What we do, or don't do, may have an effect on our posterity in some way. How we choose to raise our children will effect how our children raise theirs, and so forth.
We all want what is best for our children, but often times what we believe to be best for them is not what they are here to become. As parents and mentors of children we seem to have an idea of what we want our children to be. Sometimes we guide them down their own path and sometimes we force them down a path we want them to take because we believe it to be best. Have we really pondered the reason, result or effect it will have on them? Every person our children come in contact with will leave a mark of some sort. What marks do you want your children to be left with?
As parents and mentors of our children we want to raise them to be strong and intelligent. We want them to be better than us; to not make the same mistakes we made. We want them to build upon the knowledge we give them so as to have more time to increase their own knowledge far beyond what we have. We want to teach them the skills we posses so they can become even more masterful in those skills than we are.
In order to build a greater posterity we need to closely examine how it is we are teaching our children and what it is we are teaching them. Keeping our children in our homes builds strong family bonds. Sending them away, especially at an early age, teaches them to rely on themselves because mom and dad aren't there. Sending our children out of our homes for long periods of time weakens family bonds and teaches children that strangers (strangers are those whose families we do not know, including the friends our children make away from a family setting) are the only ones to count on because they are the ones with whom our children spend most of their time. This is why children and teens are more apt to seek counseling with their peers than their parents. Strong bonds are not made and kept within the first three years before preschool. Strong bonds are not made and kept within the first five years before kindergarten. Strong bonds are not made within the first 14 years before high school. Strong bonds must be continually and consistently maintained in order to keep them strong. If you want your children to come to you then you need to be the one with the strongest bond to your children. If you want to be the most influential in the lives of your children then you need to be the one with whom they share the stronger bond.
We must also take great care in what we teach our children, because that will be part of the legacy we leave with them. Teach them to desire the good and despise the bad. Teach them to desire the simple things in life and they will find joy in those things. Teach them to honor the good traditions of their fathers. Lead them by example. We should rid ourselves, as parents and mentors, of all that we feel is not fit for our children to watch, read, say, do, hear, desire. Many parents question how their children learn bad words and behaviors before leaving the home for schooling. These parents ought to examine what it is they bring into the home themselves. What media do we allow to be influential to those living in the home? Our children are products of what we allow to be put into them.
There are many new and wonderful learning options available to our children in this technological age, but beware. All too often we see that science and technology replace morals and values in society. It is easy to be led away from the good and simple things in the name of progress. We must learn for ourselves if something is good for us by learning all we can about the pros and cons of a new idea or practice. We want our posterity to be left with only the best to influence them. We want our children to be able to become what it is they feel drawn to become, but what they are influenced by can have a deep effect on what they desire to learn about and do with their lives.
The intellectual, spiritual and moral food we give our children will be what helps them to grow. Any lack of these vital nutrients, or replacements of such with synthesized products, will leave our children deficient. Our children, and so our posterity, cannot survive on deficiency. Feeding our childrens' minds with intelligence and teaching them how to think, not what to think, will prepare them for leading. They will be more capable to strongly lead their family, friends, community and country. Teaching a child how to think, instead of what to think, makes all the difference in the world.
When a child begins to hunger for knowledge show them where to find the proper nourishment. Feed their desire to learn with the knowledge that best corresponds to their interests. If you continue this type of nourishment throughout their childhood they will continue it into their adulthood on their own. You will have given them such a great power, that of true knowledge and education. A learned man is neither blind nor foolish, a learned man is one who can think on his own. A wise man is one who will question everything and, through the process of true education, will learn all he can. A wise man will teach his children all he has learned, thus ensuring the intellectual survival of his own posterity. Ensuring the intellectual survival of our posterity will keep them a free people and keep them from being slaves through ignorance.
Consider well the legacy you are leaving your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. Choose now what that legacy will be and act now. You cannot change yesterday, but live today by learning from yesterday in order to make tomorrow better. Begin today by creating that legacy you would like your posterity to learn from. Create that future in your lives today.
I love this passage from C. S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man: