The integral reality where we are raising children today is very different from the one where we grew up. In order for them to thrive in an interconnected world, they must be conscious of how connected we are, and the sooner we begin to teach them this, the better.
We should explain to them that we are living on planet Earth, and show them what Earth is like. Not only its round shape, but the soil, the plants, the animals, and the people, and how we are all connected in one system.
Subsequently, we should tell them about our solar system, how the sun and the moon affect the Earth, how seasons change, and how natural forces shape our lives. We should also show them that when civilizations and nations are disconnected, they become hostile, and when they feel close, they help each other.
The main point we need to show is the union among all of nature’s forces in a single, integral mechanism, and how it influences us. We need to come to see that even if we are connected through a mobile device or a computer, and we are living in the virtual realm, we are still connected in the physical world, and not only to other people but to everything.
As a result, children will grow up knowing how important it is to nurture good connections with their surroundings—with the people around them and with all of nature. They will feel that if they do not care for the environment, both social and natural, it will mistreat them, too. That way, they won’t have to suffer the consequences of ignorance, as is happening to us today.
When we think of our treatment of others and of Earth more in terms of a relationship, it is easy to see that reciprocity is necessary. It is clear that a successful relationship requires consideration from all sides, and that the benefits of having friends and loved ones far outweigh the efforts. When we cannot see that we are all connected, we have no impetus to be considerate.
Unlike animals, who do not want to harm others intentionally, people are born with a built-in ill-will, as in, “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Therefore, we cannot let children grow without cultivating reciprocity and mutual consideration, as is happening now. We must educate them, and educate ourselves to see the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things, and conduct ourselves accordingly.