How Far Back?

How Far Back?

Author: The Rev. Dr. David Bridges, Priest
March 22, 2021

 I have been asking various people a question; “How far back can you remember?” Most say they can remember as far back as about 3 or 4 years old. My question is, “What happened to those first few years? Did you totally forget them?”

The answer is no, but a bit more explanation is required. When you were born your brain contained only the basic information your body needed to survive; the things you don’t have to “think” about, such as, heartbeat, breathing, expressing hunger or discomfort.

Beyond that, you knew absolutely nothing about life. Everything else you know was learned by experience and teaching. You learned to interact with the world by experiencing the people around you. You also learned language and certain opinions from them.

 You learned how to navigate life in those earliest years by everything that was happening around you. This is where you learned to react to your world.

If you struggle with relationships, you possibly developed that difficulty as a result of things you experienced at a very early age. If you are afraid of heights, you may have fallen out of bed at a very young age. Most people don’t realize how influential every early childhood experience has been to their present and future.

These facts make it clear that we have a responsibility to direct young children in developing a productive and positive outlook on life. We must be careful of what we say and do; how we act and react to the various situations of life.

In our extremely fast-paced, information-based world, you are expected to make decisions as quickly as possible. For example, the media presents an issue to you with expectations of how you should react (fear, anger, etc.). You are being asked to make judgement calls in seconds after receiving the information.

Yet, more information is coming right behind it, and that means you have to make a judgement now, in order to keep-up with the rapid flow of more information. You then carry that style of information handling into all areas of our life.

Our young people, even those ages birth to three or four years, are affected in the same way through television and other screen-based sources. If you have watched some of the children’s cartoons lately, you might be shocked at some of the “information” being imparted to your children.

 As parents, grandparents, older siblings, other relatives, and friends of very young children, we all take part in the “training” of the children around us. You may not think they understand much during those earliest years of life, but children are learning at a pace we may never understand.

Every second of every life is a learning experience. What are they learning from us now? How will it affect them later? These are tough questions that must be asked.

Blessings and Peace to you All,

Fr. David+


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