All Good and Wise Advisors: Today we have gathered together in this great hall to discuss the matter of education. Education is everyone's roots. If we ignore this basic matter, then we are renouncing the roots to chase the branchtips, overlooking what is near to seek afar.
A Child's Character Develops under His Mother's Influence
Education includes all the influences we have received through sight and hearing since the time of birth, molding our life behavior patterns. As it is said, "Those who draw near rouge turn red, and those who draw near ink turn black. Those who are dyed green become green, and those who are dyed yellow become yellow." It can even be said that not only do we receive education after we are born, we are already being educated while in the womb. When the baby is in the womb, if the mother is very learned, then she will influence her baby to be intelligent and knowledgeable, too. If the mother often loses her temper during the pregnancy, then she will give birth to a baby with a big temper. If the mother is very stubborn and doesn't listen to others' advice, her baby will also be extremely obstinate, not listening to anyone's instructions. He has his own will, and people will hardly be able to influence him. Therefore, prenatal education is extremely important.
Expectant Mothers Should Understand Prenatal Education
Women are mothers of the citizens, and the source of the country. All women should know how to teach children, and should also understand the influence of prenatal education during their pregnancy. During this period, one should not contend, be greedy, seek, be selfish, pursue personal benefit, or tell lies. If you tell lies, contend, are greedy, seek outside, are selfish, or pursue personal benefit, then you will influence the baby to have that kind of mental state, and he will not grow up to be a good citizen in society. Therefore, parents should pay special attention to educating the baby during the pregnancy.
The Top Priority of Parents Is to Educate Their Children
After a child is born, the parents should act as his role models. Don't contend or quarrel. Don't be selfish, don't pursue personal gain, don't be greedy, don't seek, and don't tell lies. Otherwise, the children will see and learn those kinds of behavior from you. For instance, children gradually learn how to talk by imitating grownups. The children are seriously influenced by those around them. Therefore, it should not be the case that parents only give birth to their children, but do not know how to educate them. By giving birth to a child, you have given the country one more citizen. However, if you don't educate him, then you haven't shown any concern for the well-being of the country and society. If you don't educate the child you gave birth to, then he may become a problem child who opposes and harms the society and country. In this case, the parents must take the responsiblity.
Therefore, the top priority of parents should be to educate their children, rather than make money or pursue fame and profit. They should see teaching their children as the most important matter. If you teach your children well, then you have done something more worthwhile than making any amount of money, because your children will know how to be good people and how to cherish their bodies. Before the children start going to school, the responsibility of educating them lies with the parents.
Teachers Should Teach Students to Be Trustworthy and Virtuous
Once children enter school, the teachers must set a good example with their own actions, and influence them so that they know to be trustworthy and virtuous, filial to their parents and respectful to elders. Start by teaching them the way of filial piety. The elementary school at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas encourages the younger students to be filial to their parents: to work for their parents at home and obey their parents' wishes. Therefore, when the students go home, their parents are all very pleased with them.
Since the mission of teachers is to "educate the talented ones of the world," they should take the responsibility of teaching children not to smoke, drink, take drugs, or behave improperly with those of the opposite sex. These are the points they should work on.