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See no evil, hear no evil and say no evil
We are quite sensitized to Gandhiji's mantra of "See no evil, hear no evil and say no evil". We get worried when our children are exposed to violence on TV, or immoral behavior in real life or when they use inappropriate language.
Hence we go about shielding our children. Check out how will you react if your child is around and
* A violent scene is on the TV
* Somebody uses foul language
* Some children of your child's age are bulling a smaller child
* An indecently exposed photograph is there in the magazine
* You speak angrily and rudely to another person.
While I am not suggesting that we expose our children to inappropriate stuff, I want you to realize that the trouble with building a shield around a child is that sooner or later the child invariably does get exposed. Then what? The trouble is that children cannot help but "see and hear evil".
The problem is not what Gandhiji propagated (he was a master communicator and had to simplify things for the masses). The trouble is in our literal interpretation of the same.
We are what our thoughts are. Hence, another proposition would be to THINK NO EVIL. A much better proposition would be to build the shield instead of around the child - INSIDE the child.
Instead of sterilizing them from all kinds of germs, make their immune system stronger.
Instead of teaching them what is right and wrong, a much better proposition would be to teach them how to decide what is right or wrong. Instead of giving them wisdom, help them discover wisdom. Instead of giving them our thoughts, encourage them to build their own thoughts and perspectives.
Somehow we believe that it is parent's responsibility to preach, sermonize and moralize our children minds. We believe that if we do not brain wash, somebody or something else would. But to us, the key to the whole process of character building is not education, but EMPOWERMENT.
Do ponder over this with profound words of Osho Shree Rajneesh: "I say over and over again that if you want your children to know the truth you must give them the chance to think creatively. Stop conditioning them with beliefs; allow them to understand things for themselves. Creativity will become their capacity for life; creativity will become their wisdom. That capacity and that wisdom will lead them to the uncharted sea of truth"
Creativity is about every moment, since we create every moment of ours. Wisdom, values, beliefs, decisions, opinions, thoughts, feelings ... all are created by us. Now its upto us to decide what we want - to impale our gyan on children. Or to invite them to use their creativity to create THEIR life.
The obvious question is that WHEN i realise that child would anyhow CREATE his or her own life - then what is my role, how can i value add to this creative process.
And this is where we need to EXPLORE:
- Collecting (by far the most important)
- Imagining (play, let-go, dance with reality, - enjoy diff views and point of views)
- Constraints (create / do the same thing with different constraints) - the idea here is to challenge, to push out of comfort zone, to close the obvious so that we get into the habit of Experimenting.