Imagine if we made teaching kindness to all of our children as important as teaching them literacy and numeracy.
adjective: of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person: a kind and loving person.
For some, the above definition is a primary factor in how they try to live their life, but that is not the case for all, and for many, other things come first, but can you imagine if we lived in a world where that wasn’t the case. Imagine if we lived in a world where our priority was to ensure that, above all else, our children became “a kind and loving person.” A world where those children who have access to education have access to this ethos and in turn exist in the resulting environment, thus creating a world where those children are surrounded by others whose main objective is to be kind or to learn how to be kind and understand what that means?
Our society has come so far and we are now living in a time where diversity is championed, where people are raising awareness for so many issues and where people are more accepting than ever, but is it enough and are we taking the right path? It seems that we are forever having to fix what has already gone wrong, we are sticking plasters on issues that should never have to exist in the first place, we are campaigning once we have been left once again with no choice but to act, after the fact. So you have to ask, are we focussing our attention in the right places?
Children are undoubtedly the future but not only are they the future, they are also the now
You only need to open your social media account and scroll for a second or two before you find children like 16-year-old Greta Thunberg impacting this world more than most adults could in an entire lifetime. It has me thinking that “raising awareness” as adults to other adults is not the route we should be taking and that perhaps we should give our children more credit and teach them the path that will lead to the result we’re fighting for daily.
Most young children have an open-minded vulnerability that we as adults can only dream of; they are accepting, they are inquisitive, they are engaging and they are happy, so where does it all go wrong and why? Maybe if we taught these children, these children with brains like sponges and remarkable ability and desire to learn, the stuff that is truly important, that stuff we end up battling and fighting for as adults, the world would be a little bit brighter.
Imagine the difference we could make…
…if we included teaching kindness to all our young children in the national curriculum. Imagine a world where we spoke about protecting the climate in geography, where we talked about spirituality and how religion does not define a person in RS, where we updated the history books to include recent heroes who have changed our society for the better, if we used ICT to explain what social media, apps, filters, and the internet is doing to us, if we spent time practising the power of positive thought and the importance of self-care, if we had lessons on healthy relationships and boundaries, if we prioritised mental health before we had to start repairing it. Imagine if prioritising actually meant PRIORITISING and not just mentioning it here and there, dedicating a day and wearing funny socks. Imagine if we changed what it means to be “inclusive” and we learn that actually, ALL humans are humans. A world where we taught young people that, in the same way, a lion is a lion, a human is a human, so actually “being inclusive” doesn’t need to be addressed anymore, because surely if we are truly inclusive it does not require an active process to ensure it’s happening.
Imagine if being kind became as black & white to a child of 4/5/6 as phonics and the 2 times table. If being kind was taught to young teenagers as much as sciences and humanities. How different would the world be?
I am not suggesting that this would solve all the problems in the world, not at all. No matter what we do and what we try, in this world circumstance, environment and so many other things will always have an impact on the world we live in and the people we share it with, but surely this would help. If we as adults started to tell our young children how important all the things we fight for as adults are, maybe we’d save on plasters.
Be kind. It’s important, it matters. Above all else.