A site on Linked In asked a question about education and helping special needs children. I was intrigued by a quote from Nelson Mandela. The writer said, "I agree with James' quote of Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.”
Here was my response.
While I understand where Nelson Mandela was coming from and what he was trying to accomplish, he was not correct when he said Education is the most powerful weapon. Yes, education is vitally important and no matter what condition a child deals with - education is probably #2 on the list. But if you really want to change the world or if you want to make a difference in your child's world - you must always start with parenting. A child's parent or caregiver determines the home environment that promotes the child's "view" of his world. Parents are the primary source that builds a child's thought process. Parents can either help teachers and education or they can destroy the child's desire to learn. Even when a teacher "thinks" he's won over a parents influence - when you follow that child down the road - years later you'll discover that a parent's influence remains a primary factor even if it's subconscious.
Why else do counselors and psychiatrists probe into your childhood and whether or not you love your parents? It's because we all know that true empowerment or lack of begins in that home. Even when an adult seems to have drastically changed his life and is nothing like his parents - he will often admit that their influence is still present in several areas of his life.
That's why I'm totally convinced that Parents are the only force in the world that can totally change a community, a country or even the world - in 20 years or less. We are raising the next generation and we will have an impact on thier beliefs - good or bad. If schools, civic groups, churches and other groups would start with the parent first and then branch out - they could literally change society.
I understand that this discussion is slanted for special needs children as well as the public school and their response to helping "all" children learn. It still doesn't matter. The condition of the child is not the issue. There is a need, a bond and a God given purpose for the family. There are dynamics between parent and child that simply can't be duplicated anywhere else. What you do in your home does not stay there - it will follow your child his entire life - period!
God loves you,