Growing to Be God, Value-Based Education for Child Development
This summer Bhagawan told some of the Youth from Germany, that there is a programme, called Growing to be God, Value Based Education for Child Development, that started in England and they should do it in Germany too. He explained that values are much more important than Religion and that is exactly what Growing to be God is about - teaching children human values through short stories, games and roleplays. Independent of their cultural background and religion, all children should be enabled to participate, since the project draws from the teachings of all great teachers, saints and religions while it gives special focus to their own culture.
Until some years ago Germany had Bal Vikas and one of the current teachers had been a Bal Vikas child for almost ten years, which was a really great experience for her and always the highlight of the month. She was very happy to have a programme again for children in Germany. In October 2017 the inauguration and the first teaching in the blessed presence of Mr. Rajasingam and his daughter Saima from England took place. Since then, the lessons are held every three weeks. In the beginning, there were three children and two teachers and it was hard for them to imagine how more children would come. But Swami told them not to worry. It should simply start immediately and with time, more children would come and that’s exactly what happened. In January 2018 there were six children and three teachers. This really shows how much Bhagawan is supporting this project. The children are from the ages of four to twelve, which sometimes is a little bit difficult to bring together; but the nice thing about it, is that there are so many interesting and refreshing answers from the children of different age groups.
Before doing this work, the teachers didn’t know how many answers the children would give on a simple question, like why we should treat others well. The children answered ”because our actions one day will come back to us“, or ”because the others are sad otherwise“. As one of the teachers explained; ”the biggest experience so far is that you really should know what you are talking about and start to live the values you are teaching. The children will immediately notice if you are insecure in what you are teaching“. So the teachers might even have learnt much more from the lessons than the children. The teachers are giving the children the tasks, like writing down the good things they did for others. This is harder than the teachers thought at first. ”It is a blessing, that we can do these lessons, so we have to deal with the human values very intensely,“ the teachers said.
”We learnt that playing games is a very important thing, especially for the boys. Before we start with the teachings, we always play a game, where they can run around and that’s where they get in contact with each other and then they can fully focus on the lesson“.
The teachers already recognize some huge changes in the children’s behaviour. In their first lesson they barely said a word, now they keep telling stories from their daily life and don’t even stop talking. In the beginning there was trouble with some of them and it was hard to focus on the teachings. There were children who showed everyone that they did not want to be in the class. But it is amazing how fast they found their way into the group and are now some of the most focused kids.
The teachers declared, ”Our motivation is that maybe one day, at least a few of our children will follow the human values and spread Swami‘s teachings in the world. And we also keep going because we know it is Swami‘s wish and it makes Him happy.“