So the other day I was having a conversation with some friends about our kids. I myself am a single father of two boys. We were chatting up about how kids seem to develop and grow into their own person regardless of what we teach them and how we intend to raise them. We discussed how they all develop their own personality even though they live in the same house and we raise them the same way.
This really got me thinking. I mean, if you are a parent yourself you’ll start to realize (if you haven’t already) that no matter what you tell them, how you raise them, or what you teach them- they will grow into their own person with their own ideals and ways of viewing the world.
Although we may have our own personal beliefs about the Universe, religion, or politics, those are only OUR personal beliefs. Meaning that someone, at some point, told us what ‘THEY’ believed was true regarding the Universe, religion, or politics and we accepted them as truth. In discussing this, I was sharing how I overheard my 8 year old tell my 11 year old how thousands of years ago people were killed if they didn’t believe and/or accepted the teachings of ‘the church’- and how today, they don’t set out to kill people to convert them, rather they use the fear of hell to get them to believe ‘the church’.
To me, I choose to let my kids question what they are told before they accept it as truth. I try to let them find their path and discover answers to questions by looking within instead of asking another person for an answer. I teach them to be thinkers and to ask questions that will give them proper answers.
Having myself been raised in a religious home, it pains me to know that I had to learn the hard way that the world isn’t as black and white as our leaders/preachers/parents teach us in most cases. It took me years of doing my own research and soul searching to find the peace I had longed for and couldn’t find in any religion. And I choose to let my kids start now, while they are still young. This done because I have experienced first hand what it’s like to be told NOT to question, NOT to let go of dogma, NOT to leave the church- resulting in almost a third of my life longing for answers that were within me all along but couldn’t access because I was bound by the chains of the very thing that was supposed to protect me. And this is NOT something I want my kids to experience.
I do believe that we must first find ourselves. We must know ourselves. We must know who we are and what our purpose and mission is in life. We then make ourselves the example we want our kids to follow should they choose to. Yes, we have deep beliefs embedded into our subconscious but, we CANNOT force them on our kids the way they forced them onto people thousands of years ago.
We are now in a new age and each day more and more people are waking up to the reality that there is more to life than what we are seeing. There is hope. There is truth and answers. And it starts by knowing who we are and why we are.
You must find for yourself what you truly stand for and why you are here. Why were you born? Why are you alive today? I challenge you to do some soul searching. Look within and ask what your mission and purpose is in life. And once you have an answer, ACT on it right away! Everyone has a purpose, EVERYONE. The problem is that we let our daily obligations stand in the way. We let the worry of bills/rent/obligations stand at the doors of our dreams.
Kids have dreams, and they dream without worry about HOW they’ll experience their dream. But then we parents come along and tell them what is reasonable and/or possible and shrink their dreams down to a reality that consists of having a secure job with a hope to retire well. This is NOT what life is about! Life is NOT about getting a job! Life is NOT about planning retirement! It is about living in the moment and experiencing the feelings of being human; experiencing life in all its glory; experiencing pain and pleasure and embracing it. Keyword: EXPERIENCE.
So how should you raise your kids? No one should tell you how to do that. All you can do is live in such a way that they will want to emulate you when they are grown.
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