Last week, I attended a lecture called Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, presented by Dr. Maurice Elias, Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University. Dr. Elias is a wise man and I walked away with lots of information and ideas. My favorite part of the presentation though was the very first activity he asked us to do.
He posed this question:
If you had a magic wand, which of these values do you wish your children could internalize forever?
You may only choose three.
After a few minutes, Dr. Elias asked us to call out our answers. The crowd was relatively large so there was not consensus. However, not a single person said beauty, riches or popularity. Yet, as Dr. Elias reminded us, our culture seems to value and reward only those three values.
An interesting and important disconnect and one I can’t seem to stop thinking about…