Our kids are not being raised to follow a religion. Instead, we are instilling these intrinsic values and beliefs in them:
Be Kind and Gentle to everyone and everything. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Have love for humanity and the universe.
Enjoy this life as much as you can. Assume this is all you are going to get (there may not be an afterlife).
Search for beauty and good in everything. Everything has a positive side. If you don’t see it, create it.
Test yourself, your ideas and beliefs. Trust what your senses and intuition tell you. The more extraordinary the claim, the more convincing the evidence must be to support it.
Use Reason and Creativity to solve problems, and don’t count on anyone else solving them for you. You are empowered.
Take care of your body. If it’s not working right, the rest of this list can be much more difficult.
Use your Powers for good. Make the world a better place for yourself and everyone else by doing what you can.
You are an animal, and you have a place in the world as all animals do. Try not to abuse your position.
Learn as much as you can and pass on your knowledge.
No person is better than you, and you are not better than any person. Mutual respect is the key for the survival of the human race.
Choose your ethics and stick to them. Do not let another person tell you that your beliefs are wrong, and learn to tolerate differences in opinions.
Live without fear. Most fear is unhealthy and unhelpful. Use your gut instinct to choose how to respond the best way in a situation where you may be in danger, but do not live in that state.
Ask for help when you need it, and offer it when you can.
Believe in yourself and what you can accomplish. Always look for new ways to be amazed by yourself, and new ways to transcend your own limits.
Follow the rules of the place where you are. Sometimes they don’t make sense to you, but do your best to follow them. If you really don’t like the rules, or believe that they are hurtful, then find a new place to be.
We believe that all people should have the right to research faith and belief systems with an unbiased heart, and to then choose to follow one, or choose not to follow one. We also believe that there is no One Right Way.
My kids know about Christianity. They have heard stories about Jesus and what he did while on Earth. They know that there is a book called the Bible where you can read about him and his religion. They also know bits and pieces about Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Paganism, Buddhism, and other religious beliefs.
They know that some people believe that there is a “magical” being or beings called gods. They’ve also heard about reincarnation and that some people believe that our souls keep coming back as different living things (Carmen really likes this one and wants to come back as a bird). They have been to church and temple and understand that some people go there all the time to talk to (and about) their gods. They know that people wear different outfits, and that sometimes these are based on the rules of their respective gods.
What they have NOT heard is that any of these beliefs or practices is “wrong.” Just different. They also have not yet been told that some people believe that others should be hurt or killed because they believe something different. I don’t want to scare them when they are still so young, after all….
So far, even though they are little heathens, they are doing just fine. They are bright, ethical, and do not appear to be spiritually lost. So, we’re going to stick with what we’re doing, and encourage them to study different beliefs as they grow. At the very least, it will help them to understand what others believe and where they come from. If or when they choose to follow a religious or spiritual path, I will learn as much about it as possible, and I will stand behind their decision and understand it as best as I can…. much like any other choice they will make in their lives.
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