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Chapter 23: Trees Grow without Being Taught

The function of a father or a mother is great, because they are bringing a new guest into the world - who knows nothing, but who brings some potential in him. And unless his potential grows, he will remain unhappy.

No parents like to think of their children remaining unhappy; they want them to be happy. It is just that their thinking is wrong. They think if they become doctors, if they become professors, engineers, scientists, then they will be happy. They don’t know! They can only be happy if they become what they have come to become. They can only become the seed that they are carrying within themselves.

So help in every possible way to give freedom, to give opportunities. Ordinarily, if a child asks a mother anything, without even listening to the child, to what he is asking, the mother simply says, “no.” No is an authoritative word; yes is not. So neither father nor mother nor anybody else who is in authority wants to say yes - to any ordinary thing.

The child wants to play outside the house: “No!” The child wants to go out while it is raining and wants to dance in the rain: “No! You will get a cold.” A cold is not a cancer, but a child who has been prevented from dancing in the rain, and has never been able again to dance, has missed something great, something really beautiful. A cold would have been worthwhile - and it is not that he will necessarily have a cold. In fact the more you protect him, the more he becomes vulnerable. The more you allow him, the more he becomes immune.

Parents have to learn to say yes. In ninety-nine times when they ordinarily say no, it is for no other reason than simply to show authority. Everybody cannot become the president of the country, cannot have authority over millions of people. But everybody can become a husband, can have authority over his wife; every wife can become a mother, can have authority over the child; every child can have a teddy bear, and have authority over the teddy bear.kick him from this corner to the other corner, give him good slaps, slaps that he really wanted to give to the mother or to the father. And the poor teddy bear has nobody below him.

This is an authoritarian society. What I am saying is in creating children who have freedom, who have heard “yes” and have rarely heard “no,” the authoritarian society will disappear. We will have a more human society.

So it is not only a question of the children. Those children are going to become tomorrow’s society: the child is the father of man.

India, your homeland, has treated you badly and without due respect. Yet sometimes when I hear you speak, do I not detect a subtle fondness in you for India and her people? Osho, what do you love about India?

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