What happens when adults truly value and honor humanity’s children as the amazing beings that they are?
I’ve asked this question before. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard many responses. And the ones that I have heard are mostly full of unrealistic paranoia. Many people seem utterly afraid of the question. They are afraid to really see children as amazing beings. They are worried that anything other than good things will come of it, presumably because the bizarre idea that kids are “lesser beings” — incompetent, broken, and dangerous — compared to adults has been drilled into them since, well, since they were children themselves.
But if one can get past that operant conditioning of such an insane form of inferiority complex, one can really begin to consider the real possibilities of what happens when we adults learn to honestly respect children, and to recognize the awesome and unique power of their brains and bodies.
to advance child honoring as a universal ethic: a holistic code of conduct with a children-first approach to transforming society and restoring our ecosystems.
Yes, children are different from adults, and that’s important to be aware of. They offer the world not only a less prejudiced awareness of reality, but also knowledge that is far closer to the source of nature and science, as they are still very much governed by the most evolved instincts of life itself.
In other words, kids inherently know more about how to survive, grow, and be healthy than adults. Kids know more about what quality food, water, air, warmth, sunlight is, and know more about how to best express their body’s excess matter and energy. Once we realize this we can not only learn to trust, respect, and cherish human children, but we can learn invaluable information from them that will solve many of human kind’s current physical and mental health problems. Kids are kind of like the canaries in the coal mine, they are more sensitive to environmental toxins and deficiencies than adults. When kids aren’t happy and healthy, we automatically know something is very wrong with their environment, and we can look to them for solutions about what they need. This means we adults will have to become fluent in the language of young people and to really, really listen to kids for a change, as opposed to the ineffective approach of lecturing at and ordering around children.
When we look at human kids as being the most natural experts for assessing the basic human needs for physical, emotional, and intellectual health, then we will finally learn how to most effectively be the best humans possible.
And if you aren’t totally convinced yet, just consider the current Dalai Lama. As a young child, the adults around him believed that he was the most important being in the world, and treated him as such. His Holiness was given pretty much all he needed — from the basic physical requirements of life, to emotional belongingness and respect, to a world of ideas and technology (even if he did have to sneak out to play with it sometimes!) — so that he could grow into his best possible self. And because of this he become, perhaps, the most compassionate, intelligent, honest, curious, unprejudiced, and brave human being on the planet. Now, maybe he really was the reincarnated Dalai Lama and would always have become such a great human being, but I’m putting my money on the way he was raised — believing in himself, and being given nearly all any human needs to become their best self — as the primary cause of his exceptionally healthy emotional and intellectual and spiritual development.
For now that’s only a sample size of one, but it’s far more than a good enough finding to warrant many, many more long term experiments of truly honoring, cherishing, and treasuring children, and giving them only the best quality resources that they want, to see if we can indeed raise a generation of the best humans ever, don’t you agree?
Instead of filling them full of whatever random junk we have kicking around in our big box stores and such, and forcing kids to try to survive off of low quality mass market matter and energy that turns them into either mindless addicts or leads them into some other form of mental and physical illness (literally “spoiling” them), we can focus our public and private energies towards truly serving the children’s real physical, emotional, and intellectual needs as the children, themselves, most clearly desire. We can combine adult’s learned knowledge of what is actively harmful (pollution, industrial chemicals, highly processed and degraded resources, heavy things moving at high speeds, dishonesty, etc.) and helpful (fresh foods, clean air and water, comfortable shelter, factual information, etc.), with kids’ inherent knowledge of what their own bodies need for growth, to help us gain a far more effective approach to taking excellent care of us all.
It may not be easy to learn how to respect children and all of their desires and motivations as being extremely important and valuable, but it’s well worth the investment of time and energy to do so, if we want our species to not just survive, but to really thrive well in the future…