Children live what they learn. If a child can learn to pledge allegiance to a flag, they can also be educated in the importance of pledging an allegiance to the respect and reverence for life, for all sentient beings. It has been said that teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. It has also been suggested that if every child were taught to meditate from the age of eight, we could eradicate war in one generation. The reality of this coming to fruition would seem highly unlikely. But perhaps there could be another way to reach the minds of our youth with an equally invaluable example.
The WASIA Awareness Program will be a series of courses designed by a dedicated panel of professionals consisting of psychologists, sociologists and early childhood education specialists. Based on the Ethic of Reciprocity, a core concept of which a version can be found within all major world religions and philosophies, the program will be designed to provide children with a more solid, fundamental foundation of moral and ethical standards by teaching:
1. The art of accepting differences while recognizing and acknowledging commonalities in order to cultivate an awareness of unity.
2. The importance of mutual respect and reverence for life, for all sentient beings.
3. The significant difference in forming perspectives about others based not on what they are, but who they are.
4. The value of making decisions founded not on potential rewards or impending consequences, but rather from conscience of the mind and sentiment of the heart.
5. That we should intrinsically want for others what we inherently want for ourselves, which is the desire for happiness and the avoidance of suffering.
Acknowledged by religious and spiritual leaders, but launched from a secular platform, the program will be introduced to educational institutions worldwide with the objective of being adopted as a standard component of early childhood educational curriculum during a child's developmental years.
The anticipated effectiveness of this program is based on the Critical Mass theory, as it used in a social dynamic context where when an action or idea is adopted by a sufficient number within a social group, that action or idea then becomes self-sustaining and creates further growth.
Indeed, this a bold and ambitious endeavor, but in a world where violence and degradation seems to have become status quo, we feel that with every succeeding generation, such a program could greatly contribute towards a significant decrease in the level of global violence by helping transform a culture of complacency to a culture of compassion.
Children are the endpoints of the human evolution. When we teach a child, we touch the future. The generations we teach in the present will be teaching future generations from their past. The results will be long-term, but the time to start is now by encouraging a world where the fire in the eye would more easily concede to the fellowship of the heart. Being grounded in our spirituality creates balance and harmony within, which allows for the expression of balance and harmony without.
The key to leaving a better planet with our children is to leave better children with our planet. As human beings, we have a responsibility to guide our social development on a more positive and constructive path that will contribute to an evolution of consciousness that is based on improving relationships with ourselves, each other, and our environment.
Thoughts shape our world. We can alter our lives by altering the attitude of the mind. Small acts, when multiplied by millions, can transform the world.