Chapter 14: Parenthood: Giving Your Child a Wholeness
Life will be very flat and dull if there is nobody to say no. If everybody is a yes-sayer, it will be absolutely dull and stupid. The no-sayer is needed, that is the polar opposite. Obedience will be meaningless if there is nobody to rebel. Don’t choose; simply feel the difference and help. And don’t force yourself on them, don’t be violent.
Every father is violent, every mother is violent, and you can be violent because you are violent in the name of love. Nobody is going to criticize you, because you say you love your child so much that you have to beat him, you love him so much that you have to put him right. You say because you love him, that’s why you are trying to put him right - he’s going wrong.
Are you certain what is wrong and what is good? Nobody is certain, nobody can be certain - because the phenomenon is such that a thing which is good in this moment becomes bad the next; the direction that seems bad in the beginning turns out to be good in the end. Life is a flux, every moment changing.
So a real father or a real mother will give his or her children only awareness, not morals, because morals are dead. You say: “This is good, follow!” But the next moment the thing becomes bad, then what is the child supposed to do? The next moment life changes. It is changing, it is a continuum of change, and your morals are fixed - you say this is good, this has to be followed. Then you become dead. Life goes on changing and you go on, fixed with your morals. That’s why religious persons look so dull, their eyes vacant, superficial, with no depth - because depth is possible only if you move with the river of life.
So what should a father or a mother give as a gift to their children? - Only awareness. Make the children more aware. Allow freedom and tell them: “Be alert and move with freedom. Even if you have to err, don’t be afraid, because life learns through errors also. One becomes alert through errors also - so don’t be afraid. It is human to err.
“If you err with alertness only one thing will happen: you will not commit the same mistake again and again. Once you commit the mistake you will experience it, you will become alert about it and it will disappear. It will make you richer and you will go ahead, unafraid. Just remember one thing, that whatsoever you pass through, be more conscious. If you say yes, say it consciously. If you say no, say it consciously.”
Don’t get hurt when a child says no - because who are you to fix a child? He comes through you, you are just a passage. Don’t become a dictator. Love never dictates, and if you never dictate then this goodness and badness will disappear. Then you will love both. Your love will flow unconditionally. That’s how God’s love is flowing in this world - unconditionally.
I have heard.. Somebody said to Junnaid, a Sufi mystic: “A very evil man comes to listen to you and you allow him so much closeness and intimacy. Throw him out, he is not a good man.”