Editorial: Calming down Riversdale

04:21, Aug 31 2014

So Riversdale children may soon be in the thrall of the Devil's own Ritalin.

This, some fear, would be the consequence of the local school's plan to adopt the "mindfulness" calming technique that has satanic (or Buddhist, same diff) origins and has been adopted by godless psychologists all over the place.

A heavy price to pay, in part to counter a bullying problem. What's wrong with good old godfearing techniques like the dunking stool? Submerge the suspected little transgressors in water to extract their confessions. If they are innocent, God will grant them the grace to withstand the torments.

It's easy - and, OK, perilously close to agreeable - to mock the beliefs of those who sincerely believe that, wittingly or not, the school is wading into a battlefield of the spiritual realm.

After all, plenty of people would say there's no such thing. Others that there is, but this isn't it.

One commentator suggested that mindfulness is just a more educated extension of quiet time at kindy.

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Such questions should all be raised when the school board holds a meeting on Monday. Providing those taking part take a few calming breaths beforehand, there's probably a solution to be struck. Like the majority view holding sway. And if it's the green light, there could surely be an alternative for those who would opt out. Perhaps even other calming techniques more directly attuned to the sort of meditation the Bible encourages: "Be still and know that I am God".

This is not just a question of religious tolerances and intolerances. There's a separate concern that the mindfulness technique is either malarky pure and simple, or at least insufficiently beneficial to justify devoting half an hour's schooltime to it each day.

Certainly Riversdale School board of trustees chairman Dylan Ditchfield can be taken at his word when he says the school wants harmony, not division, in the community as well as the school.

Who knows? There might even be an opportunity here for the entire community to provide Riversdale kids with an example of how it's possible to hold true to what you believe, without being gratuitously intolerant of others.

The Southland Times