What kind of message are we giving our children?

Something has been on my mind a lot lately – what are we teaching our children about their wellbeing, about their health in this global pandemic? What are we telling them about their own capacity for healing and thinking?

As we outsource all personal responsibility for our wellbeing to talking heads and experts who’ve never met us, what are we teaching children about themselves?

What are we teaching them as we cross the street to avoid other humans?

It seems to me the messages we are sending them are fear based. Fear other people. Fear germs. Fear that your body will fail you. Fear your community. Fear playgrounds and other children.

What if we sent them a different message?

What if we told them their bodies are impressive, holistic systems that can protect them from all sorts of germs, particularly when supported by a healthy lifestyle.

What if we taught them that what we put in our bodies matters, food is medicine. Our bodies transform nutrients into energy that keep the brain, the heart, the lungs, the immune system functioning well. It’s not simply a matter of avoiding exposure – our bodies are complex systems that relay on emotional health, mental health, a vibrant microbiome to function effectively (WELL and TRULY proven by great bodies of research).

What if instead of walking around teaching children little rhymes about wearing masks and not touching our faces, our children walked around singing rhymes about probiotics, vitamin D – that’s what you need to stay healthy…!

If public wellbeing truly matters, why are we not looking at this from a holistic perspective? Humans do not thrive in isolation. Humans are loving beings that thrive in connection. Humans have microbiomes that need exposure to the world around us and we need nutrient dense foods.

When I think about the kind of world I want to live in, I have to think about the kind of world I want my children to live in. I don’t want them to live in a bubble wrapped world of fear. I don’t want them to be afraid of spending time with other humans.

I want them to understand that their bodies are beautiful and strong. And if we look after them right they will look after us. Take care of your cells and your cells take care of you. Just as Earth provides and sustains us if we look after our Earth, she will continue to nurture sustain and provide for us. Our bodies, if we care for them, can be strong – they are also the home of our souls (or consciousness if you like). However you view the human spirit our bodies are the home of our consciousness, our identities. If we care for our bodies, our bodies will continue to sustain us until the time that nature reaches the part of the cycle where we move on.

I want my children to grow up in a world of love, not fear. I want to live in this world too. This has been a tough year across the world for so many people. My concern (and why I’m sharing this post) is that we have forgotten our own power, our own capacity for vibrancy and sufficiency. We have forgotten that children are people and they do not have the same freedoms that we do (simply because they are children) and adults make choices for them. What is happening to their social and emotional development right now? We treat our elderly as poorly – we remove both our elderly and our children from the decision making processes as if their opinions and feelings about their own lives do not matter. Why are we leaving the most vulnerable out of the decision making process? Why do we deny them (and ourselves) the dignity of making their own decisions about their lives?

We have outsourced our survival to experts in an unsustainable system. We have outsourced our emotional and physical wellbeing. We have given up our own moral responsibility to care for those around us to a fear filled and ugly system of living that may even change our own biology.

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