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About Worldview And Young People

Every person has some kind of perspective on life. Usually this is a mixture of ideas gained while growing up, things learned the hard way, special interests and personality. Whether the perspective is narrow or broadminded depends much on the kinds of people I have mingled with, the culture I am exposed to, and my willingness to engage with ideas that are not quite what I would personally aspire to. The question as to how healthy my ideas actually are in light of potential psycho-spiritual wellbeing is not usually raised. How would one measure that anyway?

Still, it is an important question. If not directly measurable at least some notion of what might make for a limited perspective on life, and thus the danger of becoming a one-sided person, would be a help. It may be that a more rounded outlook on the world and its people is more beneficial than a singular inflexible approach that tends to shun the world-view of others rather than leaning towards engagement. Taking a defensive or uninformed position may well restrict a healthy self-development. For that a person?s outlook must include an active interest in ideas beyond the ones that seem to be clambering for attention the loudest. These loud ideas are usually propagated by popular culture and the stirrings of the media.

It is generally easiest to accept mainstream perspectives, with perhaps a few minor personal variations, as the way the world will work out best. Somewhere though, in the back of my mind, a thought or two may be nagging about worthwhile ideas that when added to my own, could enrich my life. But how to find out, and is it really that important? What real difference would it actually make?

In a recently published love and adventure story called "The Riddle of Shalomat", two young people find the question of holding a limited world-view against a more encompassing one hugely important, to the point of being willing to risk their lives for it. The theme of the novel raises the idea that the mostly linear success driven perspective of the West short-changes people and the environment. The two main characters of the book consider this loss significant enough to start fighting for other possibilities. Possibilities that challenge some of the more commonly held views about power, wealth, science and spirituality. The story about their exploits is never prescriptive and introduces a variety of ideas as a natural part of the adventure that develops. Being under cover and finally chased through much of Australia is the main thrust of the story. Plus the need for decoding a riddle that comes to a climactic end. Youth and adults alike have found it hard to put the book down once engrossed in what is happening.

The Riddle of Shalomat seeks to give young people access to ideas that may not be that readily available in a manner that allows for an easy and prolonged engagement. The postscript refers to sources like John Ralston Saul, Matthew Fox, Australian Aboriginal Culture and Bede Griffith. Not that the text ever mentions any of these writers. It?s a novel first and foremost, one that has educational value. As such, besides being a fun book for at home, it can be used as a discussion starter on world-views in secondary education.