Sunday, August 25, 2013
Tell me about God; I am forgetting
"Woven through all these healthy essentials is a child's deep-rooted sense that there is a sacred element to live. Sometimes he or she will speak of it in terms of angels or God, and sometimes it is not named but is felt deeply, nonetheless. The realization that there is a spiritual dimension to life colours and fills young children's whole sense of being, and their sense of the world.
Children have an innate sense of the sacred but it can be easily forgotten through the deluge of modern, commercial life Yet children long to find their connection to the sacred again. One example was a young four-year-old who begged her parents to leave her alone with her newborn sister. The parents were reluctant at first, but as the child was so insistent, they positioned themselves in an adjoining room and listened in via baby monitor. They heard their child walk over to the cradle and whisper, "Tell me about God; I am forgetting."
This sense of the divine or the sacred can be kept alive in early childhood education through a deep respect for the creation of the world and all it's manifestations, for the life of festival celebrations, for the sacredness of birth--and also of death when that enters the kindergarten through the death of a pet or a beloved relative. All of life offers moments of affirming the sacred, if we ourselves recognize and honor it."
~Joan Almon, "Educating Young Children for a Healthy Life" from Child Honouring: How to Turn This World Around, Edited by Raffi Cavoukian and Sharma Olfman
Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes