Much of what we know and understand about happiness, respect and self worth is taught to us as children. The foundations for happiness and contentment are taught to us at an early age and have long reaching effects into our futures. Long before even media, our peers and life takes over, our homes are where the basics are being set.
I realize this very clearly now.
My parents were responsible for showing me how to be happy and respectful and they were constantly showing me by their example. I am a product of what they taught and what I have learned for myself.
I can’t help but notice that many of the children born in the last several decades seem to have been raised with the expectation that happiness comes from gifts, holidays, the best schools, constant validation, money, constant attention, being given the rights and opportunity as adults yet little responsibilities and consequences to accompany them… in short, we are breeding away the ability to know real life skills and happiness by the way we are parenting and raising future generations.
What will happen when these children become adults and realize that life is very different and happiness as they knew it does not happen as they expected or were instructed?
Probably the best gift my own childhood gave me is that happiness was my own responsibility and the product of my own endeavors. Not given through money, indulgence, parental adoration or being treated as though I was the centre of their universe.
Arguably this made it harder to establish my own self worth, but perhaps this comes through our experiences and failures? From life lessons?
Many parents todaywish to adore and shower their children with the possessions and opportunities that they themselves never had, but does this produce respectful, happy, resilient, dedicated and hard working adults? In short, are we breeding unhappiness and unrealistic expectations for our young people and our future leaders?
What happens when tragedy or difficulties occur? What happens when we don’t get what we want or when life goes very differently from what we were told?
Nobody expects to grow up and become ill or disabled! No one is taught how to create happiness from these situations! But life never goes as planned and many, many people are affected by sickness and disability. Many, many millions!
No matter how hard we work or how much we give out to others it doesn’t mean we are guaranteed a pain free or successful life… it also doesn’t mean that we are unworthy or lesser human beings. Perhaps this is worth teaching the young minds of today too?