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Spirituality, religion and kindness help today?s youth.

Kaufui V Wong*

University of Miami, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Kaufui V Wong
University of Miami FL 33146
United States
Tel:
1-305-553-0928
E-mail: [email protected]

Accepted date: March 22, 2017

Visit for more related articles at Journal of Psychology and Cognition

Abstract

Life in fast-paced mega-cities can be very challenging for young people trying to grow up normally. In developed countries like the United States of America (USA), fast-paced competitive conditions do produce psychological problems in the youth. The spiritual/religious vacuum left by ‘enlightened parents’ in the western world, leave youths available to extremist religious groups and easily accessible mind-altering drugs. Increased spiritual consciousness and religion are possible mechanisms to reverse this trend and to fill the vacuum left by lack of religious education of the young. A public case study is provided as proof of what might work between a parent and a child, to save the child from a life of drugs. Kindness, as exemplified by the actions of the leaders of the nation, can also set the tone for an easier time for everyone.

Keywords

Psychology, Mental health, Stress, Medicaid.

Introduction: Background Facts and Past Events

Popular motivational speaker was spiritual

Wayne Dyer was a popular motivational speaker who passed on in 2015. He was a spiritual person and he was also a Christian. There is a synergetic relationship between spirituality and religion. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 2006 and the article claimed that his dead body showed no signs of leukemia. That might be so, but modern medicine was not credited with his cure. It was implied that his positive thinking cured him. It is telling that journalists would like people to believe that positive thinking alone can cure leukemia.

My more important deduction is about one possible cause of his leukemia. His failed relationships were mentioned as a possible main cause. (There is a popular belief that stress do help to diminish one’s health condition.) The author suspects that it is more likely that it was the polluted ocean, in which he tried to swim everyday (he stated that himself on T.V. The author saw on T.V. a review of his 18-year contribution to educational T.V. [1] and obtained the insight from this one statement.) There is no way for an expert/experienced swimmer to prevent ingesting carcinogens from the ocean water. In an unscientific way, the author had previously noticed well-known aquatic-type (persons who dive or swim for science or art) persons suffer from cancer. The cause was the same; Wayne Dyer was being more immersed in a highlypolluted environment than the rest of us. Please note that the author’s insight is about the polluted oceans, not a criticism against daily swimming, which is an excellent exercise form. The author has written a couple of papers about the possible cause of cancer because of unclean seawater [2,3].

For another example of cancer from frequent swimming in the ocean, we look at the family of the famous Jacques Cousteau. Jacques Cousteau married Simone Melchior when he was 26 years old, in July 1937 [4]. They gave birth to two sons, Jean- Michel and Philipp. Simone always traveled with Cousteau on Calypso boat. Simone died of cancer in 1990. It is possible that she ingested many pollutants over time in her swims in the oceans, which contributed to her getting cancer. Jacques himself passed away from a heart attack.

Teachers of spirituality like Wayne Dyer would be good for children (in the USA) at the elementary school level. Classes in spirituality or even religion should be general and nondenominational. In other words, the recommended course(s) should be taught by secular teachers with university degrees in religion, and not by non-secular teachers of any particular organized religion.

British empire practice of previous century affects American immigrants today

Under the British Empire in a previous century, the policy for selection of British civil service was based on performance at the bachelor's degree level. The 1st class honors graduates remained in Britain. The 2nd upper class honors graduates were sent to India. The 2nd lower honors graduates were sent to the colonies in Southeast Asia. The 3rd class honors graduates and general degree holders were sent to the British colonies in the West Indies. Most of the last were Irish, hence the Caribbean accent is closest to the Irish accent, which the English never could 'correct' hence, the lower-class degrees. In modern days, the Indian Americans are claiming themselves, that the best of India has immigrated to the USA and elsewhere, including Britain. The notable Chief Executive Officers (CEO’s) of large American companies include the following Indian Americans [5]: Indira Nooyi of Pepsico, Vikram Pandit of Citigroup, Francisco D’Souza heads Cognizant Technology Solutions, Shantanu Narayen of Adobe Systems, Surya Mohapatra of Quest Diagnostics, and Neel Kashkari of bond giant Pimco. The superior civil servants from yesterday formed the foundation for excellence in education and civil service in many parts of India, which led to the birth of many of these American CEO’s. The Indian educational system to this day does not have any vacuum in it; the curriculum on the average student is heavy and competitive. In [6], Aravind Adiga, Booker Prize winner, writes 'Selection Day', with the bye-line "Growing up in cricket-mad India with a bully for a father." This prize-winning author is writing about current-day India. He writes, "What is an Indian, after all? Picture today's young man from Mumbai or Delhi as a vulture above the nations, scavenging for his identity. he sees a pretty thing in Dubai, and he brings it home; he sees a pretty thing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and he brings it home. One day he looks at his life, finds that it makes no sense at all, and then he turns to religion." It would seem that, understanding Adiga’s statements, that he supports the concept that religion provides the meaningful reason for a person’s life. Certainly, if spiritual or religious education is not in the curriculum of elementary public schools in modern India, is well covered at home by the parents with the participation of traditional religious teachers. The same can be said about many cultures in Southeast Asia. The following is a case study (very public, because the press covered it in detail) where kindness and love from a parent helped a young person plough through the complexities of life.

