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My new article on Linkedin “Navigating the Maze of Communication with Our Children”
What should be our approach when we communicate with our children, especially when they are young? What kind of relationships should we build with them in order to best prepare them for life? Apparently, there is a formula called “grownup-equal-younger,” which works very well in preparing our children for life, if we use it correctly.
As parents, our main goal is to “build” our child’s personality to be ready for life, to have confidence and the ability to carry out whatever tasks our child may choose to undertake, as well as to be able to treat failures constructively and positively. To achieve this, we need to learn to relate to our children from three different perspectives: as grownups, as equals, as younger. Each perspective has its role and the right time to use it. The trick is to know when to use which of them and how to use them correctly.
Let’s begin with the “grownup” perspective. Here we place ourselves above the child, as the dominant, parent figure. We set the rules and apply pressure when needed. With the “equal” perspective, we will discover that often, the child listens to us much more attentively when we speak as equals rather than with a top-down tone. Here is when we treat children as friends, playmates, and even as confidants. When we take the “younger” perspective, we allow the child to practice being the “mature adult,” to lead and direct us.
Combining the three helps children better understand the complexities of human relationships. It helps them develop the ability to adapt and adjust themselves to changing circumstances, to know how to relate to teachers, friends, and later in life, to partners and coworkers.
Now that we’ve outlined the three perspectives, let’s add some insights about each of them. When taking the “younger” perspective, we need to know how to do it without losing our parental authority. To do this, we need to explain to the child, with words and by example, that every person has strengths and weaknesses, that we cannot all know everything and be able to do everything. For example, even if you are an Olympic champion, you cannot be an Olympic champion in all the sports. When children learn that it’s OK not to excel in everything, it takes a big load off of their young shoulders and allows them to be happy where they are, pursue the things that truly interest them, and eventually excel in them. At the same time, they will not become insecure because they don’t know everything or understand everything.
Concerning the “equal” perspective, it is important that the child will feel that we are always working in his or her best interest. Children need to know that whatever happens, even if we’re mad at them or become demanding, it is because we are working in their interest, that our pressure helps them achieve what would be harder, if not impossible to achieve were it not for our pressure. It is a good idea to tell them explicitly that it pains us that we have to reproach them and pressure them, and explain why it is for their own good.
If the child does not accept our explanation, we should show how sorry we are that we have to be this way, that we are hurting together with the child, but we must do it nonetheless because it is the best thing for the child, and as parents, we must see that our children get the best rearing that will help them the most to become successful grownups. Sometimes, we can even admit that our demand is very difficult, that we are not sure they can handle it, but that if they do, they will benefit tremendously and it will open new doors for them. In that state, we should leave the child with space to build his or herself independently.
Regarding the “grownup” perspective, here the parent(s) make(s) the decisions. They have to explain that sometimes, we just have to accept certain things. This may not be easy on the child but it is a great example because when we grow up, we have to obey the law, follow the rules of the school or university we’re in, the workplace, bosses, etc. If children aren’t accustomed to obeying rules even if they sometimes don’t understand them or agree with them, it can be a problem for them to cope with the society they live in.
Here is a real-life example and how we can use the three perspectives to turn an everyday situation from an ordeal into an experience of growth. It often takes little children a long time to get dressed, wash up, and get ready for school in the morning. This can create a lot of stress and pressure and lead to unpleasant situations. The first thing in dealing with it is to go over all the stages of the morning routine with the child, not in real time, but in your free time, when you’re all relaxed. You imagine what you do every morning one step at a time and together with the child, you learn what each stage (bathroom, breakfast, getting dressed, etc.) entails. You allocate, in collaboration with the child, a realistic time limit for each action and the child will now “practice” keeping time instead of being passive and forced to get up. In this way, the whole process becomes a bit of a game.
After a day or two, when the child knows the routine by heart, you take the “younger” perspective and the child becomes the grownup. Now it’s the child’s turn to see that you’re on time, to make sure you aren’t holding him or her up.
In this way, every situation in life, especially the more challenging ones, can become a learning experience that lead to personal growth and to learning new skills that will raise our children happy, confident, and able to communicate successfully with the people around them.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Does the world produce enough food to feed everyone?“
Indeed, the world produces enough food to feed everyone, but the problem is that we cannot divide it correctly, genuinely and fairly. Our ego does not let us distribute products well and correctly, equally for everyone. Food is thrown out in some places of the world, while in other places, people starve to death.
Such is our nature, and it will not change until we reach the conclusion that we need to change our nature from egoistic to altruistic. Until we do, the situation in the world will also not change, and the polarization in the world will become more and more diametric. We can expect to see a sharper division of the world into some places where people starve to death, and others where people discard of excess food.
The problem with changing our nature from egoistic to altruistic is that we cannot overcome the ego while we remain in our ordinary boundaries. In order to undergo this transformation, we need to discover the law of nature, which is a law of love and altruism, in our human relations. By seeing that nature acts this way, we will also be able to change ourselves in order to prevent self-annihilation. Everyone will then discover how to realize our global interdependence and interconnectedness harmoniously, and we will be able to divide all products equally, so they will be balanced among everyone.
Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006.
Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
New Life 1309 – Communication With Small Kids In The Family
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel
I need to constantly imagine what my child lacks and how I should relate to him with respect to that lack. We should parent using three approaches: as a grownup who dictates, as an equal, and as smaller by learning from the child and modeling that it is okay not to know things.
A successful child is a balanced child who does not burst out for better or for worse, a child who understands where he is and behaves maturely. I should let the child feel that I am always on his side and whatever I do is for his sake; when I have to force him to do something, it distresses me. It is a good idea to share my internal world with a child while not pressuring him and giving him space to grow independently.
To sum up, do everything together with the child so that he will understand that cooperation is the key to success in life.
From KabTV’s “New Life 1309 – Communication With Small Kids In The Family,” 6/13/21
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My new article on Linkedin “Can Hamas Not Hate Israel?”
In a recent video that was posted on my Facebook page in Hebrew, I said that if we connect with one another in Israel, Hamas will not only make peace with us, but will also come and help us. The video, as would be expected, got many comments. The interesting part about them was that it got comments from both Jews and Arabs. The comments from the Jews were mainly that it was unrealistic, that we have always been hated and we’ll always be hated. The comments from the Arabs, however, were mainly praises for the truthful words I said, and encouragement to continue speaking about it.
While we weren’t always hated, as some of the comments claimed, we have indeed been hated for the past two millennia, since the ruin of the Second Temple. But then, the Temple was ruined, and the Romans exiled us, precisely because of our hatred for each other. Read every Jewish text on the subject and it will tell you that the only reason that this catastrophe came upon us was our own hatred for each other.
Since the ruin of the Temple, we have not healed the hatred that splintered us, and history shows that whenever Jews became more belligerent toward each other, antisemitism intensified. While it is true that since the ruin of the Temple, there has not been a time without antisemitism, it is just as true that since that time, there has not been a day when we did not hate each other.
Prior to the ruin of the Temple, we did have brief periods of unity, and those were our most glorious days. When we united under Joseph in Egypt, we were given the land of Goshen, Egypt’s most fertile stretch of land. When Joseph died, we broke apart and the Egyptians began to hate us. When we reunited under Moses, we were liberated from Egypt and received our code of law, the Torah, of which the most fundamental tenet is “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18).
In Israel, we began to part once more and lost the land to the Babylonians. In the exile in Babylon, we united once again because of Haman’s intention to annihilate the Jews. A short while later, we received the Cyrus declaration, which sent us back to the land of Israel with the king’s blessings, the treasures of the First Temple, provisions for the journey, and the king’s support in building the Second Temple. While we were united in Judea, the nations came to learn from us the wisdom of unity: The Torah was translated into Greek, and people from all the nations came every pilgrimage to Jerusalem to watch the miracle of Jewish unity.
Then we lost our unity once more when many in the nation adopted Hellenism. A civil war broke out. When the united Hasmoneans won the war, the mighty Seleucid Empire reinstated our freedom. But that unity was very fragile and short-lived. The next time we fell into internal hatred, we did not recover from it. As a result, the Romans conquered the land and finally drove us out. Since then, we have not recovered from the internal hatred, and since then, there has not been a time without antisemitism.
To understand why our hatred for each other makes the world hate us, we must remember that our ancestors came from precisely those nations that hate us now, meaning from the rest of the world. Our ancestors came from all the nations and united into a nation only when those complete strangers heard Abraham’s message of unity and implemented it with one another, with those people around them, who believed in the novel idea of unity of all nations.
