• Uplifting Education

Mastering the Power of Love

Upon examining the moral principles that underlie every successful and enduring institution, from the family to all the organizations of society. Stephen R. Covey remarked,

“The laws governing human behavior are not invented: they are the laws of the universe that pertain to human relationships. These principles are woven into the fabric of every civilized society.”

We have mastered many natural forces, but we have not yet mastered the power of love. The mystery of love fascinates us, and the aura of romantic love has an almost magical appeal. Can we study the laws of love as accurately as we study the laws of nature? No. Because human beings have free will, we escape the determinism of nature. We are unpredictable. Yet, unpredictable does not mean unintelligible. The expression of love can be studied.

Living an Exemplary Life

From the experience of the past century, we have learned that science, technology and economic development alone do not create the proper conditions for peace, harmony, and happiness. Rather, we need a new universal, value-based view of life, which supports the establishment of true families and healthy societies. We seek values that can integrate the best of spiritual and material values, traditional and contemporary values, and Eastern and Western values. Integrating these complementary views provides a more complete context for the appreciation and application of moral and ethical values.

For young people to realize their hopes and dreams, they need a loving family environment to cultivate their conscience and heart of true love. A strong and pure conscience is the basis for academic excellence, personal achievement, family stability, and true citizenship. The conscience always tries to guide a person to do what is right. However, due to a corrupt moral environment, the conscience has been unable to function properly. As parents, teachers, and leaders we have the responsibility first to purify and liberate our own conscience and then to help our youth to do likewise. Young people who have cultivated a pure conscience and true love will empower others with the desire and will to live an exemplary life for the sake of others. This is an essential feature of a civil society and a truly vibrant civilization.

Cultivating True Love

The cornerstone of a child's personality is his or her ability to relate to others in true love. True love means living for the sake of others without calculating personal reward. When this quality of love is applied in the relationship between men and women it leads naturally to purity before marriage and undivided conjugal love within marriage. Motivated by love grounded in morals, a person will act in the best long-term interests of the ones they love, never gambling with their health, future goals, or personal integrity.

We come to know true love through experiencing what is known as the four realms of heart:

  • first, the filial heart toward our parents in response to their unconditional and sacrificial love,

  • second, the heart of mutual love and friendship between brothers and sisters and among peers,

  • third, the heart of conjugal love between husband and wife; and

  • fourth, the unconditional parental heart of love toward our children.

By developing these four realms of heart, a person becomes a man or woman of good character embodying true love. The family, therefore, becomes the foundation for human happiness, life and ideals.

Moral Character

The founding fathers of the United States believed that a vital mission of education was to add to the “moral character” of society. Noah Webster wrote in 1790:

“Education, in great measure, forms the moral character of men, and morals are the basis of government.... It is much easier to introduce and establish an effectual system for preserving morals than to correct by penal statutes the ill effects of a bad system.... The only practicable method to reform mankind is to begin with children.” [i]

Classical education's explicit aim was to nurture in the child a definite type of character, a specific attitude towards life. Here is a description by Plato of education in ancient Greece:

Education begins in the first years of childhood. As soon as the child can understand what is said, mother and father exert themselves to make the child as good as possible, at each word and action teaching and showing that this is right and that wrong, this honorable and that dishonorable.... At a later stage they send him to teachers and tell them to attend to his conduct far more than to his reading and writing. And the teachers did so ... they put into his hands the works of great poets, and make him read and learn them by heart, sitting on his bench at school. These are full of instruction and of tales and praises of famous men of old, and the aim is that the boy may admire and imitate and be eager to become like them. [ii]

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