Somewhere, somehow, we have started degenerating our value system because we all like to see happiness with lesser investment from our side.
Today, loneliness has become a pandemic, affecting our youngest generation, Gen Z, most of all. Even in countries like the US, UK and Japan, loneliness is prevalent despite so much economic success. Why does this affect our children so much? The number one factor is that parents are too busy. Even when parents are at home, they’re busy watching TV; we have provided a safe haven for our children to do whatsoever they like on the Internet in the privacy of their own bedroom. In this digital age, the biggest threat to our children is not outside but inside our own homes in our phones and laptops. Parents should ask themselves, what sort of an example are we setting for our children on how to use technology wisely?
Today, parents think that educational institutions will look after the children, groom them and make them good citizens, while the institutions think that it is the parents’ role. I think we ought to look for a balance. Somehow, we should do whatever we can as our part. Let parents do their part, and, at the same time, children can be sensitised to their own personal responsibility.
How does this happen? The Yoga Shastras, Vivekachudamani, Ashtanga Yoga and the six-fold path of Yoga all begin by emphasising the need for Viveka. Viveka is necessary in everything that we do, be it yogic science, spirituality, religion, or the mundane world. Viveka means discrimination. What do we discriminate? We can start with ‘What is good for me, what is bad for me?’ Every child must be able to discern ‘With what I plan to do next – is it good for me?’
How can children have it? It is not that they do not have conscience. Everyone has a conscience; even a little toddler, who drops a bottle of milk, will immediately look at his mother as if he made a mistake. Intuitively, he understands that something has gone wrong. Do adults not have a conscience? We all have a conscience, but we put a stone on it. We think, “Let’s do it, and we’ll worry about the consequences later.” Each time we put a stone on our conscience, it becomes quieter and quieter, and the heart eventually stops giving signals. The moment the heart stops giving signals, you can consider yourself to be spiritually dead.
To be continued
Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual Guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He is a role model for students of spirituality who seek that perfect blend of eastern heart and western mind. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today