In my example of my friend’s daycare (see post Return To Day Care), why was I so impressed? Looking at what she does, I can see how simple it really is, these principles she teaches. First, she gets the child’s attention by calling them by name until they look at her. If they don’t respond she confronts them face to face. Once she has their attention she asks a question, maybe “what do we do with our toys when we are done playing”. If they won’t answer they go in time out to think about it. If needed, instruction is given in time out. Eventually, they learn, “we put them away”, and they do. Being children, this process is repeated over and over and they learn appropriate behavior.
What about us big kids? Nobody is there to get our attention, stop us, and ask us questions about our behavior. Sometimes I think there should be. When we are questioned, we act defiantly. We have our reasons to justify our behavior. We’re grownups, don’t you know! And boy do we use that excuse for all kinds of absurd behavior.
What we are all learning is, behavior modification. It seems like the answer in how to get along in the world and to a large extent, it is. However, let’s take a little closer look at this.
In daycare, initially, awareness is presented to our consciousness by something outside of us, which is appropriate for little children. They are then stopped from doing what they’re doing, again, by something outside of them. A question is then asked, basically, “What is the appropriate action right now?”, which forces them to ask themselves the question. They then go to their mind for the learned response to the question, and get the “approved” right answer. Works well, but….
Without being shown, by example, the spiritual application of these principles (not the job of a day care), and having it modeled for us, we just learn compliance… how to behave while the “authority” is there. When the authority is not there, we make our own rules. In other words, “I know what you want me to do, but when you’re not here, I’ll do what I want”. (my friend’s comment is always that parents don’t model and teach appropriate behavior at home)
It is truly awful to admit, as adults, that is all too often, how we behave. So how can we expect our children to behave any differently? So, what is the solution?
Same principles apply: We are presented with an awareness that we are off… you might say our higher power, or consciousness, taps us on the shoulder and says “hey bud, you’re blowin it here”. It’s an inner authority, not your mind… just like in day care, we have to build that awareness by repetition over and over, because there’s no one on the outside of you getting your attention, it’s an inner knowing…. that knowing requires us to stop for just a minute… again, there’s no one there forcing us, it has to be an act of our own will… we then have to ask, “what is the appropriate action in this case”, we are not asking our mind with it’s limited knowledge, but one who has all power, all knowledge… (no belief is required, just ask)… we will then get an answer. Often we mis-read the answer (always because we missed a step or acted in haste) and fool ourselves, but the more we practice the clearer and clearer the answer comes through… We then need to act on it, each time.
There’s no “right” action every time, even when it looks like the same situation. Remember… we’ve been trained to think in terms of “right” and wrong our whole life… That’s how our ego’s have captured our very souls. Learning to align our will with our creator’s is the beginning of a lifetime practice.
Applying these principles in the order formed described will produce the appropriate answer for each and every situation. Is this hard work? You bet it is. Growing up always is…
especially when you’re almost sixty!
Your comments are always welcome!