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How Does It Affect the Children?

301. How Does It Affect the Children?

I read some time ago about a tradition in the Native American culture to make their plans based on how it would affect seven generations to come. The Hopi Nation also has a process called the Medicine Wheel where everyone sits in a circle and considers what it is that they want to do. The final, ultimate test comes before the grandmother and grandfather as they guard the children’s fire. These two have veto power. If what is being proposed can pass the test of the children’s fire—then it can be done. Will it be helpful or harmful? I worry that some of the things we are doing now are harmful and we need to veto them.

Robert Coles in his book The Moral Intelligence of Children, writes: “The child is a witness; the child is an ever-attentive witness of grown-up morality—or lack thereof.”

Perhaps we can recognize that the children are watching—even when we think they are not—they are watching; and we need to be planning not just for today but for days and years down the road—for the children.

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