Guiding the Souls of Tomorrow
By Beverley Danziger
“Parenting is one of the most awesome responsibilities on this planet,” even more so for those who believe we are spiritual beings here for a specific reason — a life purpose. Can we think of a greater commitment, or privilege than that of bringing a child into physical birth? To nurture the body, to guide and control the emotional nature, and to nurture and protect the mind, all done in seriousness and the best interest of that child.
This is an awesome responsibility which requires an ongoing flow of love, self-sacrifice, and intuitive intelligence. A very powerful, advanced soul may be able to overcome bad parenting; however the majority of children are completely at the mercy of the parenting they receive.
It could be said that every newborn child has two primary opportunities before it is born: to work through lessons and discover his or her mission — a life purpose which will emerge in time, if encouraged and fostered. How many people do we know who have a clear sense of why they are here, and what they are supposed to be doing? What gets in the way of this soul purpose surfacing and being fulfilled?
The strongest message most children receive starting from birth is that our natural out-flowing energies should be reversed and directed inward towards the little self. In other words the child learns early on that he/she is special and that to fulfill desire is of the utmost importance. This “I want” syndrome is introduced and fostered almost immediately in the child. “I want this; I wish I had; if only I had; I can’t wait until; I won’t be happy unless I have.”
We shower the child with attention and “stuff” (material goods), and fuel their desire to always be the center of attention, and the habit of fulfilling their desire as a means of finding happiness, and of justifying their existence. Thus the innocent purity that entrusted us with the responsibility of aiding the natural development within this fragile form is covered blanket by blanket, hiding the natural radiance and beauty.
At every turn the child learns desire, first from his parents, from other relatives, friends and teachers. The child is not taught to understand, or control desire; he sees few examples of adults with a discriminating use of desire. Thus the child becomes a slave to his desire. The innate soulful “flow” away from the little self is reversed and flows inward. And so, at a very early age the child is already trapped, locked in a lifetime where emotions dominate and conspire to fulfill every desire.
Parents don’t commit these errors out of carelessness, unconcern, or irresponsibility. It is simply all we have known. How can we criticize the child for being selfish or self-centered if that is all that he has been exposed to? Desire has made him a prisoner to selfishness. Desire, itself, is not wrong. It is greatly misused. Desire gives us the ability to recover again and again from setbacks and disappointments; but if that is all there is, it leaves us empty in the end. The goal is not to rid ourselves of desire but to raise the energy of desire so it becomes transmuted gradually into aspiration, reversing the “flow” this time, in its natural out-flowing direction. The child is then motivated to use this new energy in the form of service to others. It follows the spirit of service, for the strongest drive of the human soul is to serve.
Desire anchors us to Earth and creates the conditions for unhappiness, disappointment and self pity. Aspiration gives us our first real opportunity to glimpse the deepest inner nature, the Soul Self in expression. A child who is helped to achieve a balance between aspiration and desire will have options available to him or her as an adult that relatively few people on Earth have discovered.
The biggest enemy of uncontrolled desire is structure, regulation and discipline. Children need structure, regulation and discipline; the soul begs this of parents. Discipline and structure encourage the inner soul qualities to emerge, to find expression in the personality, to be represented in the outside world. It is important to remember that discipline does not always have to be “imposed”; it can be “acquired.”
The most balanced and stable children are those whose parents are most consistent in setting the boundaries of behavior and parental expectations. Discipline is employed from a bond of love and interest, and not from irritation when the parent’s own desires are infringed upon. Discipline learned and practiced early in life will serve a person well for their entire life.
Guiding the souls of tomorrow is our responsibility. Every child potentially possesses great wisdom, love and awareness, awaiting only the opportunity to serve. The child can express these qualities only if his or her personality is provided the necessary environment in which to blossom. Our parenting can mean the difference of a child living and fulfilling its purpose in life, or wasting that life trapped in a physical body, and slave to its desires and emotions.
The parent who chooses to teach aspiration needs to be strong, and find inner resolve. This is no easy task. For those who are willing to take this harder, higher path in parenting, congratulations, know you are not alone, assistance can be sought from the Parenting Initiative.
The Parenting Initiative is a joint project of Human Service Alliance/Center for
Purposeful Living and TRP Enterprises, Inc. located in Winston-Salem, NC.
Programs are provided to sponsoring organizations at no charge except for the
cost of material and travel. To make arrangements for a PI program to be
presented in your community, please contact the PI by calling (336) 761-8745 or
For more information about the Parenting Initiative program, including an online video, go to www.trpnet.com and scroll down to “TRP Parenting”.
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