The inability to concentrate, the inability to pay attention, quick temper, verging on cruelty – we’re seeing more and more children for whom this kind of behavior has become normal. “Hyperactivity” – we have defined the problem appropriately. Now we can even treat it. We substitute Dexedrine with Ritalin, going on the offensive against our own children, trying to make sure we don’t miss our chance at the very beginning so that it doesn’t develop, to suppress and defeat it. But can we beat this disease with just pills? Can we beat this disease by fighting its symptoms, and not its cause? Moreover, is it even a disease?
Remember how in the past these kinds of children were few and far between. They were referred to as – just think! – underdeveloped, and they were locked away in special schools. The problem thus took care of itself: it was seldom seen and soon forgotten – and we kept moving boldly into the bright future. Today, however, now that the problem has grown to critical proportions – after all, according to some estimates, up to twenty percent of children between the ages of 6 and 16 suffer from attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity – and since there isn’t enough space for these children at special schools, it was decided to dub hyperactivity a disease.
But not everyone agrees.
For instance, psychiatrist Sydney Walker, author of A Dose of Sanity, believes that hyperactivity isn’t a disease, but “a hoax perpetrated by doctors who have no idea what’s really wrong with these children” [Sydney Walker III, The Hyperactivity Hoax, 1998, p.5]. The majority, however, scares us with awful consequences of this syndrome – such as mental disorders and developing a disposition toward drug addiction and criminal behavior. This carries the following obvious implications: “If you don’t listen to us now – don’t call us later, when you will be robbed, murdered and raped. It’s your fault, we’ve warned you.” And so the assembly line is rolling full speed, manufacturing drugs that suppress, and often even cripple, the young organism.
In reality, the increased (hyper – [as it is commonly called nowadays]) activity of young people isn’t hyperactivity at all. It is a normal state of being for a generation that has reached a new stage of evolution in the desire to receive pleasure. Kabbalah explains all of this in a very simple and accessible way.
At the root of all our actions – regardless of what they are! – is the desire to feel a pleasant fulfillment within – we refer to its minor manifestation as pleasure and its strong manifestation – delight. During our lives we subconsciously, and sometimes even consciously, search for the greatest fulfillment, all the while trying to put in minimum efforts to get it.
In this sense, our present generation is no different to any of the past ones. Having received a greater desire from birth, the new generation rejects the fulfillment of the previous one, because it simply cannot receive pleasure from something that pleased its parents. Its desire for fulfillment is more powerful than that of its parents’, and it compels the new generation to be more active in its search. Today’s children want it all, here and now. Wasting years to achieve some long-term goals – is not for them. This is where their carelessness, quick temper and lack of patience come from. Today, it simply manifests in our children with a stronger force.
Actually, such qualities have been inherent to youth all throughout history. Moreover, there has never been a time when parents would not wonder why their younger generation is so unlike them. “We never behaved like that when we were your age!” There probably isn’t a person on this planet who hasn’t heard this at least once from their elders. This is how it has always been, how it is now, and how it will be. And still, there is one special trait in today’s generation that dramatically distinguishes it from all others.
Our children are becoming more and more persistent in their search for the method of developing the “human” level within them. The fulfillment of the so-called “animate,” lower level – wealth, fame, knowledge – simply cannot fulfill them. Moreover, since the older generation cannot offer them anything else, they defend themselves from them through any possible means. At the moment, it happens subconsciously and looks like a disease, but the time will come when the question will become very clear to them, and they will come to us – adults – demanding an answer. It would be a good idea if, by then, we would have at least an approximate answer to their question.
Today, we still have time to stop turning our children into invalids, to stop stuffing them with Ritalin, and start searching for a correct approach to their upbringing, education, and life in general.
What do you think?
My Current Mood: anxious