“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
How true isn’t it? Nelson Mandela certainly was right when he said ‘… love comes naturally to the human heart …’ A child knows no hatred or how to hate and yet he/she instinctively feels the love and care shower by parents. A child generally do not differentiate statue too; a child may be shy and uncomfortable with a stranger initially, but if the stranger treat the child lovingly and kindly, the child will eventually warm up to the stranger.
Most adults on the other hand have the ability, through learned experience, to differentiate people who are genuinely sincere and good from those who are not. This is one of the reasons, and a valid one, why parents find it necessary to protect baby from people who are not genuinely sincere and good.
In the process of growing up, the child will see, hear and pick up hatred we show to others along the way. We too had unconsciously learnt to hate from our parents and people around us; not that they wanted to teach us to hate on purpose, but through their words and actions, we imitated them until at such time that their words and actions become part of ours too. We eventually ‘pass’ these words and actions to our children. This is a vicious cycle that will stop only by consciously teaching our children to love people from the heart.
However, in order for us to be fitting to teach our children to love, we must first learn to love like them. Did I just contradict myself? It makes sense actually. We need to first learn to love people indiscriminately and with an open heart from them. Then we lead by example to love people indiscriminately and with an open heart. A challenging thing to do but so is anything worth fighting for.
Through conscious teaching of ourselves and especially our young ones to love, I believe that one day most of us will be loving people.
How do you think we can work towards teaching people to love?
Photo by pcioca
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I always tell my children all people are equal and we should be nice to everyone. I believe it is how you raise your children that determines how they will treat others.
.-= Pam´s last blog ..Going to the Goats??? =-.
There is so much fear in the world, and each of us carries a great deal of fear within us — fear of not being good enough, really. And therein lies the problem.
If we could love ourselves unconditionally and fully, and allow the grace of God to fill and expand our minds, loving others would come more easily.
I like what you’ve touched upon here. Thank you for shining a light on this important topic!
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last blog ..Underwear in the Jungle! =-.
The most effective way I feel, is to lead by example.
Especially for children -which I like to mention countless times in my blog- is that they tend to learn more from what they see and hear from their role models.
So if we want to teach, we do.
.-= Footyman´s last blog ..Where is your ideal summer vacation? =-.
The vicious cycle. Yes, so true. It’s all about breaking this cycle. How we were treated as kids is often how we treat our own children.
It’s up to us. How? Self-awareness.
If we can’t see it, hopefully we have friends or other loved ones that can help us all grow and become better models for our children.
.-= One of The Guys´s last blog ..Easy Motivation =-.
This posts resonates with me because I am learning a lot from my son. And you’re right to point out that there is much for us to learn about how to love from children. I am forever transformed when I became a mother and I hope I don’t forget these profound lesson I’m learning from my son.
@ Pam, that is certainly a good way to bring up children; to tell them that all people are equal and we should be nice to everyone. And when they see us doing what we are preaching, they will surely follow.
@ Megan, indeed, it is important that we love ourselves unconditionally. It is easier to love others unconditionally as most parents do for their children but usually they may find it a challenge or rather they have forgotten about the need to love themselves unconditionally too.
@ Footyman, I certainly agree with you on leading by example. I have posted a video Children See, Children Do previously that touches on exactly the same thought.
@ One of The Guys, you are right; some people will grow up and treat their children the same way they were treated. I certainly hope that besides leading by example for myself, there are other loved ones around that can help us all grow and become better models for our children too.
@ Belinda, I agree with you. I have learnt a great deal from my niece and nephews too.
I feel this is quite an issue in our today’s world. Unknowingly, we seem to be hypocrites to our children; we certainly preach one thing and practise another! I have noticed how easily my neices pick up what we speak and forget what they have been actually taught!
It is true, unless, we learn to see the world through the loving eyes of a child; with passing time we can only expect our children to emulate our own actions, be it good or bad!
Hence, we as adults, change should stem from us!
@ Sweetness, I have observed how my niece and nephews are picking up words and actions from adults around them too. Although we may find it funny at the children trying to imitate adults, it is also undesirable that they can pick up bad habits from us too. Thus the change must definitely come from us first.
“This is a vicious cycle that will stop only by consciously teaching our children to love people from the heart.”
That is REALLY true. Such a well written post. Thank you for this!
.-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..Doing Things Differently – My Week In Review [Part Two] =-.
@ Meleah, yes, unless we consciously do it by being the leading example and inspiring our young ones to follow, we will not be able to break this vicious cycle.
Because some of our actions are unconscious too we must work hard at most times to stop this vicious circle. Thanks for writing, wonderful post ..
.-= Fatima Da´s last blog ..Procrastination Tips – 12 Ways to Shove Procrastination Out Yes ! =-.
@ Fatima, indeed, some of our actions are unconscious and thus we have to consciously work hard until what we are doing become part of our subconscious and we start doing it unconsciously too.
Love is what we need really so I try as much as I can to stop any negative thoughts be it jealousy or annoyance whatever. I am working hard to be more positive and as a result be more loving.
This is such a nice quote from Nelson and your write up is equally wonderful.
@ Jade, thank you. I believe most of us are constantly working hard to be more positive and more loving.
Dearest Bk, i couldn’t agree more…it’s really so true that we learn to love from children. Love love the quote from Nelson Mandela. Tho i don’t have children yet…but i try to generate a positive enviroment, share and care when i am around my sister’s 2 sons.
Thank you so much for your lovely congratz on my “hearts and sweetness” post! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!
.-= jacqueline´s last blog ..Celebrating paws-perity… =-.
@ Jacqueline, me too, I do my best to maintain a positive environment when I am with my sister’s children too. Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you too.
I believe by showing and extending love to one another are the initial steps to trigger the love inside someone’s heart.
.-= VanillaSeven´s last blog ..Lethargic Morning =-.
@ VanillaSeven, indeed, as the saying goes, “Give and we shall receive.” Although we do not give and expect to receive, this is how the universe works. Same as for love, we need to show and give love first.
Beautiful post and comments here. Our friends have added greatly to the discussion- teaching by example, teaching by congruent harmony in our words and deeds, extending loving thoughts and intentions. Forgiveness, which is so freeing. Our heart knows what is loving.
Sweet little newborn picture, how precious they are!
@ Jannie, indeed, many have added invaluable points to the post.
This is so true. I am not at all a hateful person, but I find that I am still very careful about saying anything nasty about someone else in front of my children. They pick up everything, and it is important to teach them kindness by being kind. The bonus is that while I am trying to help them grow into kind people, my efforts make me a better person too.
.-= Tina T´s last blog ..Don’t Let Moving Stress Cause Relationship Stress =-.
@ Tina, you are absolutely right; children pick up everything. Thus it is especially important to teach them kindness by being kind ourselves. And I agree with you, it actually benefits us when we are helping them to grow into kind people.
I absolutely agree. So much can be learned from children. And even the Bible says, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.” I think you’re on to something here. And a very great quote by Nelson Mandela at the beginning.
.-= Ben´s last blog ..Quotes to Live By — A Way that Seems Right =-.
@ Ben, thank you for sharing the verse from Bible; it does make perfect sense.
a fantastic post, i ever read and the explanation of words are very true. as you said a child is a blank page, It’s our responsibility how to fill the blank page.
Lovely post, Thanks for the sharing.
@ Krisit, thank you for your kind comment. How we are writing along with the child will be how we are rewriting our own life.