Abraham taught his ideas to his successors, who continued to develop it until, under our greatest teacher, Moses, we vowed to reach the ultimate level of unity and be “as one man with one heart.” The code of law that we received at that time, the Torah, was to help us realize our vow to become a virtuous people, a light unto nations. In this way, people who were originally hateful of each other became bonded at the hearts. Through our own society, we demonstrated that peace among the nations was achievable; we presented an alternative to the enmity that ruled the world until then. This is why the nations loved us while we loved each other.
These days, when the world is quickly sinking into intensifying hatred, humanity desperately needs a solution that will save it from a third world war. Instinctively, the nations look to the people who presented an alternative before, to present the alternative once more. But what do they see? They see the same hatred that has plagued our people for the past two millennia. This leaves the world without hope for a peaceful solution to its problems, since the agents of the solution are not carrying out their duty. The world wishes that we did, but we are not, so how can it not hate us?
The State of Israel is an opportunity for the Jewish people to do its task: to unite and be a light unto nations. This is why if we unite, everyone will love us, as they did before. If we hate one another, as we do today, everyone will continue to hate us and will seek to get rid of us.
For more on this topic, refer to the books The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, Historical facts on anti-Semitism as a reflection of Jewish social discord, and Like a Bundle of Reeds: Why unity and mutual guarantee are today’s call of the hour.
Question: Europe is on the verge of a new migration crisis. They say that such a horror has not been for a long time. Africa is storming European borders, mostly from the sea. For $1,800, you can get from Libya to Italy.
From West Africa, you can get to Spain. There are three times as many migrants there as during the entire previous year. And all this is because Europe still does not have a systematic approach to the issue of immigrants. Either Europe will be washed away by a young wave from Africa or Europe will conduct a real integration of migrants into its environment.
What should be done? What is your opinion?
Answer: These countries will soon be almost gone—neither Italy, nor Spain, nor the entire coast, including the Cote d’Azur, Greece, and so on. The entire strip will be populated by immigrants from Africa.
Comment: They say that this is all because there was no systematic approach to the reception of immigrants.
My Response: They can’t come to an agreement, it’s the united countries of Europe! They can’t unite! They only call themselves that.
Question: Do you think it’s useless to twitch anymore? Or can something be done?
Answer: I don’t know. But this democracy leads to the fact that you do not have the strength and no opportunity to knock on the table and say: “This will work so-and-so!” There is no person who can do it, no government that can do it, because everything is disconnected, everything is like a shagreen skin falling apart. So, I don’t see a future.
All the same, migrants will crawl through all the holes, they will still capture, they will still occupy, and they will demand some benefits and special treatment. And Europe will give up.
Question: That is, such a boomerang is happening now: You have captured us, and now we return to you with this “gift.” But is it still possible to somehow fit them into society, to dilute the cultures? Will children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren be able to accept European culture?
Answer: Immigrants have been in Europe for 20 years. If we are talking about people from Africa, then they have no need to integrate into European culture. They are closer to the Arab culture.
Question: And if you had the opportunity to offer something and you were heard, what would you say? At least a few tips?
Answer: My advice is very simple, and it is for everyone and always—it all depends on the upbringing. We must definitely think carefully about the system of education that would make all the people on Earth real people.
We are one single organism, we are completely dependent on each other. We can’t run away from this. We must attract an upper force to unite us, and not point out to it that it divides us.
Question: So the basis of the education system is what you are saying now? A single organism?
Answer: Yes, and only in this! You don’t need any physics, mathematics, philosophy, or anything else. It doesn’t do anything.
The only thing we need: that we all come from one single root. And then all this will gradually be accepted by everyone. This is a perennial system that must enter humanity.
Question: Should there be a leader who will start this long educational process, so that grandchildren and great-grandchildren suddenly enter this state, which is called a single organism, a single nation?
Answer: Yes. But can you imagine what kind of program they should develop today and how to implement it against what is already there?
Question: But is it possible at least? The sensation is that it’s impossible.
Answer: We always say that the upper force should do everything. The main thing is for a person to tune in, and then it will come from above.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 5/27/21
The Prophets, Joshua, Chapter 2:23-2:24: And the two men returned and descended from the mountain, and crossed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all that had happened to them. And they said to Joshua,—For the Lord has delivered into our hands all the land; and also the inhabitants of the country have melted away because of us.
