Friday, March 20, 2015
Structures in society influence the way we think and act, some for the good and some not for the good. A university dean writing in the Catholic Times tells us that children who know how to play are the ones who are successful, and goes on to explain his thesis.
In Asia, he says, we like to see landscapes with mountains, and rivers. It makes us feel at peace. However,in much of our society we are separated from nature, and those who suffer the most from this isolation are the children. There are many maladies and mental difficulties that can be traced to this isolation.
Sports are good, but other games and being close to nature, animals and plants are a great help in relating with others, and developing the imagination, and creativity. A Japanese scholar is quoted as saying that the children who know how to play do well in their studies.
All parents want their children to be leaders in society. Preparation for this comes in friendliness with others, having a moral sense, able to understand another's situation, and able to sustain a loss. We want a person who is genuine, and has developed their humanity. Capability in society demands more of their emotional make up than IQ. Nature stimulates the child's senses, they come in contact with different sounds and smells, they feel the bright rays of the sun and fresh air, all help to heal, console, jolt the spirit of inquiry, adventure and creativity.
We know that there is not a direct connection of success in life and honors in study. Without the ability to related with others one will not be successful in life. According to the dean, the International Civic and Citizen Education Study placed Korean students very low in cultural interaction skill, and the ability to live harmoniously with others. The results have been shocking to many in society.
Our students no longer have to go to school on Saturdays and have the weekend to play and to develop their emotional and human qualities. Our students, says the dean, have the longest hours of study compared to other countries and when they go to Sunday School and are faced with more of the cramming methods of education it is easy to see why they don't want to go.
He recommends another way of conducting the Sunday School programs so that the students will be looking forward to meeting their friends and to enjoy the time they are together. He feels that if that is accomplished, even if they fall away later, they will remember the happy days of their Sunday School years which will help them to return.
Here we have a ideal situation but there is the need to impart some knowledge to the students, and without that we only entertain which is not what a Sunday School program should be.Those who are responsible for the programs of the students in parishes know the difficulties and the need to make the programs more attractive and better attended, a work in progress.