Strenna 2017 - May reflections

 

Taking Care of One’s Neighbour           May  

“The task of parents is promoting the human and spiritual growth and the ethical formation of their children, with positive methods, with an attentive dialogue” (The Rector Major).

Lily, a fifteen-months-old child, is sitting on the trolley at the supermarket, her eyes fixed on the iPad. Her mother is busy doing the shopping. Lily does not notice the shiny red apples nor the large display of Cheerios, her preferred cereals, on the shelf.

Every day, after school, Jason, a third elementary child, rushes in front of the TV, and there he will remain for five hours, until he goes to bed.
Melissa, a sixteen year-old girl, is attending the third year of her senior high school. Last month she sent 3500 SMSs (about 110 messages per day).

Regretfully, these situations are not unusual. Actually they have become normal in a world that orbits around monitors. In order to get the attention of a youngster, nowadays one must compete with a smartphone. «What can we do?» parents ask. «If we tell them we would like to do something together, we quarrel, and soon afterwards they get back to their gadgets».

Today, more than ever in history, it is necessary to have the sense of Don Bosco for education.
Education is positive. Parents are not only the guardians of the mind and soul of their children. They are the ones who must “fill” that void of humanity and spirituality that takes shape in them.  In order to give, one must possess, and nobody can lead another person to a place where they have not been. The list of essential qualities that parents and educators “after the heart of don Bosco” must have is practically endless; appreciation and gratitude, kindness, mildness, a sense of belonging, orderliness and cleanliness, love for study, responsibility, self-control, having targets to attain, joy, spirituality and faith.