Children have always gotten the short end of the stick. They are powerless. At least, until they get big enough to take the long end of the stick from your old and feeble hands. Then who has the short end? It’s a cycle that doesn’t seem to change. Similar to the cycle of retaliation.
Why did the disciples scold the people for bringing children to Jesus? Because children were ranked among the least in that society (see my post on Serving the Least). The disciples didn’t think Jesus needed to be bothered with such trivial matters as children. It reminds me of the adults of this generation. Education appears to be the least in importance when it comes to taxes and funding. It’s the first thing cut on most city and county and state and federal budgets.
Jesus had a different opinion of children.
Because of my research about the kingdom of God/heaven, I have a new understanding of what Jesus came proclaiming. You can get the details and justification in my book about the kingdom of heaven. Now when I retranslate this text in Mark, I’m convinced our children hold the key to the development of unity in the world. Why? Because what children learn at a young age sets up what they do in when they are adults. Here’s my translation:
14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Permit the little children come to me, and do not prevent them because in these begins the development of unity (both inner and external). 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not begin the movement toward unity as a little child will not experience it.” (my translation)
The congregation I served for eleven years had a preschool. It’s was a great boost to the future development of the children who came. Early childhood education, elementary education, and high school education will determine the future of our nation and world. It always has. If we aren’t teaching unity, harmony, tolerance, beauty for the world, patience, service, equity, diversity, and love for our neighbors and enemies when they are young, they will never experience it. Instead, professionals imagine that the child who is able to memorize the most facts for standardized tests is the evidence of superior intelligence. We already have access to all the facts of the world on our iphones. You don’t have to be intelligent to look up facts. What children need is to increase their capacity for creative thinking and the ability to solve problems.
Children learn mostly from their parents and home environment. Do they learn how to enter (or not enter) the kingdom of God (the movement toward unity and the working together of all things) in their homes? Parents set an example. Some buy/allow games of war, and promote plastic weapons for children to practice treating each other like the enemy. They are taught to fear what someone else “might” do to them and they must be prepared for battle. Moses said whatever you teach your children, when they are old, they will not depart from it.
For me it points to the necessity of putting our money where our education is – into the development of harmony for future generations. This is the foundation of their adult lives. If they don’t learn love and harmony and discipline and ethics from teachers with the highest of values and passion as children, they’ll not develop the potential to achieve the purpose for which they were born. If they don’t learn methods for resolving their own inner conflicts (meditation, communication, conflict resolution), they will carry those inner conflicts into adulthood and use drugs, sugar, sex, alcohol, and violence to escape their confusion.
The money put into education today will reduce the amount of money we’ll need for national defense in the future. Children who don’t learn unity and harmony will become adults who are divided within themselves and therefore, divided with their neighbors.
And that will be the fault of this generation. What we sow is what we reap.
Is that important to you and me who are over fifty/sixty years of age? After all, we’ll never see it. That’s a very short range and selfish point of view. Are you sure you will never see the consequences of ignoring the proper education of children? It’s my humble opinion that you and I will reap what we sowed in this generation.
That will be the topic of my next book (after the one on eternal life which I’ll be finishing this fall).