…..is the echo after the horrific shootings at Aurora, Colorado. It is the same echo heard from all around the world by people witnessing crimes of Genocide, Rape, Murder to crimes justified by superstition and religious fanaticism.
We cry out when the proportion of crime seems unfairly large whilst we are increasingly getting immune to the encroaching violence in our living rooms, on our dinner tables by the innocent sounding entertainment packed in little slim boxes that we call Laptops, X Box, IPad and IPod. Violence is also normalized by Hollywood, Bollywood, Tollywood and Video Games.
The language of Values as well as good news that is uplifting is completely eroded from media. Intentionally or unintentionally we seem to have worked up an appetite for normalized violence. Whether we remain apathetic to what is streaming or voice our justified rationalizations in our condoning or condemnation – we have come to accept that violence is going to be a good if not better part of the society that we live in whilst lamenting for Peace & Non Violence and Beauty & Goodness.
Is there a solution to this insanity – we lament. What can we do – we cry. In our desperate attempt to find solutions, we turn our heads to blame.
If only the Government ban the gun laws……….
If only there were more mental health services………
If only people were not so fanatical in their beliefs………….
If only people were more educated…………..
Yes, all these ‘if only’s’ are solutions that can work provided we as individuals take responsibility and not shift the blame knowingly or unknowingly. Apathy arising due to helplessness in the face of enormity is also violence. It doesn’t harm others but the individual suffers as the despair increases with the situation and then falls back into deep discontentment. We settle.
Is there a better solution? Is there anything that we as individuals do to promote peaceful living? Is it enough if I am peaceful as an individual?
‘Yes’ and ‘Yes’ for the first two questions. ‘No’ for the 3rd question. We all know intuitively that as important as it is for us to be loving and peaceful in our own selves, we also have an obligation to become peace activists in the society that we live in .
How can we do that? What is a solution if not THE solution?
Actively/openly educate the children in Human Values of Love, Truth, Peace, Right Conduct and Non-Violence as soon as they can start talking . We do that when our toddlers are in our control. When they start schooling, the entire focus seems to shift onto academic learning so when they grow up they can have a secure career that will lead to happy, fulfilled, peaceful life.
Is the focus on exclusively secular education enough?
Is the Religious Education imparted in Public Schools to the willing participants enough? This religious education is mainly Christian oriented and other Religious teachings are excluded.
Is the Religious Education that is part of the Education System in Private Christian schools enough?
Are Religious schools like the Madrasas that drum the scriptures into the young minds and turn them into religious fanatics enough?
Clearly none of these models are serving the purpose. If educating the young minds is to grow up into healthy and holistic individuals, none of these models are working. They are not complete failures either. Successful individuals coming out of theses systems have other support mechanisms in place like a good family & community behind hem. Unfortunately, there are many number of children who don’t have that support and therefore flounder.
What is the solution?
Spiritual Education combined with Secular education – Education in Human Values is an answer for any number of social maladies that we are witnessing. Values are Universal and inherent in every human being. They are beyond the culture, religion divide.
We need to teach the children at home and at school the language of Love, Truth, Peace, Right Conduct and Non-Violence. It doesn’t end there. The teachers and parents and all the adults in the childs life need to be role models in living these values.
When children are actively taught about these values through simple techniques like Silent Sitting, Quotes/Affirmations, Stories, Music, Group Activity and Creative Visualisation revolving around one Situational Value at a time and the same Value is woven into the curriculum, demonstrated in action by influential adults in the child’s life, it helps the child grow holistic in all 5 personality domains.
The Five Human Values are the highest expressions of the 5 Personality domains.
Physical Domain is governed by the Value of Right Conduct
Intellectual Domain is governed by the Value of Truth
Emotional Domain is governed by the Value of Peace
Social Domain is governed by the Value of Love
Spiritual Domain is governed by the Value of Non-Violence.
Each of these values have situational values that demonstrate the value in action. Eg., Situational value for Right Conduct is Discipline, Healthy Living, Determination etc., Situational Value for Truth is Honesty, Integrity etc., When these Human Values become living breathing systems around the child, why wouldn’t the child develop holistically?
Isn’t that a solution?
Human Values are not just abstract concepts but they are interactional and transactional. They are instrumental in uplifting the individual and the society. Educational systems throughout the world need to make Education in Human Values a part of their curriculum as a direct and as an indirect approach. Every subject taught in schools from Science to Social Studies to Mathematics to Literature, have values incorporated into them. No subject is devoid of values. It would be our job as adults to make those connections for the child. We need to push for education systems to become integral education systems.
Education in Human Values is the solution for the societal maladies that we observe today. Sathya Sai Baba says:
“Just as the rays of the sun absorb water vapor from the sea, gather it as clouds, and drop it as rain on earth so that it may flow as rivers back into the sea, the senses of man contact the world and collect experiences, out of which the sacred and sustaining ones are selected, stored and utilized by the mind as values, as instruments for uplifting the individual and the society. Those values are Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Non-violence and Love. For the first four, the last value Love, is the life giving spring. They can be achieved most quickly by Love. The value of love may be best expressed as an energy permeating all of life. Love in Speech is Truth; Love in action is Right Conduct; Love in thought is Peace; Love as understanding is Non-Violence.” (Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 15, Ch 13)
What do you think?
Love to have your comments.
Until next time
With Love and Respect