I’m a parent. I’ve got 2 small children ages 2 and nearly 6. I do what all parents do; I try to teach my kids right from wrong, good from bad, proper from improper. How do I know what to teach them? It’s instinct. It’s what we all seem to know deep down inside as the difference between right and wrong. I don’t think you need to read a book to know these things, you just know them. And you pass the information along to your kids as they grow.
But somewhere along the way, we as a society have forgotten what we were all taught as children.
Why do we tell our children not to fight with each other, yet we go to war? Why do we tell our children to be kind to one another, and yet we ignore homeless people on the street? Why do we tell our children to treat people with respect, and then we ignore the suffering of the innocent because it’s “not our problem?”
Why do we tell our children to go outside and play, while we tear down trees to make room for a new mall? Why do we tell our children not to steal, and then take land from other people just because we want it? Why do we teach our children to share, while we withhold food from the hungry? Why do we tell children to apologize when they’ve hurt someone, yet we write books glorifying our victories in battle?
Why do we tell our children to play nice with others, and we spend our money creating new ways of killing each other?
Why do we bother teaching our children anything when we’re not even following our own advice?
When does it all start to break down? At what age? When do our children stop listening to what we say and start doing what we do?
What if we were to stop telling our children how to behave and started practicing what we preach? What if we started actually being kind, compassionate, loving, caring, considerate, noble, honorable, and just? What might that do for our children? And our world?