There are many nuances of meanings of dharma, depending upon the particular connotation we are looking at. In one sense, dharma is natural justice or social justice, social order or even social stability. And this has to be invariably rooted in social virtue. A collective manifestation of virtue in society at large must in turn only stand upon the ground of the moral order or moral virtue in the individual. In ancient Hindu society, such an individual moral order had an undeniable spiritual foundation of profound depth. It arose from the individual’s thought and feeling, word and behavior, being inspired by an insightful understanding and devotion either to the imperceptible Inner Self, the Atma, or if this was too intangible, then, at least to an outer manifestation of that Atma as a worshipful Deity- which like ‘God’ is but an objectified form of that self same imperceptible Inner Self, the Atma.
As a preparation for the actual realization of this mature form of dharma in later life; children were initially anchored to a spiritual Master (Guru) and spiritual teachings (dharma) and also naturally, to the ethical values that spring from the soil of such teachings. This was achieved through a well thought out humane system of spiritual-education, commencing at the tender age of seven. You may introspect at this stage to find out whether you were fortunate enough to have this foundational basis in dharma during your early years of upbringing, or as a compensation for the precious time lost in the early part of life, it was only in later life, that you finally succeeded in finding a Guru and a dharma?