My wife and i never had kids (because the world is way overcrowded with humans as it is), but we are concerned about them deeply. If i had only a few short moments — or a bit longer — to tell a child what to care about, in life, here is what i would likely say:
Mistrust everything anyone has ever told you about truth… and find out for yourself.
Go beyond the dead symbols that they provided; be intelligently empty, stay young, and don’t lose your innocence (as so many adults do).
Don’t just look through the screen of what was taught; use thoughts often, but go beyond them.
Love the whole and not merely a few isolated parts.
Let effortless silence be your oasis from internal patterns that were planted in you by others.
Help others (so-called other life forms) to go beyond suffering.
Help (and care for) Mother Earth; she is all we have, and many are making her sick.
Ask serious questions beyond merely comfortable answers.
Don’t be ordinary (even if it is more comfortable and easy to be ordinary).
Never lose that youthful feeling of eternity (that most adults have lost long ago).
Perceive with (and “as”) dynamic emptiness without a mere center.
Look without mere separation between you and what is perceived.
Perceive with a warm heart, not merely (as so many do) with a cold mind.
[These are fish in a large pond in our area. There is a small creek that flows into the pond, and the fish love to hang out by the mouth of the creek to get oncoming food and to enjoy the current. I like how one of the fish — unique, with the purity of white on its head — in the top section of the video is (especially) enjoying a burst of water current, creating surface swirl! There were many more fish than what is seen in the frame.]
Good article and love the pond fish.
Thank you, SueKaren! 🙂
I know of two young couples who have made this same choice not to have children for the same reasons. I feel this is a wise consideration. I find it quite ignorant that people breed dogs and cats when the world has way too many homeless and discarded animals… and yet we don’t think of the human race with the same issue. I love this post Tom. I will be forwarding it to a very special niece and nephew.
Ever since i was very young, i decided not to have kids. I lost girlfriends over this… but (i understood a bigger picture and my little picture and situation didn’t matter). Why don’t more people feel and think in this way? Most do not. It’s no fluke that real enlightenment (visitation by that immensity) does not occur for most. The human population is getting more and more like that pond full of fish (only it is even way more crowded, and the earth is suffering); we can be more intelligent than fish, even though we evolved from them!
So glad that you will be forwarding this to them, Lori! That means a lot to me! 🙂
I think it’s a real pity that you didn’t have kids. Just a person like you could have taught a lot of wonderful and intelligent things to your kid(s). I never wanted to have a kid,too, but I’m more than happy with my son and we are best friends. I transferred my thoughts about taking care of the earth to him and he will continue to do so. Regards Mitza
I understand, but i don’t think it’s a pity at all. I taught multiply handicapped, wheelchair bound children for my career… and each and every one of them was “my true kid”! Read what i wrote to Littlesundog. 🙂
You really have a big heart, Thomas.
Truly wise words Tom! I enjoyed reading them 🙂
Thanks Beth! So glad that you are appreciative of them! Keep blossoming! 🙂
Now, eat your broccoli, please! 🙂
Too crowded, indeed. I don’t really think parents these days really know how to teach kids. It has become very challenging…
Very wise and thoughtful words. Thank you, Tom!
Ah, Amy, they peddle their kids off to overcrowded incarceration-oriented “public schools,” which, for the most part, are institutionalized prison enclosures that indoctrinate kids into boredom, competition, dead conformity, stale traditions, and tribalism indoctrination, where they are taught what to think, not how to think.
A professor, who had taught more than two decades, made a comment about his students, “It’s a different world…” That was almost 10 years ago. So much time they play /download online media and games, I don’t see how students want to spend time to learn how to think. Worrisome…
Yes, Amy, exactly! And the media and games will get even more immersive, more luring; it’s already happening with 3D headsets and eyeglasses. They are escaping from reality, into a virtual reality, and they will (unfortunately) lose touch, more and more, with the real thing. It’s already happening. Many kids, at get-togethers, you can’t even talk to; they are deep in their hand-held games, and don’t even want to talk much to others their age around them! Will people like this grow up to care about reality and the real environment? Many of them — sad to sound so bleak, but this is how it really is — will be lost in their virtual entertainment, won’t do much for the environment, and will even vote for those who claim that the environment is dandy and is not in jeopardy; it’s already happening.
Thanks much, O… and we hope you mean the depth behind the words! 🙂
Good advice for adults and children.
Thanks very much, Janes! 🙂 Too many are like cogs caught in others’ broken mechanism!
I read the post and the comments. My husband and I have contributed to the over population of the world by producing not just one offspring…..but……seven of them. Not only that, but they all go to school to be bored and become more like the tribe rather than their individual selves. *sigh* well, I do sense a tiny bit of judgement here within your words and community but maybe we can still find common ground. Our family embraces spirituality and spiritual practices, we do teach our children to be original and to find the things that will become their gifts to the world. We put good books in their hands and send them outdoors to play. So you see, it is hard, but it IS possible to raise mindful children in today’s society. We aren’t done raising them yet and I can’t say they will all “turn out” just the way they “should” but we love them with all our hearts. ~ Shanda 🙂 PS, and thank you for the comments on my photos!
Maybe we can find a common ground, but that ground is overrun by unprecedented numbers of people. Extinction rates (of animals and even plants) is at an all-time high and, according to scientists, even exceeds the rate of extinction during past major mass-extinction events. This is man-made and population (of course) is a major factor. Sensitivity (for the whole) and wisdom can go beyond this.
I respectfully suggest that the term “spiritual practices” is an oxymoron. The moment you “practice” what is alive and dynamic… it is dead and gone. You can’t practice sensitivity; you can’t practice deep awareness.
Hi again! In reply, about spiritual practices…. I think I understand what you’re saying and I feel the same–which is why I wrote that we embrace spirituality AND spiritual practices (when training children it is important to show them the way so to speak, by our habits and practices, so that they can decide in the future if that is the way they want to go as well)…and yes, I hear you about overpopulation! Thank you for doing your part in that!! It’s just hard for someone like me to relate to your article as I love children and felt called to have a number of them. But that’s okay. I basically just came by because you had commented on my site a few times and wanted to check out your blog to see if it was something I was interested in following.
The second, the fourth and the last suggestion in the list are the ones that I think are the most important, so to say, although all of them seem to be interconnected, they presuppose one another, being related to patience and compassion, and ultimately attention. 🙂 The fish look nice, they somehow have a calming effect.
You fish pond reminds me of Kauai. Bless you! 🌴
I find myself visiting my 11 year old granddaughter and I went over this with her what she didn’t understand made for a bEautidul interchange this morning before she left to school although we only were able to toss a round a point or two. I’m leaving it here with my daughter so she can do the same. Thank you for sharing something I found worth sharing.
I don’t see anything wrong with choosing not to have children. Being a parent is not for everyone and that opens up a whole other can of whatever. I appreciate your wisdom and “don’t be ordinary” is my favourite. Very refreshing blog post. Thank you!
Love this and I am going to share this wonderful blog with them 😊