Treating our Children with Dignity

Keeping in mind that every post on this blog is intended to make us better, I want to share a piece by C.S. Lewis that I read several months ago that is worth your consideration.

 “We hear a great deal about the rudeness of the rising generation,” Mr. Lewis wrote in his book The Four Loves in 1960.  “I am an oldster myself [he was 62-year old when he wrote this] and might be expected to take the oldsters’ side, but in fact I have been far more impressed by the bad manners of parents to children than by those of children to parents.  Who has not been the embarrassed guest at family meals where the father or mother treated their grown-up offspring with an incivility which, offered to any other young people, would simply have terminated the acquaintance?  Dogmatic assertions of matters which the children understand and their elders don’t, ruthless interruptions, flat contradictions, ridicule of things the young take seriously – sometimes of their religion – insulting references to their friends, all provide an easy answer to the question ‘Why are they always out?  Why do they like every house better than their home?’  Who does not prefer civility to barbarism?”

 “Human Dignity” is a powerful concept just as ‘dignity’ itself stands tall as a powerful, powerful word.  Too often, we are more concerned with our own beliefs and our own ways of doing things than we are with what other people might believe or prefer.  The sooner each human can respect the ideas of his fellows and treat all men with dignity, the sooner the world will live in peace.

This is an important lesson to learn regardless of your age.  It is something we have to be ever conscious of because it is too easy to ‘slip up’ and not be willing to listen to other people and to respect their beliefs.  If our children can learn to respect the human dignity of each person, we will have taken a giant stride towards eliminating resolution of differences through conflict.

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