“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.”—Maria Montessori
Whenever I share a book about religious or cultural celebrations—like Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah—I’ll often receive some direct messages. Concerns about how sharing a variety of religions and such will impact the girls.
Honestly, I hope it has a major impact. That it encourages them to be accepting. I hope it teaches them to appreciate differences and how wonderful we all are. I want them to learn how to appreciate without appropriating, how to respect and honour others while knowing that caring about another doesn’t mean they have to change their own. My goal is that they learn enough to be kind, understanding, and know-how to act appropriately.
We don’t have to join another religion or be part of a culture to love and support those who are, to care about the persecutions they face or learn how to respect them and their holy celebrations.
But we do have to open our hearts and actually listen—hear concerns, understand that there are wrongs being done, truly care, and act to help make wrongdoings right.
Another “concern” is that they are being exposed too soon.
I absolutely believe loving others can’t begin too early. It doesn’t take much to try and understand our amazing differences, but the impact is truly life-changing.
I don’t know what my children will grow up to be or do. They may be police officers who enforce laws—relying on the morals they were brought up with to know true right and wrong. Perhaps lawmakers who ensure that laws are not attacking certain groups unjustly. They may become educators and/or parents who love and respect everyone—who pass along upstanding ethics and morals to the next generation. I don’t care what they decide to do, as long as they are good, love, and do no harm.
“I only follow you for Montessori content!” Peace and love IS Montessori content, so don’t worry, you’re not being led astray. Dr. Montessori was an advocate for peace throughout the world and appreciating how multicultural this world is. While every single one of us shares the same fundamental needs (like shelter and food) there are beautiful differences that make us amazingly, unique individuals.
“The child is both the hope and a promise for mankind.”—Maria Montessori