This was my very first posting on this blog – almost two years ago (8/3/10). I wanted to repost this article because it presents an important concept to align our thought to. Enjoy!
I have a great interest in the concept of the unlimited potential of individuals – from the very young to the more mature. During my many years as an educator, I found great support in the search for man’s unlimited ability during my study of Christian Science.
A recent article started my engine again in thinking about the native capacity of young children and the many concepts mentioned by Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science over 140 years ago.
Studies have now been done with children throughout the world, from the wealthy Christian homes in Canada to the poverty stricken children in New Delhi and the results are the same; children have an innate spirituality.
It was found that children grasped their faith with a subtlety that eluded many adults, according to researcher Mark Holder, an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. They believe in a higher power which watches over them. They relate to the 23rd Psalm, understanding that they are the sheep and that this higher power is their shepherd.
They’ve found that often when we as adults speak of a spiritual experience it will be something we recall from childhood. (Do we as adults develop a certain crust of cynicism as we nibble at the “tree of knowledge”?)
Amy Crawford, a program minister with the United Church of Canada, said, ”Children are very familiar with mystery and with not knowing, which is a quality of spirituality. Their days are filled with new discoveries and new insights. They’re open and they’re curious; they understand that we don’t always have words to describe what it is that we’re thinking and feeling…we’ve begun to understand and work from the perspective that there’s an innateness to spirituality, so it’s something that we’re born with and it may even be that children are more open, so they may even have a greater ability to be spiritual beings than adults do.”
Although this is current research, let’s step back a few centuries in time to this man Jesus who said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14
Now let’s step back a few decades and hear what a New England woman had to say about it: “Children are more tractable than adults, and learn more readily to love the simple verities that will make them happy and good. Jesus loved little children because of their freedom from wrong and their receptiveness of right. While age is halting between two opinions or battling with false beliefs, youth makes easy and rapid strides towards Truth.” S&H p. 236:25
It’s interesting how long it takes society to catch up with those who were centuries and decades ahead of their time and how easily little people catch on while we’re trying to catch up.
Footnote: ”Children happier for being spiritual: study” by Shannon Proudfoot for Canwest News Service