The theme for children is universal acceptance.
Story: Waeil Borhan
Before speaking of raising our children, we need to define our terms. Children, specifically, share a universal language, the language of children. Children understand each other after mere minutes together, no matter their differences. I believe that this merits our attention: anyone addressing children in the world is addressing the children of the world.
What are the sources that form children’s awareness: school, home, and family and friends? Out of the 24 hours that make up the day, there are still three or four hours left. What happens in these hours? This is the focus of this article.
Anywhere in the world, children spend their free time in front of a television, computer, tablet, or smartphone, depending on the family’s financial resources. Mostly they watch animation. What is the content of these works? The subject matter of most of these works worldwide, in whatever language, revolve around the following: A bad guy oppresses a good guy. The bad guy wins at first, then the good guy defeats the bad guy in the end. This plot is repeated endlessly in all children’s fare throughout the globe.
- Most of these plots do the following to our children’s minds:
- Reinforce the concept of Self/Us versus Other/Them.
- Reinforce the concept that violence is the rule and not the exception.
- Reinforce the concept of eternal competition: Us or Them, with no compromise.
- Reinforce the concept that a victory for the Self/Us is the only way to win in life.
- Reinforce the concept that We must win, while the Other must lose.
- Reinforce the concept of tribalism, in its unhealthiest sense.
This can be found in most films and games mass-produced worldwide. You don’t need to speak any foreign languages to make sense of what goes on in these works: the overwhelming majority revolve around similar concepts. Doubtless, there are others working towards creating healthy content for children; however, they are a negligible minority facing fierce competition.
“What’s wrong with that?” you may say. Well, what is wrong with that is that we are addressing children, who by nature and due to their young age, have no ego, and we are filling them with not only individual and collective ego, but with a competitive, exterminatory instinct. The meanings of these works are confined to Other versus Us. Those who attack us are Other; those who protect us are Us. But there is no mention of divine intervention. Deus ex machina is a tired plot twist, no matter the religion of the societies that show these films.
What happens as a result? I believe the universal model is geared towards saturating the consciousness of the world’s children with the individual and collective ego, preparing them for boxing God into specific times and places. This occurs automatically under self-centeredness, presented as the only natural way of life.
The question is: If you agree with this diagnosis, what are you going to do? Our children—the world’s children—are being raised from birth before our very eyes, with our full consent at that, on a steady diet engineered to build an individual and collective ego. With our full consent, or our full ignorance, they are encouraged to view the Almighty as having no role in what happens in our lives, or at best a marginal and ineffectual one. Our children today are the youth of tomorrow: they are the future.