In principle, it is already known in advance that the city will be taken, i.e., all the desires that are outside the city wall will eventually submit to the property of bestowal.
Question: Why was it necessary to send spies there to get evidence? After all, everything was clear already.
Answer: No. A person should move forward knowing where he is going and why he is doing it.
People should feel all their properties, which of them they can advance with, how much they should change their egoism, deal with each other, rise above the ego, connect together. Only in this way do they gain a new space, a new desire.
When they unite with each other, they must spread into more and more new desires until the property of bestowal and love will cover the entire globe.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 6/11/21
Question: People who turn to psychotherapists for the most part believe that they are losing the meaning of life. Therefore, in psychotherapy there is a whole branch of methods in which all kinds of religious dogmas, theories, and insights are very actively involved.
The well-known psychotherapist Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor who was imprisoned in a concentration camp, treated many people there and gave them the feeling that everyone’s life has some purpose. By redirecting this vector in the right direction, a person suddenly comes to life even in the most terrible conditions.
What is your opinion on therapy with the meaning of life?
Answer: I do not know what criteria you use in order to convince a person that there is meaning in his life.
And Kabbalah says that a person must rise to such a level during his lifetime—and this fits every person—in order to feel and understand that all suffering is not suffering at all, meaning that we transform them into pleasures. Naturally, this depends on our point of view. We understand that all this is psychology and nothing more.
Kabbalah does not belong to religions. It does not name some special higher powers, but real forces of nature. It names the highest forces of nature the Creator: the Creator of nature, the crown of nature, etc., but nothing more, without attributing any dogmas or anything else. That is, everything is inside a person.
This attitude does not depend on any confessions or nationalities. All that is needed is the desire of a person and the influence of the right team on him.
First, you need to create such an environment and slowly, using it as a laboratory, as a test bench, introduce people there. And the team will process them correctly. It is possible. Moreover, it is a very fast and relatively easy technique.
We know the strength of the influence of the environment on a person. It has been sufficiently studied, and everyone uses it, from secret government services to everyone else, both at school and everywhere.
From KabTV’s “Kabbalah and Psychology”
Question: The five books of the Torah tell the story before entering the land of Israel, does this mean they only talk about rising above egoism and not about working on it itself? Is it about the law “Do not do unto others what you would not like others to do unto yourself”?
Answer: Yes. There was no question of love here because it can only be in the Land of Israel—”Eretz Yisrael.” “Eretz” is desire (Ratzon), “Yisra El“—directly to the Creator.
Therefore, the law “Do not do unto others what you would not like others to do unto you” was passed by the people together with Moses before entering Israel.
There are a lot of laws that we need to accept in order to be in the correct interaction with each other. And there are laws that you need to start following when you enter the land of Israel. But now we are not even in non-fulfillment, but in complete contradiction with the laws of the land of Israel.
Question: Why is the spring compressed so that we do not even follow the elementary laws?
Answer: In order for us to realize that we are in the state opposite to what we want.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 5/19/21
Comment: Baal HaSulam went beyond the framework of the generally recognized Kabbalist by engaging in wide public activities. He met with public figures and wrote articles that no Kabbalist had written before.
My Response: Baal HaSulam tried to advertise, disseminate, and spread the wisdom of Kabbalah in any way possible. He met with many other Kabbalists, scientists, statesmen, and ordinary people. He traveled to Poland during the May Day demonstrations to somehow use the enthusiasm of the Polish workers and to tell them what they could bring to our world and how to change their lives with the help of the wisdom of Kabbalah. Generally speaking, he did everything in his power to disseminate the wisdom of Kabbalah.
Rabash was much more modest and on a much lower level. He lived in a time when there was already a great force of resistance and so, to put it bluntly, he did not really go wild. I grew up by his side, and I saw how limited his actions were.
When he passed away I continued his legacy and have set for myself the goal to disseminate the idea of the wisdom of Kabbalah as much as possible in every language and all over the world, on the Internet and wherever possible, without paying attention to any opposition I might encounter. Even if the whole world curses me, I will still do it. Thus, despite the world’s resistance, I am still here.
Comment: But on the other hand, Rabash was still a great revolutionary like his father. He accepted forty totally non-religious students.
My Response: Yes, yet he did gently, not so harshly. It was a great leap forward.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 3/10/19