[Originally for Facebook.] For humanism to flourish, it needs to not only be embraced by adults, but instilled into the hearts and minds of children as well. Here are a few things we should all take to heart.
This will hopefully become a community effort in the near future, with many contributors.
Without further ado, here it is: the first five guidelines that will comprise a booklet of secular values!
1. Don’t live in fear.
There are no ghosts, demons, devils, spirits, voodoo or witchcraft. And even though there are some real-life dangers in the world, don’t be a fearful person. Instead, learn about dangerous things and do what you can to make the world a safer, better place.
2. Question everything.
You should respect authority, such as parents, teachers, police officers, and anyone else who’s keeping you safe. Nonetheless, you should also question everything you hear or read – even if it’s a holy book.
Maybe what you’re taught is true. But maybe it’s not so true. You’ll never know until you research it for yourself. If you can’t find the answers right away, don’t say something is “true” or “false.” Instead, say:
“I don’t know if it’s true or false. Maybe I will know one day. But maybe I won’t.”
Why should you question everything? Because it will help you be a better thinker and help you know what’s true and what’s false!
3. Don’t judge a person who isn’t harming anyone.
No matter where a person is from, or what they look like, or who they fall in love with, or what culture they’re raised in, or what language they speak,… treat people with kindness and be their friend. People who are born different from you aren’t “bad” or “sinful” just because they’re different. A person is a person, just like you.
4. Do everything you can to help people and animals.
Be kind to everyone you meet. People, dogs, cats, cows, horses, pigs, birds, fish, lizards, monkeys, and everyone else you come across! Live a life of love, kindness and compassion.
Whenever you see bullies doing or saying bad things to others, tell them what they’re doing is wrong. Do you know someone who’s bullied a lot? Give them a hug and tell them you’re their friend.
5. Learn new things every day.
The world (and the whole universe) is amazing! Learn all you can about it. Learning about everything is called science.
So whatever you love, learn about it. You can learn about people, plants, animals, math, languages, music, planets, stars, oceans, medicine, and anything else that fills your heart with wonder.
More to come!