Michelangelo, Confucius, Thomas Jefferson, Einstein, Buddha, Churchill, Socrates, Plato, Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Ben Franklin, Lincoln, Edison, Aristotle and, of course, Jesus are just some of these great thinkers of the past. Some deal in philosophy, religion, some in science, and others in politics. There are others that are considered great thinkers by some, but crazy or evil by others. I have some in mind but I won’t name them here.
When we think about what all these great thinkers may agree upon, I think about Mahatma Gandhi and his seven social sins of humanity and how they say so much in so few words. I repeat them here.
The Seven Social Sins of Humanity
- Politics without principles;
- Wealth without work;
- Enjoyment without conscience;
- Knowledge without character;
- Business without morality;
- Science without humanity; and
- Religion without sacrifice.
In religion, at least in all the major religions, there is a form of Christianity’s ‘Golden rule’ that all abide to whether it is Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc. You can read the version from each major religion here. In some of those religions, I assume there are those that may think the ‘Golden Rule’ only applies to the treatment of those within their own religion. I doubt that is the true philosophy.
In everyday life, there are tenets we can all agree upon, such as;
- Respect yourself and others
- Setting goals
- Being grateful
- Keeping your word
My thoughts on all this always reflect back to parenting in general, and fathering more specifically. If I were to come up with a parallel for Gandhi’s Seven Sins in the area of parenting, it would be based upon what I have learned through my readings of the great thinkers in the world of parenting. They are:
The Seven Sins of Parenting
- Loving without showing it;
- Teaching without principles;
- Involvement without sincerity;
- Rules without consistency;
- Humor without compassion;
- Living without balance, and;
- Attention without passion.
Take note of these ‘parenting sins’ and evaluate your parenting style. It’s your dominant approach to parenting that counts when looking at this list. None of us are capable of avoiding occasional slip-ups in each of the seven areas. If we recognize our failures and vow to improve, then we will be among the best parents anywhere--and THE best parents for your own children.
I’d like to add one thought to those thinking of becoming a parent, or those thinking of doing those acts which can end up with you supporting a child. If you become a parent, be a parent. If your love creates, love your creation!
We all have differences in how we act and think, and what we believe. Hopefully, however, there are some truths we can all hang on to in which we will find agreement and commonality among us. This commonality will allow for communication which can result in less conflict between us. This includes communication in how we mother and father. I tried to find and discuss these commonly accepted truths of parenting in my book, "The Power of Dadhood: Be the Father Your Children Need". I hope you can share it with fathers who could use some mentoring or advice.