The greatest gift we have is given to us by the unselfish, loving, dedicated, exceptional, indescribable sacrifices of our teachers. We have trust in their skills, and willingly put our precious children into their hands to guide and nurture and educate them to become incredible individuals. They are translating this unimaginable world into reason. They are essential to the wellbeing of every child. They are a strong influence that cause children to mature into contributing members of our society. I would raise them to the station of physicians, healers, counselors and friends. As you can see, there are just not enough words to describe their service. Thank you!
“The education and training of children is among the most meritorious acts of humankind and draweth down the grace and favour of the All-Merciful, for education is the indispensable foundation of all human excellence.” – “Foundations for a Spiritual Education” a compilation prepared by the research department of the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States.
I hope the teachers that are reading this understand how meritorious they are and have been, especially through the constraint put upon them with the virus. Even more our appreciation for the unceasing concern and care of our children.
There is no question that education is a most important subject and we might spend many hours discussing it, not only from the viewpoint of what is taught, but we must also consider the effects of such powerful instruments as the news, movies, television and the internet. The exposure that individuals, especially children, have to these outlets are not always good training in character, habitually depressing, and are often no help in guiding a path or at all helpful in preparation for a future profession or trade.
There are as many options and methods for education to be successful as there are dedicated teachers to provide them. We are all, always, searching for the best for them, for the opportunity to give the children an excellent opportunity to learn and to prepare for the world they will grow into. Addressing a version of this education process, are concepts, ideas and methods that are more than likely already in place in many curriculums, but perhaps have different names. In my studies, I have come across four goals of education, which might be of interest:
Knowledge – Knowledge is defined as a keen awareness of information and facts; the remembering and recalling of previously learned material.
Wisdom – Wisdom is defined as true comprehension and insight; the discovery, through experience, of the meaning of information and facts. Wisdom is acquired through experience, consultation, reflection, inspiration, and an ever evolving understanding of spiritual truths.
Spiritual perception – Spiritual perception is defined as penetrating inner vision and the utilization of a [religious] perspective; the discovery of purpose and meaning; the bringing to bear of [religious] spiritual values, principles and laws upon the individual’s expanding consciousness of issues and problems. As such, it includes the capacity to search for connections, analyze, evaluate, and apply – using [religious] law, principles, and values as the standard for discernment.
Eloquent speech – Eloquent speech is defined as the ability to articulate knowledge, understanding, and beliefs in a clear and comprehensive way. The definition of eloquent speech is extended beyond verbalization to include all behaviors that reflect the internalization of [religious] teachings. This involves the integration and synthesis of learning into the active expression of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual perception. Eloquent speech is the endeavor to live a [religious] life in service to humanity.
I am sure the first two sound quite familiar. The next two, spiritual perception and eloquent speech, are new language for what may be referred to as respect, kindness, generosity, moral attitudes, behavior and other life skills that are part of a process. Part of the learning, as mentioned, include the ability to put into action what we are learning. These moral elements, that are not put forth in our schools as “religion” are still derived from religious beliefs. All religions speak of these attributes and there necessity to function in society.
The other element that is also critical to education is the use of the arts. Music, drawing, writing, dancing, and playing games and sports. Gardening and beautifying our surroundings are memorable events, especially for young children, that shape an understanding of what is right and beautiful.
These are all part of eloquent speech and spiritual perception. These same concepts and recipes for education apply to families raising children, and to those who were not so fortunate to have it as a child. We will always be that child, searching for the joy of belonging and the peacefulness that art and beauty provide.