The aim of Neohumanist Education is to cultivate and nurture a Universal outlook within each and every child as we believe this outlook rests innately within each of us. The ability to love, starting from oneself and expanding out to others and beyond just humans, to plants and animals and all our smaller and larger environment and all it entails, lies deep within each child. The cultivation of this greater, Universal Love is key for a harmonious growth as they develop together and individually, through the conflicts and challenges that naturally exist within any group setting small or large, young or old, taking into account all living things and biodiversity that make up the small part of the world in which they live, their own immediate community and environment.
When a state of Universal Love is lit from within the children are able to peacefully understand their own reactions, feelings, attitudes and ideas and more easily empathize with others. They are able to draw upon these foundational ideas they’ve become familiar with and apply them to act as advocates for one another, plants, animals and all things existing within their environments such as homes, school and neighborhoods. There is a moral code already in place, that they are able to draw upon to help when conflicts so naturally occur. We take one principal of Yama-Niyama, Ahimsa (supplemented by the other 9 principals which are all bonded together), and expand on it weekly, targeting the developmental stages of each group the children are divided into. Ahimsa is the concept of Nonharming. Nonharming to oneself and expanding out to others and beyond infinitely, simultaneously. It includes the important element of stopping harm to, or not allowing harm (to protect and prevent) to come to others and beyond (animals, plants, all things within the environment living and nonliving), universally.
We have a weekly program, each Friday morning, for all the students in our school. It is called the Ahimsa Project. As the children study and learn more about how to understand this innate love within, they are able to develop the ability to know when and what to stand up for. They enhance their ability to understand and respect themselves and others while navigating their own development as individuals and as part of a community. They explore the concepts of trust (sympathy in a sense of belonging, and empathy) and boundaries (respect) within their community and the roles these concepts play. They study nonviolent communication and nonviolence in all forms. The goal is to facilitate a time, where the children are guided to grow towards the betterment of all, to have the ability to create harmonious communities and environments outwardly from this internal Universal Love. The mission and focus of the program is to develop the interpersonal skills of the children.