Appreciating our spiritual identity can anchor us amid the turbulence of contemporary society
In today’s world, people grow up bereft of many of the supports that grounded and guided their formation of identity and the development of their individuality. For example, many people grow up in broken families, where they have just one parent, often with the father absent or even unknown. Even when single parents are sincere and competent, still they can’t provide the combination of conditional and unconditional love that is essential for the holistic growth of children.
Beyond the disorientation caused by the absence of two parents, many children grow up without many or even any siblings. The socialization that can happen at home through interacting with siblings is lost and is often replaced by playing games on one’s iPad and watching cartoons on TV. Going even further, in today’s hyper-sexualized culture, children often grow up with great sexual insecurity, wherein they worry not just about their capacity to find a suitable partner, but also about their very gender. The culture’s over-emphasizing of gender fluidity simply ends up becoming one more giant, stormy wave in the turbulent ocean that is contemporary society. Being buffeted repeatedly, children struggle to find in life a stable place or a meaningful purpose.
Gita wisdom helps everyone to understand that they are essentially spiritual beings who are indestructible and are transcendental to their material settings. The very unchangeability of their spiritual essence can become an anchor around which they can stabilize their inner and outer worlds (Bhagavad-gita 02.16). And if they build on that nonmalleable identity by connecting with the supreme spiritual reality, Krishna and experience the security of his constant inner presence, then that can give the strength to do what it takes to move beyond the wounds of the past and create a meaningful future.
Think it over:
- Why do children grow up disoriented in today’s world?
- How can spiritual wisdom help ground one’s identity?
- What stormy wave disorients you the most? How can you best anchor yourself?
02.16: Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the nonexistent [the material body] there is no endurance and of the eternal [the soul] there is no change. This they have concluded by studying the nature of both.
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