Concern for Our Children: Distraction and Division
Updated: Feb 11
Except for the Olympics, which were fabulous, a cloud of commotion has been whirling around us this year. It seems that there is bad news on almost every front. As parents, we have the challenge of instilling in our children a firm moral and academic foundation -- the deep convictions that will keep them deeply rooted in the midst of this storm of uncertainty. Though there are many qualities our children will need in life, there are two in particular that are disappearing with alarming speed: the strong family unit and disciplined focus.
Children need strong families, a loving unit where parameters for behavior are set, the standard is held high, and their emerging ideas and energy are carefully channeled towards positive productive ends. This last year of quarantine has allowed our family time to incubate, fostering family bonds and participating in a variety of dynamic discussions in many areas, from electric cars to old movies to unusual Olympic events. The slower pace and lack of activities has opened up time for us to become better friends – more aware of each other’s interests, strengths, and thoughts. To preserve our sanity, we have learned to overlook our petty differences. We have learned to highlight our common ground, embrace our diverse perspectives, and become more unified as a family. And I can’t help but think that this could and should be taken to the next level. Once our children have found grounding in their home and family, they will have the confidence and tools to unify and lead others in other venues.
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Secondly, distraction is championing as a destroyer of dreams and worthy pursuits. The constant updates and notifications on our phones, the plethora of entertainment through video games and Wii’s, not to mention the 24/7 availability of movies, has reduced the human family’s ability to focus to a poor portion. Pondering, meditating, and creating require deep concentration, a mental muscle developed over years. Uninterrupted time is necessary to foster focus. Meditation allows us to better understand who we are and the power that is within us. Observe a successful individual, an Olympic athlete for example, and you will discover an individual who has mastered the discipline of focus and meditation; someone who has developed a clear understanding of who they are, what they are capable of, and what they want to accomplish.
If we are to raise children that will rise above and beyond, we need to carefully evaluate the steps we are taking to develop family unity and disciplined individual focus. Napoleon Hill, the great journalist, once said that 98% of people are “drifters” with no particular purpose; conversely, only 2% of the human family are actively using their heads and minds to navigate their lives in the direction of their dreams. It’s our responsibility to give our children the foundation of a strong family unit and the discipline to focus, ultimately preparing them to be self-assured successful young adults. Let’s be the 2% that gets it right.