But parents also want their children to grow up to become loving, caring citizens within society.
Everyone who has ever raised children knows that over time, children lose their innocence as they learn the ways of the world and succumb to its various vanities and allurements.
These negative influences are all learned. Before this, a child’s mind was not developed enough to warrant concern. That is why little children can be seen as cute even when acting badly.
But with increased knowledge, these acts become less and less cute. The problem that faces children is that they eventually learn from the world not only bad traits, but how to feign good ones while hiding their true desires from others.
This is because knowledge can exist in a different “place” from the heart. This different place is called the memory where ideas are simply stored. Unfortunately, this mental division between knowledge and the heart permits deceit, hypocrisy, simulation, hidden agendas and pretense to exist in human relationships.
A person with lots of material in their memory may seem smart, but wisdom requires that this knowledge penetrate deeper into the very fabric of the child.
Innocence is maintained when a person’s knowledge is used as a measuring stick against their heart, values and desires. This special contact between what a developing child knows and what he or she inwardly desires affects the quality of conscience.
It is the function of all true religion (and not science) to increase conscience. Concerned parents can help their children most by instilling sincere introspection in their young minds to develop a sane approach to life and its surroundings.