”If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” ~ Dalai Lama
This seems like a no brainer. Meditation is scientifically proven to not only strengthen the brain, but this simple act also helps with anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADHD, anger, being more compassionate, being more conscious and so much more. The CDC reports as of 2011 6.4 MILLION (11%) kids have been ‘diagnosed’ with ADHD, and roughly 6% of the child population is taking ADHD medicine. Children given medicine for ADHD in 2011, compared to 2003, increased over 1 Million.
“But how do you get a child to sit still and meditate?”
Meditation is not simply sitting in silence for a period of time, it can also take the form of walking meditation, chanting meditation, yoga meditation, and the list goes on. The beautiful thing about meditation is the customization. HERE are 4 ways to start children on meditation. Imagine if all children of the world learned this valuable tool, it truly could change the world!
2) Healthy Skepticism
“We spend the first 12 months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next 12 months teaching them to sit down and shut up.” ―Phyllis Diller
For the majority of students, questioning authority and curriculum being taught can have serious consequences. This is not a healthy lesson to teach.
Dr. Marcia Sirota puts it best when she said “many of us live our lives without really questioning anything. We accept what we’re told and place an unwarranted amount of trust in our teachers, clergy, politicians and other leaders. Even when some of these people are revealed to be dishonest, corrupt, immoral or hypocritical, we continue to let them tell us how to live.This is very dangerous, as we end up trusting those who speak most convincingly, rather than those who have our best interests at heart. When we choose not to question those in positions of authority; when we justify or rationalize their behavior, we let them carry on doing whatever they want to do and we’re stuck with the consequences.” (read full excerpt by Dr. Sirota HERE.)
3) Real Life Education
“Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” -Albert Einstein.
Overall education is massively standardized to teach students to learn an exact curriculum within an exact time. Once their time is up they are forced to regurgitate this information in the form of a test.
If the student does well they are deemed smart, if not they are deemed slow, stupid, or even diagnosed as having ADHD. This sort of education is outdated, why is a good memory the only form of determining who is smart?
Not all students learn at the same pace or have the same interests in the same subject matter. How great would it be if students actually had the opportunity to follow their passion from an early age instead of what was forced on them?!
Below is a Ted Talk by 13 year old Logan LaPlante. He explains how he has not only benefitted from being home schooled, but he discuss the importance of following ones passion early in life.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” -Scott Adams
Creativity and art might be the most important curriculum a student can learn at an early age, but is often times thrown to the side.
“A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the visual arts argues that the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience do more than sweeten an individual’s life — according to the report, they “can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing,” creating the foundation to forge social bonds and community cohesion.”
Even daydreaming has its advantages. “Daydreams have a big social component–allowing children to imagine conversations and events and thus gain both social skills and empathy for others. Researchers have also found that children who can spin an imaginative story around whatever game they’re involved in are more likely to play happily and for extended periods of time versus those children who can’t seem to engage in extended imaginary play.”
Let’s not forget about those imaginary friend either…according to a study conducted at University of Otago (Australia), imaginary friends are good for children’s language skills and may also benefit their performance at school.
5) Happiness is More Important than Money
“Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.” -Benjamin Franklin
While it’s true that most need to make money to survive and thrive in a monetary society, HOW one makes money is more important for a happy life. And we all want to be happy, right?
When you work at what you love you are more prone to live healthy and actually make more money. It makes sense (pun intended). If you wake up everyday dreading your job the only thing keeping you tied down is the money. So find what you love to do!
“In a study of more than 10,000 participants from 48 countries, psychologists Ed Diener of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Shigehiro Oishi of the University of Virginia discovered that people from every corner of the globe rated happiness as being more important than other highly desirable personal outcomes, such as having meaning in life, becoming rich, and getting into heaven. Happiness does not just feel good but is good for you—it’s been linked to all sorts of benefits, from higher earnings and better immune-system functioning to boosts in creativity.”
I really think using the words of the Dalai Lama for that purpose is unwise. His country is going through the biggest turmoil on the planet . Children and adults are setting themselves on fire there as China takes it over. Did you know in Tibet children have to get married as well. Some even have two husbands. I really don't think meditation is helping them As well as the DL going around promoting world peace> REALLY? Where? Space land.