3 Lessons that will Change the World

Posted on February 26, 2012


My husband Daniel has this twinkle in his eye like he’s on to something.My son Luke as an infant

“What do we teach?” he asks me.

I’m confused, “Information?” I ask.

When he repeats the question, “What is the one thing we teach?”

I ask if he means the message. Yes, he asks “What is the core content of anything we teach?”

Aha – at the core level, the spiritual level, we are always –  in every moment – teaching either separation or unity. This principle is basic to many spiritual traditions including A Course in Miracles, which we both study.

He nods. He says there are only three lessons we can teach.

Daniel has a university calender open on his lap. He is choosing his courses but hasn’t quite decided what career is best for him. This conversation emerged from his contemplating becoming a teacher.

We both view career as the opportunity to help and heal others, no matter what the career looks like ‘on the outside’. So it’s not surprising that he distilled these three basic lessons we can teach our children and each other that will radically change the world for the better.

Here they are.

First Lesson:

You are one with the truth and the light.

All the most profound spiritual teachers point to our ultimate identity as holy and abstract beings whose essential nature is positive. Quantum physics adds new understanding of our interconnectedness at the most core level, and many people believe that western science (especially physics and psychology) will increasingly come to support what the most wise among us already know and experience.

Our true essence is “oneness.” In the most foundational sense, we are not separate individuals but instead indispensable and holographic parts of a divine whole. On the most worldly practical level, the teaching is that we are inherently worthy. That deep down there is something unarguably right about us all.

What if we taught all our children that they were inherently right in the matter of living and being, and that the people in their lives would accept and support them unconditionally because they recognized their truest nature? Imagine if our school curriculum featured our divine nature as the basic foundation, as the first premise upon which all lessons were developed.

My husband and I both agreed that the inherent message we took away from our schooling was something opposite: that our value and worth in the world are not inherent, but instead dependent upon a number of factors, especially our work and social performance.

Which brings us the second lesson…

Second Lesson:

You have gifts to offer the world. (Let us discover and explore them).

Somehow both of us didn’t get the message that we had gifts, talents, and aptitudes right from the start. Rather, we came to understand that there were a limited number of valuable skills that we would have to work like crazy to develop. And to make matters worse, failing to develop these skills would have dire consequences (flunking school, and failing to find work,  a partner, and respect in our community).

Essentially, we learn that there is something wrong with us (we start with a negative balance), and that we need to work hard and be successful to gain any value in society.

I’m sure many of our teachers personally didn’t hold to this belief, and yet this was the overarching theme of our education. (Daniel later added that he believed that our teachers did unconsciously hold this belief).

What we chose to make premise behind our education that we each already have natural abilities awaiting discovery, that can be expanded and built upon? We could also count upon the educational system to help train us in the areas in which we are weak, to become more rounded people. But this doesn’t need to have the stigma that comes with being “bad” at something, as long as we retain the holistic view that we each have a unique profile of aptitudes.

Most of us have accepted that we have different learning styles, and I know many schools and schooling systems are making significant efforts to accommodate this diversity. But there is more to it. We don’t just have our own methods of receiving, we actually enter this life with our own methods of giving.

It’s no wonder so many of us graduate completely confused about where we can offer the highest service to our communities.

Daniel added that this second lesson isn’t just about giving – it is about an exchange. Our children need to know that they have gifts to offer the world that will in turn help them secure what they need from the world: acceptance and belonging, as well as financial and other resources.

This brought him the the third of the the three.

Third Lesson:

No matter how well you apply (or fail to apply) lesson two, lesson one is still true.

Daniel’s eyes have a teary sheen as he smiles at this third lesson. This is it, isn’t it?

We need to know more than that we come to this world with the innate ability to provide value and earn what we need in life. More importantly, we need to know that no matter how abysmally we fail (or seem to fail), we cannot lose our inherent worth.

This statement is backed by thousands of spiritual teachings, all guiding us to discover its ultimate truth.

No matter what we say, think or do, no matter what we achieve or fail to achieve in this life, we will remain a part of the divine principle of life.

The three lessons today:

Most spiritual practices, we concluded, cultivate the understanding and experience of lesson number one.

Most education could (and often does) promote the understanding of lesson number two.

But the fulfillment of lesson three is the most elusive in our current culture. It involves the practice of looking beyond appearances, of transcendence, and of forgiveness.

Mastered and taught together, these three lessons will radically change the world as we know it. As we learn and apply these lessons in our own lives, we will become agents of this necessary and liberating change.

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