Our world can be brutal to children. That sentence alone should be enough to make us have a long hard look at how we raise them and how we educate them. Not just in Australia. But everywhere. But despite the psychological carnage, school websites and the marketing information they release tells a different story to our children. Schools speak with flashy taglines. Children speak with anxiety, self-harm and suicide attempts. And we all know only one of the two voices I referred to here is of any substance.
What the world has done to our children is one of its greatest crimes. And education, instead of defending them is playing its role. Little silence, little grounding, little boundaries, little chance. This poem has sensitive themes - such as suicide, self-harm and reference to violence and drug use. It may be triggering for some.
'As the first school term draws nearer to its close, with education a mess and the lives of our children flooded with violence, anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide...' This is the sentence that opens this piece. Our children speak to the world that is failing them in many ways, including these things listed here.
Inside is a series of questions for Catholic educators, priests and bishops designed to put the true nature of their faith to the test. It makes for an intense reflection. But God's life is at stake so it is probably worth it.
If Catholic and Christian schools truly seek to honour God and Jesus by building environments sourced in them, then their instructions and messages should feature in the day-to-day decisions being made in staff meetings - not kept at arm's length in religion lessons. Jesus said he was the way. He is, or he isn't. If he is, the CE one will be guided by is conditional expression. No hiding now - the way of Jesus has a name.
Are Christian and Catholic schools actually God or Christ-centred? Or are they Christian and Catholic Church-centred. There is a massive difference. Who is asking? God is. Along with Jesus. This discussion is relevant to any religion or spiritua path that owes its identity to God.
The education system in my homeland of Australia is a mess. And this mess has impacted heavily on the psychological health of both students and teachers. The bridge between what we see and hear through websites and marketing campaigns and what is really happening has never been wider. Schools are not places many people want to be. More and more, career educators who I know and love are telling me they are done. But it does not have to be this way. In fact, it never did.
This year's theme for Reconciliation Week in my homeland of Australia is 'Be Brave, Make Change!' This is wise as it takes far more courage to love where there is hurt, than to cling to that hurt as a source of division. This is true for us as a nation, and for each of us in our individual lives. And in terms of our relationship with ourselves and others. It is not love standing in the way of reconciliation. In a human experience, love knows it can't balk at anything. That's why it is so courageous. To us all, love says, 'I am ready when you are!' This piece was first posted on the 26th of January 2018. What a four years it has been for life. It is her we should love for, more than anything else. For life and our sacred mother do not take sides. As she said to me once in Central Australia - 'Why can't we just love!?'
We can all choose to live from two foundations. In the pursuit of our own individual dreams and desires. Or to honour and treat life as it has asked to be honoured and treated.
In my great homeland of Australia, yesterday was RU OK day. A day where we check in on those we love to see how they are doing. A major focus of this initiative is suicide prevention. I took the time to check in with the greatest love of my life - life itself. I'm sure you won't be surprised by the response. Here's what life had to say...
'Collective reconciliation only takes place when we make the same space in honour of the humanity of others.True reconciliation does not require a debt to be paid. Unconditional love puts no such conditions on anything.That’s what makes it unconditional. Reconciliation requires this type of love, acceptance and forgiveness. It’s a feeling. Not a ledger in the physical experience.'
'We are not, as we have led ourselves to believe, and contemporary personal development and spirituality teachers have taught us, the centre of the universe or powerful beyond anything we could ever imagine.At least this is not individually the case.We are a small part of what is a very beautiful, though fractured and flawed humanity.It is our ability to love and to extend love to any being or situation that is powerful and unlimited.'
Our business and economics-first approach to life has spared nothing sacred. Included in the list of victims is childhood and the psychological health of our children. Both decimated. I don't care how impressive school websites are - when psychologists, counsellors and therapy dogs walk the halls of our schools, something is horribly wrong.
One thing is for certain as we move back into this world after the virus is done teaching us its lessons, we are going to need to tread softly.
Judgement, boasfulness and our rampant use of energetic tools of manipulation, such as the law of attraction, have been murdering the life we belong to. And those responsible are often people who portray themselves as inspiring and those who believe themselves superior to others. We are all going to be seen for what we really were to life. Not what we thought we were to the world.
If something is sacred, you treat it as such. Right now our children and our planet are not feeling so sacred!
Should we Really be Listening to Science – or God? Three phrases that have come my way recently have genuinely caught my attention.
If social media could speak it might say, ‘don’t blame me – it’s you who make me ugly with the way you violate and abuse me!’
Right now, our world is experiencing an intense focus on climate change. And while I understand this, what we should be focusing on is who we are.
Let me share a simple fact with the world. If the foundation for our lives, is our own lives, then our world will never be at peace. It will continue to suffer.But if the foundation for our lives is life in its entirety - the world and humanity and the earth - then it stands a chance.
So what does life actually need from us? Maybe it’s time we backed off the individual intensity and focused more on giving life its best year yet. After all, it’s the high income world that’s murdering life in the first place. So what can we do to give life the things it needs? Read on to better understand the impact our way of life has on life from life's perspective.