Morals with mother’s milk

I was strolling in the gardens of an insane asylum when I met a young man who was reading a philosophy book.
His behavior and his evident good health made him stand out from the other inmates.
I sat down beside him and asked:
“What are you doing here?”
He looked at me, surprised. But seeing that I was not one of the doctors, he replied:
“It’s very simple. My father, a brilliant lawyer, wanted me to be like him. My uncle, who owns a large emporium, hoped I would follow his example. My mother wanted me to be the image of her beloved father. My sister always set her husband before me as an example of the successful man. My brother tried to train me up to be a fine athlete like himself.
And the same thing happened at school, with the piano teacher and the English teacher – they were all convinced and determined that they were the best possible example to follow. None of them looked at me as one should look at a man, but as if they were looking in a mirror.
So I decided to enter this asylum. At least here I can be myself.”

That is from a social critique of Khalil Gibran who famously said : “You may strive to be like children, but seek not to make them like you”. It bears a stark warning for all those parents who, while being busy weaving their kid’s future, ignore the child’s own ambitions.

In many parts of the world you will still find education systems which place greater emphasis on attaining highest marks and grades, and eventually ends up producing virtueless crowd. Many of the teachers, parents and schooling systems evaluate children based on their memorizing power and rank them high or tag them brilliant or outstanding. The deterioration we witness in the social values of recent generation is a proof to the fact that such a schooling system seldom produce high moral individuals. No wonder why parents increasingly turn to alternative schooling for their kids.

Morals are fed along the milk by a nursing mother to her baby. Mom and Dad, not the textbooks, should serve as the original source of good deeds, truthfulness and humanness to the children. Just as we talk to them about the wonderful flowers and flies, we should also talk to them about the Compassionate Creator behind those wonders. Any one with love and mercy can be a good teacher. And such a teacher would always fill moments even outside classrooms. There is no better text book than god consciousnesses; and no better lesson than humanness.

English rendering of article written by Abdul Wadud
Translated by Yahiya Perothayil

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