Case Study of How Parental Closeness Helped

After Christmas of December 2016, it was reported [7] that Carrie Fisher, 'Princess Leia' of Star Wars movie fame, had passed on. She was the daughter of well-known actors Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds and aged only 60. She was also an authoress of many books. In the previous week, she suffered a heart-attack on a plane. Like many of the US actors of the 'Flower Children' generation, she battered with drug addiction.

Please note that the Bee Gees (brothers took drugs) and so did the African American singer, formerly known as 'Prince'. So too did Michael Jackson. Other performing artists include Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Judy Garland.

Performing artists in the USA sometimes tend to take drugs to reach outside their normal selves. It is possible that the artist was looking for one more angle/hit to make themselves 'shine' again. Those who do go the route of drugs are normally not spiritual or religious; furthermore, because of their previous successes, they have the means to buy the illegal drugs. It is a great thing that Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have very heavy penalties on illegal drug consumption/ possession. Their local performing artists do not fall into this group of addicts and non-spiritual people.

The December 29, 2016 edition [8] of the Miami Herald newspaper reported that Todd Fisher claimed that Carrie’s death was too stressful for their mother to handle. This is one clue that Carrie and her mother, Debbie Reynolds was very close. In addition, Debbie Reynolds had three husbands; the second and third took money from her, she publicly claimed. Debbie said that Eddie Fisher never paid any money for the children; this has the same effect as taking money from Debbie. The deduction is that Debbie Reynolds was not that close to any of her three husbands emotionally. She developed a very close emotional relationship with her oldest child, Carrie [9]. From the evidences, the author’s deduction that Debbie Reynolds and her oldest child are valid, which probably saved Carrie from a wasted life of illegal drugs? Instead, Carrie did succeed in writing many books, had a very successful acting role as ‘Princess Leia’, while she combatted with drug addiction. Drugs were a part of Carrie’s life, but it did not consume her. Closeness to and kindness from her mother were probably the reasons. The help of spiritual education was probably not received from the schools in her early years, and hence the drug addiction as a consequence to extra pressure from being a movie star.

Discussion and Conclusion

It has been put forward that Americans are becoming spiritual and not religious. It is not quite true. Spirituality is the core, the truths, the perceptions, the disclosures, the observances. Religion is the vessel that is custom-made by human beings and can incorporate all the human faults and failures, and can be dropped and fragmented. When people go deeper in a spiritual investigation (usually when they get older and have the time in retirement), they often make some kind of connection with the tradition. Hence, being spiritual normally leads to one of the traditional religion eventually. The point of the present work is that spirituality and ‘how to make the world a better place’ or spiritual/religious education should be available in schools so that a vacuum does not exist in the education of children. Without this vacuum (as in India), the children cannot be filled with erroneous beliefs and practices that could be unhealthy and/or mentally harmful. The Indian civil service and educational system is brought up as evidence of success in the British colonial systems, as the British gave almost their best people to carry them out. The brief details for such a general, non-denominational course(s) in spirituality has been presented. Certainly, parents should take ultimate responsibility for giving their young children a spiritual background, if not a religious background.

Young people in the West tend to follow the celebrities, especially if their parents leave a vacuum in their education with regards spirituality. It is the author’s studied opinion that this spiritual vacuum invites trouble, be it drugs or something else.

Mindful meditation is becoming popular all over the world, including among the young people. Meditation has also been used by the U.S. military as a therapeutic tool for its military personnel that need them. Meditation is a well-known practice/ observance in Hinduism and Buddhism. Its main purpose is to bring peace and calm to the mind of the practitioner, and in so doing, draw the practitioner to spirituality and religion. The author’s publications in the mental health related area include references [10-12].

Kind USA presidents could also set the tone of a kinder atmosphere for its citizens, including the youth. It cannot be argued that a kinder environment will not be positive on the young people of the nation. Harry Truman championed the Marshall Plan, which meant that Europe rebounded quickly after the Second World War. The rejuvenated economies and stabilized governments led to a better climate throughout the world, including the USA. Lyndon B. Johnson with his Great Society in the 1960s started warfare on poverty, created Medicaid, Medicare and Head Start, and passed broad civil rights laws. Gerald Ford, by pardoning former President Richard Nixon, helped to mend the wounds of Watergate, allowing the USA to move on. George H.W. Bush included self-sacrifice as part of his presidential vision, encouraging a ‘kinder, gentler nation’. His ‘thousand points of light’ meant that Americans should contribute to the betterment of their communities. Almost every day of his tenure as president, the White House rewarded a ‘Point of Light’, a person who selflessly contributed to the well-being of the community. George W. Bush started the President’s Emergency Plan for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Relief (PEPFAR), intended to treat AIDS victims in the African continent where it was rampant at that time. Barack Obama passed the Affordable Health Care Act, which helped millions find reasonably-priced health care.

References