At Nania_Reverence

Today I would like to talk about ‘reverence’. It is one of the most important aspects we observe at Nania.

Everyday we have time for ‘prayer’ and occasions of expressing gratitude.During our class daily morning circle, we look out for absent children and pray for the sick children’s recovery.Before meals (snacks and lunch) we say verses expressing gratitude for the food, to nature and the people who prepared the food. We pray for victims of tragic incidents such as the recent Tsunami. Lighting a candle and making a good wish for somebody other than themselves, performed by the children, is the centerpiece ceremony of Nania’s Christmas festival. At Nania, we take these moments and opportunities to offer prayer or express gratitude to surround children in moods of reverence. It comforts their being and nourishes the sense of goodness they possess.

Children below six are naturally close to the spiritual world. They feel and talk about things in the nature as if they are alive like themselves.  They naturally relate to ‘Mr. Sun’, ‘Mr. Tree’, etc. as natural beings. If not discouraged, they have high affinity to stones, leaves, seeds, flowers, insects and such.  During outside play, some children will collect stones, etc., to keep and take home.  Ordinary stones to adults, but for small children things in nature can be treasures, filled with mystery.

A dead ant can be a big happening to small children. They observe, they discuss “the situation” and they make a grave to bury the ant. Once I over heard a conversation after some children finished decorating a grave with beautiful flowers. It goes as follows:“Mr. Ant will surely go to the Heaven, won’t he?” … “He will be happy there, because his mummy and daddy are waiting in the Heaven, isn’t it?” … “Yes, I think so”

Parents will notice the usage of Gnomes and Angels at Nania. Gnomes at Nania are elemental beings in the nature who protect the Earth. On the child’s birthday, he/she receives presents of a crystal, seeds and shells (nature’s gifts) from Mr. Gnome. When a child falls sick, other children place gnomes around the resting sick child to watch over him/her. Children feel gnomes as their guardians. They make houses and presents for them. One can build on the child’s sensitivity to elemental beings in nature to develop respect and care for the environment.

Development from childhood to adulthood can also be portrayed as a recapitulation of the development of humanity from early prehistory origins to the present day. Small children bear similarity to ancient consciousness, which is close to the nature, and animistic. As children grow up, they will progressively experience the separation from nature and the development of intellect and other ego faculties.

At their age and corresponding to their spiritual emotional state, as educators, we at Nania strive to nurture an environment of ‘warm space filled with love’. And within that space, to foster the experience of a higher purpose and cultivate recognition and attitude of ‘gratitude’ for life and nature.

The power of the words in verses and prayers enrich the child’s soul life and good intent.


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