Subservience of one’s individual thinking and reflection upon the prevailing social concepts without rational discernment is the beginning of the formation of a slavish mentality. That is why it is imperative for parents and those entrusted with the care of children in their preparation towards responsible adulthood to develop questioning minds which will not rest until the search for truth is reached and established. This is the only way to develop intelligent and mature individual minds in any truly human society.
Today, most institutions including religious ones, are failing in this task, not because they were already flawed from the start but because they are starting to view or have already viewed themselves as the goal in their own right, instead of as the means. The search for truth has, therefore, been sacrificed to the tools of search for truth, as it were, without using them to reach the goal in actualizing wisdom and compassion. In short, they have become complacent and in the process, corrupted, stagnant, mired in their own ignorance and dogmatism.
A child is not the property of its parents to be dictated upon and disposed of according to their whims and caprices. This is an individual entrusted to their care, much like a sapling that will become a tree in its own right. They will contribute to the society what they have learned from you, their parents. Therefore, handle with care. If you can’t do this, don’t even attempt to become a parent. This child is an entity which has already a history, some longer than yours. Do not dumb down their life experiences with concepts which have no bearing on reality or truth.
Learn from one’s own mistakes. The point of one’s existence is to acknowledge, forgive and learn and not to impose, judge and condemn.
A parent once asked my teacher, a monk, whether they should bring up their child in their own religion or not. The wise teacher replied that they should not bring them up in any one particular religion. Instead they should encourage their children to think for themselves, to constantly question and search for the truth on their own, and teach them to love truth through their own example. A child of such caliber would not be content with stock answers but would look for the solutions to nagging questions of his/her own existence and in the process, fulfill his/her own destiny. They would be able to determine, by themselves, what is true or false, what accords with truth and reality and what does not. Developing such a mindset is a much greater gift to a child than all the material riches of this world, for this would allow them to grow and mature when you are no longer physically around to guide them. You would have equipped them with the tools to deal with the trials and tribulations of life wisely and compassionately, long after you are gone.
As it stands, we are producing automatons/drones that follow the diktat of those in authority without due consideration.
For those in authority, you have responsibilities that have lasting beneficial or destructive implications upon the vast majority. Be careful. If you settle for mediocrity, for the ‘this-will-do’ mentality without striving for excellence in all your endeavors, you will have failed the society you are purported to serve but more outstandingly, you have failed yourself.
Think deeply about what motivates you in life to do the things you do. Is your mind guided by right view, right thought, right speech and right action? If not, how can you carry out or even expect to perform such a life of selfless service which is badly needed in our society today? Do you seriously intend to deliver on your promises? The masses have been debased enough by the present environment and the prevailing conditions. Are you going to add more of the same or are we serious in making the people a shining example of a society fulfilled to its highest potential?