With the coming of a new year many people go through a process of evaluating their lives and goals. The lovely white snow, the sweet carols, even the commercialized process of the season and winter festivals reminds us that the time for renewal is at hand. Some make resolutions and others simply contemplate and wonder. One way or another, we feel the urge to transform our lives, making them more meaningful and fulfilling. Winter festivals these days, for the most part, circle around the material aspect of life. Maybe the saturation with materiality makes us thirst for our spiritual side and hope for new beginnings in the New Year.
In the Baha’i Writings, we find that human happiness is based on spirituality. (For more information please see www.bahai.org) Without spirituality one might find one’s self in total loss despite every comfort. On the other hand a spiritual orientation in life can connect one to a different and less transient form of wealth and comfort.
Through holistic education one tries to transform one’s life in every aspect. One of the transforming aspects of holistic education is connection to self. In the western world, where people live with many material comforts and distractions, video games, entertainment, continuous TV and radio, one hardly finds time to sit and ponder. We have seen six, seven or eight year olds coming to us with anxiety attacks – at best running for their rescue remedy – unable to comfort themselves when even the possibility of threat to their immediate pleasure intervenes, as slight as the possibility of losing a toy for half an hour. Disconnectedness is quite common among youngsters and it manifests itself through a variety of symptoms. Many like to consider this a physical challenge and deal with it physically, though the root cause of such problems often lies in the dissatisfaction of the spirit.
The other transforming aspect of holistic education is connection to the creator, in whatever name we might call this eternal essence. This connection is the root of creativity in children and adults. How many great works of art and science have been inspired after reflection on the beauty of creation. This need for reflection is a clear indication of our thirst after connection with the source of our lives. The word creator denotes creativity and creativity brings new life to those who make it a part of their lives.
Another transforming aspect of holistic education is connection with others. In a world rampant with competition and starved of meaningful connection with others, this connectedness empowers all to be part of a greater whole, to benefit from collective wisdom and contribute to the betterment of humanity. Working with children demonstrates clearly how they thirst to be of service to others, how they would like to work with others and help others achieve more in their lives. Those who start early enough with us and are not programmed with competition, are inspired to do their best for no other reason than that it is right to do their best and not through an ulterior motive to be better than their neighbour. Cooperation is natural to children and it is only after years of competition that they learn to undermine others and become self-centred.
One of the most important transforming aspects of holistic education is connection to nature. Nature is one of the best trainers and healers. Through observing nature one learns much about one’s self, about others and about the transitory nature of this world. Through this connection one also develops empathy and understanding for other creatures. Touching soil, a walk through the forest, a day in the wilderness can bring total change in life. We are all part of the circle of life and without connections we are no more than broken leaves. With meaningful connections, we become part of the whole and receive and give to this phenomenon of life.
At Roger White Academy children are encouraged to connect with their inner selves, to search for meaning in life and to fulfill their potential through the transforming power of deeper understanding of self and connection with life, others, and humanity at large. Words and ideas without practice are like lifeless parts of a tree and not worthy of mention. Ideas expressed in appropriate action are worthy of human beings and have power to conquer hearts. Children are capable of transforming their lives when they discover the value of human life. At Roger White Academy, we inspire children to see their own value and to make sure they contribute their share, regardless of smallness or largeness to the service of humanity. For more information visit our website at www.rogerwhiteacademy.org or call us at 905-967-1156 for an appointment.
We invite you to visit Roger White Academy to observe our classes and see a demonstration of a truly transformed group of children.