There are many books of ancient Greeks which have been reproduced and are still relevant today. Aristotle, Plato, Socrates and many other prominent men from ancient Greece spoke or wrote words of wisdom many centuries ago that retain their deep and powerful today, at the end of 2020. In one of these remarkable works, ‘Peri Paidon Agogis’ meaning ‘On the Education of Children’ by Plutarch, a Greek philosopher in Roman times, we see the question: “People, where are you going? Doing everything to gain wealth, but not caring about your children, who will inherit it?”.
During this pandemic, I brought this book to mind many times. Mainly due to the change of people’s attitudes that have begun to happen. Many social studies have already been conducted and many more are going to occur. Because while the pandemic may be a ‘hard science’ problem, inside us, the effect of the social changes go much deeper. The principal reason for this pandemic is our relationship with the environment. But the reason for the continuous mistakes of our past and present pertains to how we educate our children. Not in school, but within the tight circle of family: the only one we have now due to “keeping us safe and healthy” instructions. Many scientific studies have proved that the first three years of our life largely shape our attitudes, behaviors, habits, choices, character, and basic values. And all these attributes come from family and more specifically from parents, and the “good example” they give.
What about our respect for the environment? Overall, we share this common attribute with other mammals, as our basic way of learning, when we come to this world. It is how we learn to survive, as studies have proved.
In other studies, it is proved that gaining wealth above some point does not make you happier but just causes more anxiety and depression. In other words, your child is not going to inherit something that offsets those things.
Children need you and your quality time more than anything else. Children need a safe planet, not a safe cage. Now, a shift is happening in many societies. Families are doing more things together. Due to social distancing, they are exploring parks, and going out for running or cycling are more often family activities. Learning by doing within a family can create a generation with stronger family cores, and better educated children with more important ‘soft skills’ like caring about every life on this planet, empathy, unconditional love, respect, and creative thinking.
This is all about Christmas, feeling a family-centered jubilation in our hearts, in the presence of those who live within a physically small distance. And educating our children with important quotes for life. Because “Health is valuable, but changeable. Power is enviable, but vulnerable to sickness. From all the wealth in the world, only education is immortal and holy.” (Plutarch). Happy holidays!
* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira is an Agriculturist-MSc Botany-Biology and PhD Candidate in Agricultural-Environmental Education and Science Communication.