Toward a World Where All Can Thrive

The two weeks since the death of George Floyd have been a significant time for listening and learning. I wanted to share with you some responses that I will be making at Growing Gratitude, and some reflections on why nurturing our children’s spirituality is essential to ensuring that systemic and institutionalised racism is not handed down to yet another generation. First of all, what do I mean by ‘spirituality’? When we talk about children’s spirituality, what we’re really talking about is helping children to behold, enjoy and participate in life as it fully and really is. At Growing Gratitude, we summarise this full and true reality as Diversity, Connection and Worth. (Subscribers who have been part of this community for a while may recall the blog post and daily reflections on this). At all times, in ever more elaborate and marvellous ways, the universe unfolds itself into diversity, connection and worth. Life evolves toward ever more complexity and diversity. All things are connected and part of this wonderful whole. And therefore all things have innate worth. This is the way the universe is, and it’s our spirituality that draws us to perceive it and participate in it fully and joyfully. Racism is such a malign and destructive force for individuals and society precisely because it moves counter to the fullest truth and reality of the universe: it abhors diversity, breaks connection, and denies worth. It is never too early to help our children celebrate the marvellous diversity that surrounds them, the strength that comes through the interconnection of all that exists, and the worth that this bestows on every single particle, place and person. And this is where gratitude comes in, because gratitude opens our eyes to see the world as it REALLY is, and invites us to join in. Gratitude shows children that the goodness in their lives originates from a source that (at least in part) is not them and that is different to them. Gratitude shows children that it is precisely because of differences that they are able to benefit from others’ strengths and attributes, whether it’s the cloud’s ability to rain, the tree’s impetus to bear fruit, or Grandma’s superior skill at making puddings. What we see is that diversity brings strength to the Earth community - but only to the extent that all parts are able to thrive and exist in the fullest expression of themselves. Nurturing our children’s spirituality (and our own) means that we intentionally bring the depth and breadth of our connection to conscious awareness, with a sense of wonder and joy - which is what happens when we practice gratitude together. We help our children to perceive the world as it really and fully is. And then we help them to participate in it, by living, playing and working in ways that are aligned with this reality. We attune our ears to Earth’s melody, so that we learn how to live harmonio