other people’s cats that they could not be bothered with.
We have to stop lying to people.
There are no prizes for meditating and doing your yoga every day that involve other people “getting you” and suddenly respecting you, or falling in love with you and wanting to make all your dreams come true. People aren’t subliminally influenced to give you back what you give them. They just tend to see you as an easy mark and suck you dry. THAT is the truth. Ask anyone who spends their life listening to other people’s problems and “being there”for them. Ask them how many friends they have or how many times those same people have ever been willing to listen to their sad story. How many have been there when they were down?
We don’t need any more messages that suggest we control other people in any way. Our needs are not the only ones competing for top billing in the universe. Other people are not here to meet our needs. THEY don’t ever stay awake at night worrying if we are ok.
What we can do, is master ourselves. Being kind, being truthful, having integrity . . .these are their own rewards. Period. Until we teach our children THAT is the value, we will get nowhere. All we have power over is what we do. Do what your heart tells you is right for you. If you have developed kindness for its own sake, and you have strength of character and integrity … then your conduct will automatically consider the good for others. A man who lives with integrity does not choose a course of action that tramples on the rights of others and neither does it act with the hopes that doing so will result in better actions from others towards himself. Choosing to share food when others have none, is not done for a reward or future food, but simply so one will be able to look at themselves in the mirror that night. They share and they feel at peace. They have done the right thing. They are in balance, centred. THAT is it.
And being able to live with yourself is everything. The whole world is filled with people who are so uncomfortable in their own skins that they run, doing everything they can to escape ever having to face their own failings.
Dying is about being suspended in a moment where you can no longer run. There is nowhere left to hide. You are brought face to face with the reality of who you might have been and who you actually are. and the distance between the two is the greatest distance in the world.
That moment will not be about other people and what they did or did not do. There is no-one else left, only you Were YOU kind and honest? Did YOU act with integrity? Your life is not measured in terms of what other people thought of you. You won’t even care at that point. It will be about what you think of who you are and what you have done. If you believe in God, not even He will judge you in that moment. It is all on you. Who were you? And at that moment we will either feel peace, or we will howl in gut wrenching pain.
And nothing will heal that pain. It will all be too late.
THAT is what we teach our children. We teach them to be kind and honest. We teach them to act with integrity because they owe it to themselves. The reward is that they will end up respecting themselves. They will BE love and life, other people cannot give or take love away from them. Their value can only be measured in their own hearts and is between them and their Higher Power, NOT how many followers they have on Facebook or whether or not the world considered them beautiful.