By Will Stanton
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
What if kids knew themselves – I mean really knew themselves?
Ask the average school leaver who they are at the core of their being and they’ll likely say they haven’t the faintest clue. Heck, ask me eight years ago when I was in my final year of high school and I’d have shrugged my shoulders too. I, like many others I’ve spoken to, didn’t find myself until after I’d run the school gauntlet.
Why is it that so many kids go through over a decade of ‘education’, yet come out the other end without a sense of who they truly are? Surely, the education system hasn’t done its job. Or, perhaps, the education system was never geared at helping children learn who they are. If that is the case, as I daresay it is, what a tragedy…
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Right now, we have an opportunity to change the game – to rewrite the rules of education to suit the needs of the children, not the needs of the economy. It’s time to start seeing education as a means for self-discovery. Children need to have their passions, talents and interests nurtured from a young age, and the system needs to stop restricting teachers so they can facilitate this process – in the same way a gardener facilitates the growth of a flower. Everything a child needs to be who they are is already there, it just needs to be given the chance to come out. (For more information, please see my article: It’s Time to Unleash Creativity in Our Schools.)
Meditation plays a key role in the self-discovery process – it gives one a looking glass into the true nature of one’s being. When you meditate, you turn inwards to meet with parts of yourself that you might not have otherwise connected with. Imagine if children all over the world started doing this… what a difference that would make. Practiced in schools, meditation would allow children to find their sense of belonging in the world, but more importantly, it would allow them to find their sense of belonging with themselves. (For more information, please see my article: Why We Should Bring Meditation Into Schools.)
Wouldn’t it be nice to create a world in which children no longer hide from who they are, but wholly embrace themselves in totality? I believe we can create such a world. We just have to change our perception of education, and recognise that each and every child has a unique gift to give to this world. Now is the time to leave behind the old ways – ways that stifle self-expression, self-reflection and self-connection… and instead, to step forward into a new education paradigm – one in which children are not only given the chance to go inwards, but are understood, appreciated and empowered to be who they are.