The Purpose of Children

Tenrikyo Pearl Church June 04 Sermon
By Taeko Nakao

Good morning and thank you for coming to our June monthly service. I’m sure God the Parent and Oyasama are happy to see you here this morning.

Today I’d like to talk about this fourteen-year-old child who has a problem of not going to school. Since this child is beyond his parent’s control, the school conducts a meeting for this child for an Individual Education Program. Every morning a skills trainer arrives to this child’s home to teach him how to wake up at 7 a.m. brush his teeth, wash his face, comb his hair, take his meds, eat breakfast and then be taken to school. Otherwise he just stays home and does nothing. Normally, in school he would suddenly run away from class as far as he can without thinking of the consequences. During a one-to-one class with a psychologist, he was found to be unable to concentrate with his work and was always distracted by something. He became mentally deranged, so the school is planning to change his doctor from a psychologist to a psychiatrist. This boy’s mother had become so depressed she decided to call me and asked for me to become her adviser. Since then I had become quite concerned about this boy and thought about how I could help him.

What is the meaning of existence of a human being? For what purpose did God create this world and human beings? God’s desire is to see people help each other and live a joyous life, or to become a person who can guide people to a joyous life.

The philosopher, Socrates says,

‘The horse trainer has to know well about horse. And human beings have to know well about their own children.’

It means, humans are supposed to learn and practice this teaching taught by God who created us human being. When our car has a problem we will take it to the manufacturer. When our child has a problem, we’ll take them to those who gave birth to this child. And so the parents of a person or thing have to be repaired by their mind according to the teachings of God.

Many people suffer and cannot understand why we have to face these problems with a child. We are all hard working and honest people, but why these things happen to us?

Prof. Hayao Kawai the Professor emeritus of Kyoto University in psychology says ‘A problem child is a child who is giving a problem to the parents.’ This child is giving opportunity for the parents to learn how to live a full life. Thus we must appreciate the matter with this child.

This 14-year-old boy is a sweet boy and must have been pampered by his parents while growing up. I introduced this family to the Tenri Judo Club. Needless to say, parents dreamed if he could join this club and play sports in order for him to get well and become motivated. But unfortunately his condition was not at that level and the symptoms of his situation were not improving.

Furthermore Prof. Kawai says, in this materialistic world, parents buy and give their children many things easily without any special condition. Once they obtain a toy or desired item easily, they start asking for an even more expensive item. Although the next item is not affordable, parents would still dish out money for them thinking that this is an expression of their love for their child. However the parents are not aware of the lack of nurturing the mind of patience and understanding the minds of parents whom are unable to afford and obtain such an expensive item. When we receive something which we wanted so badly, happiness would only last for a moment, and the habit of wasting would become a problem. This is not only a child’s problem but also a problem for the parents who had raised their child in this way.

There are three things we should reflect on:

First, be grateful and appreciative of whatever we normally take it for granted in our daily lives. For instance, going school, eat meals every day, run around the yard and playing ball.

Second, never convince a child but rather always try to communicate and talk to a child. For instance questions like: ‘isn’t it hot today?’, ‘aren’t you hungry?’ or ‘did you finish dinner?’ etc.

Third, let them do physical work as much as possible. For instance raking the yard, take out the trash, help washing the car, with a HINOKISHIN spirit. Help them find happiness in working hard to make others happy. Through these good behaviors, good thoughts will come out.

When people get things easily without any effort there is less gratitude than those who had a harder time obtaining the same thing. People tend to take it for granted. For instance, teachers teach kids in school but once kids fail the class, parents point the blame on others and start blaming the teachers or the Principal. This happens quite often. We should always be humble and reflect upon our daily attitude as if there were always something we need to improve on.

In the Mikagurauta it says, (Song III-sixth)
Never make an unreasonable prayer!
Come to me with a single mind.

There are no parents who do not wish their child to be smarter, or to be a good and well-behaved child. And thus we tend to wish more and more. However, God is saying ‘Never make an unreasonable prayer.’ Instead of asking for more and more, we should pray for the people in need, sick in bed, or for world peace. I believe that, through your sincere prayer, it will reach God the Parent and will bless your child in return.

Thank you very much for your kind attention!

About a week ago on June 7th there was an email to this Pearl church web site. I would like to share with you this massage from Dr. Maurizio Maggioni.

(Read an e mail massage.)

Lewis recently opened our web site, and more than 480 people have been visiting our web. Pearl church is a small church in this small island of Hawaii but the teaching itself is for the universe. Oyasama our Foundress said this is the world salvation. If you believe and practice the teachings, everyone can lead a happy and joyous life.

Thank you for your kind attention.

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