Bahai News - EDUCATING CHILDREN KEY DUTY IN BAHAI FAITH
EDUCATING CHILDREN KEY DUTY IN BAHAI FAITH
BYLINE: JOHN PAMMER
The Bahai faith places a great deal of importance on the
education of all the children of the world.
This main tenet of our faith may not seem like something new. When compared
to other world religions, however, the Bahai writings on compulsory and
mandatory education for all children are the clearest, most powerful I've
The education of our children is a duty that we all need to strive for. Our
children are our future; I can't tell you how many times I've heard this
expression; but has it really sunk into our collective consciousness? Are
we walking our talk? Are we doing all we can for our children's moral
Beginning at home is the best place to start. The proper education of our
own children is one of the most important services we can strive to achieve.
Think about what a great world we would live in if all mothers and fathers
made a conscious and concerted effort to better educate their children.
We need to help our children become all they can, and through this
effort everyone will benefit. If moms and dads everywhere were to begin by
making sure their children are properly educated, the world would be
transformed into heaven on earth, spiritually, scientifically and
Bahai fathers and mothers understand the significance of this. Our writings
tell us we are ultimately responsible for our children's learning, and we
know we need to make great efforts in this endeavor - not just for our
children, but for all children. This education is key in helping to bring
about world peace, a major goal of the Bahai faith.
Of course, our schools have an important role to play in the education of
our children and I believe religious teaching should be part of that formal
education. You may ask, why teach religion in school? What value could it
For starters, religious teachings train our children in proper behavior and
good character. They guide us so that we can find a way to get along with
one another, to live in peace.
For example, most religions teach, in one way or another, do unto others as
you would have them do unto you (the "golden rule"). This suggests that we
need to think about other people's needs as we would our own. If we put the
golden rule into practice, maybe we'll be respectful of one another and find
a way to get along. If children all learn to live right, by the laws of God,
world peace would become inevitable. I believe we move closer to world peace,
one soul at a time. Our children can and will greatly influence humankind's
MUST BE SCHOOL PRIORITY
Religious/moral education should be a priority in schools. However, it must
be handled in an appropriate and positive manner. The Bahai concept and
acceptance of one God and many prophets would certainly help. We believe that
Buddha, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammad and Baha'u'llah (just to name a few)
are all messengers from God.
A great deal needs to change before the concept of religious unity could be
generally accepted. But when large numbers of people realize that the
religions of the world are part of the same progressive religion of God, as
I believe, then we will be able to make the world a better place to live for
We must not forget the important role teachers play in the education of our
children. They hold a station in society that cannot be underestimated. Bahai
teachings state, "Among the greatest of all services that can possibly be
rendered by humans to Almighty God is the education and training of children
. . . It is however, very difficult to undertake this service, even harder
to succeed in it."
I would like to share a Bahai prayer that I often say for my sons, Dylan and
O God! Educate these children. These children are the plants of Thine orchard,
the flowers of Thy meadow, the roses of Thy garden. Let Thy rain fall upon
them; let the Sun of Reality shine upon them with Thy love. Let Thy breeze
refresh them in order that they may be trained, grow and develop, and appear
in the utmost beauty.
John Pammer is a London resident and an adherent of the Bahai faith.
©Copyright 1998, The London Free Press
Page last updated/revised 052501
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