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Daddy Daze: Help children choose noble goals

Something which I think is important for my children to learn early, and which my wife is a great example of (you can tell her I said that), is giving maximum effort.

The Baha'i quote “ … make ye a mighty effort, and choose for yourselves a noble goal” is one I think would serve them (and most children) well.

We may not all be movie buffs or comic book readers but I think a common trait for most main characters in memorable films is that they make a mighty effort. We enjoy triumph over obstacles, and seeing challenges overcome.

Think of Interstellar, Gravity or even The Force Awakens. The commonality between these films is that its main characters tried REALLY HARD in order to accomplish their goal. Sometimes it was survival, other times it was to defend the innocent, but we could find their actions noble because what they were ultimately working towards was the betterment of their society. Even in comic book movies like Batman vs Superman or The Avengers: Age of Ultron a major theme and compelling force behind the story is sacrifice by the main characters. Their noble goal in these movies is the source of the drama; if the heroes/heroines did not have much to sacrifice, would we really care about what happens next?

What is the importance of choosing a noble goal?

Well, I like to believe that we are all born noble. Imagine the lightness of being our children would have if they grew up knowing that too? It would make making a mighty effort for a noble goal not only seem possible, but attainable.

It's an empowering thought. I want my children to feel that way about their own capacity, that they'll never really know their potential until they strive to develop their spiritual, intellectual and physical capacities.

Not only does it apply to overcoming life's inevitable obstacles, but the concept applies to almost every aspect of life: education, sports, service to the community, entering the workforce; all of these things will provide challenges by which a mighty effort usually assists in coping with and overcoming them.

I'd like my children to see life this way, to be ready for challenges instead of dreading them. It would be awesome if I could help them see it as a means of understanding how to cope with life.

There is another quote that links quite well with this concept that you might have heard: “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Courage in this quote is the important part, the active part, and the part that will need a mighty effort.

It helps us to distinguish between goals which are noble and goals which aren't.

Embracing challenges: films such as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are compelling because of the sacrifices the characters have to make (Photograph by Clay Enos/Warner Bros/PA)

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Published April 21, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated April 21, 2016 at 8:34 am)

Daddy Daze: Help children choose noble goals

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