The Ecology of Joy

Speak of the child as the Divine with holy attributes, love, beauty, life, the truth, and joy. Let the child be the Divine who holds all the joy, beauty, life and love in the world. Decide that joy is that mysterious force which makes everything move in this universe. Joy, then, takes on many names, fondness, kindness, strength, but still remains the same essence present everywhere in the world. Every sentient move the child makes is directed by his original Self, a sentient joy, the Divine. Every interaction of the child with his environment brings about changes which results in a diversifying creation. The distribution of the essence of joy, love, beauty, and life, about the child and his actions, varies with the purpose and the amount of joy involved in the actions. The distribution and the exchange of joy, love, life and beauty among living beings makes the ecology of joy.

Practically in the classroom, the ecology of Joy is centred about principles that the teacher must adopt and apply for herself before she decides to have the children follow them. For example:

The child must practice beauty, joy, love, and life as a mean to grow and perform in his society. The child grows by learning. At home and at school he learns to fit in this world, to gain self confidence, and also about reading, arithmetic, etc. He has also to learn about the practice of joy, beauty, and love, which comes as a subject of its own. The performance that is expected from the child (speaking clearly, a sensible logic, politeness, etc), also includes excellence in the practice of joy, love, and life with the people, animals, plants, and the inanimate that constitute his environment.

Dada Caetanyananda is still writing down some of the principles of the Ecology of Joy. These ideas are currently being tested in the classroom with lots of activities. Some more development will be presented in another posting. Kindergarten principals who would like to participate in the study are welcome to contact him at—