One Sunday morning, during a conversation with my 6 years old daughter on the topic of spirituality, she quoted a Bible verse: ‘Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul and might. Deuteronomy 6:5’.
As a parent, though surprised, hearing her words filled me with a sense of peace – a peace derived from knowing that she is developing a sound moral character in a world where there is so much darkness.
She then recalled Jesus’ commandment to ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself’, which we then began to discuss and give thought to what it meant practically. We concluded that it affirmed self-esteem, self-worth, reciprocity and kindness; values which are intrinsic to a harmonious and cooperative global society.
Without the explicit teaching of morals and values, we leave it up to chance for our young people to develop their own moral compass. In an age of chasing league tables and battling brutal austerity, austerity without moral conscience, this is a risky gamble. A blind ramble in the dark possibly leading us to a moral abyss.
Is our society not broken enough to leave out such an education? Do the likes of Grenfell and the London riots not call for such teaching?
Recently I watched a set of Year 10 students deliver an end of year awards ceremony. It involved dancing, acting and speeches to name a few; a fine show of events. As the crowd began to hush after rapturous applause, a young man from the year group asked us to bow our heads, and then boldly uttered a prayer of hope and thanksgiving. Suddenly, others looked at him through a new lens. My heart started to swell and I’m sure the hearts of others did also. This young man clearly understood the importance of spirituality.
My vision is to see schools, homes and other institutions of great influence give precedence to the moral and spiritual character of our young people, for they are the future guardians of the world we live in.