Monday, January 25, 2010

Growing the Garden

Remember that children,
marriages, and flower gardens
reflect the kind of care they get.

~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I love gardening.  Starting seeds in early Spring in the house, with good soil and regular water and as much sun as the Portland sky will permit.  When the seedling grows strong enough, I begin to prepare the world outside for its debut.  I soften the soil for it, add some rich compost, and then, at last, plant the tender roots into the Great Mother Earth.  Then comes the watching, weeding, feeding and care that will bring the plant full circle.

Caring for the ones we love, especially our children, is far more consequential to all of society.  Raffi, the singer/songwriter of children's songs took his mission a step further, creating a covenant of child honouring.  I wrote a blog on his idea back in September 2007 .  Today I revisited Raffi's site to see what progress he's made on this mission.  Just this month the Centre for Child Honouring opened its doors in British Columbia.  They are reaching out to educator's, parents and all adults to help foster in this compassionate revolution.  We must restructure our thinking so that our most vulnerable world citizens, our children, are always the first consideration.  If we honor the child, we must also honor the mother and the father.  It means engaging in nonviolence in our parenting styles, but also in the world and it's conflicts.  Nothing could be more detrimental than living in a conflict zone.  Being dedicated to the child is without borders.  The children of Sudan, Palestine, Burma, India, China, Sri Lanka, etc., all need to be honoured and allowed to grow in a healthy and loving environment. 

There are three actions highlighted by the Centre.  One is for the environment, changing to chlorine-free paper.  Anything good for the planet is good for the child.  The second action item is nonviolence - including an end to corporal punishment in our world.  And finally a call for a commercial free childhood.  Our children are not for sale! Commercialism breaks family bonds, causing conflict between children and parents. 

These actions are a beginning point only.  I'd like to add a few child honouring practices to the list;
  • disarmament - a world with a nuclear arsenal is not child centered or life centered.  Vigil, write letters, and stay informed and involved in the effort to eradicate this evil from our world.
  • An end to war.  
  • Outreach to areas where guns are common in the home to help foster a desire to disarm.  Too many children are harmed by home firearms. It's an unnecessary danger.
  • Less violence in the media (including video games) and more family centered programming.
  • Connecting children of the global North to counterparts in the South so that they learn from each other, and help each other.  Think without borders.
If you think of other actions to move our world to a better place for children, please add them to the comment section.

Our children and families are the most precious resources on the planet.  Keep watching, weeding, feeding the hearts and minds of the children and soon the world will be at peace.

Raffi had a nice chat with the Dalai Lama on Child Honouring.

1 comment:

Tom H. Hastings said...

What a nice weave of nonviolent thinking. Dave Dellinger once wrote that when we don't educate about nonviolence but then ask why a particular conflict turned violent it's a bit like allowing a garden plot to return to nature, skip planting any seeds, and then wondering why only some nice random flowers and various bramble bushes and lots of weeds grow there. If we want some nonviolent food on our plates we had best do as you advise and tend the gardens of education, media, politics, business and indeed the very real gardens. Thanks for the great information and invitation to be good nonviolence gardeners, realizing that a part of that is getting the relational dirt of humanity under our metaphorical fingernails.