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Chapter 31: I Am an Adamant Optimist

But parents feel freedom, because their children living with other children. We discovered a new phenomenon; we were thinking that there might be trouble - the children might fight with each other. But what we found was just the opposite of it: the older children took care of the smaller ones. There was no fighting. And nobody had any personal things - all toys and everything belonged to the campus - so there was no jealousy.

The children enjoyed the tremendous beauty of being with other couples - not just their parents - and naturally, uncles are nicer people than fathers. In fact, the Jewish God in the Old Testament says: “I want you to be aware that I am not your uncle, that I am not a nice person, that I am an angry person, a jealous person, revengeful.” His use of “I am not your uncle, I am your father” makes it clear that an uncle has a nice quality about him.

Thousands of uncles around him, aunts around him - the child feels almost surrounded in love; wherever he goes he is respected. Because people there are not his parents, they don’t force any ambition of their own on the child. The child is not their own. Otherwise, every parent is trying to fulfill his ambitions, which he could not manage to fulfill in his life, through his children.

The child is not their own. Otherwise if a man wanted to become a doctor, but he could not become one, he wants to make his boy a doctor - whether the boy wants to become a doctor or not is not the question at all. So there are doctors who would have been better as butchers, and there are butchers who would have been better as doctors. Everything is upside down.

Nobody bothers about what the child’s potential is. Everybody thinks of what his own ambition is - to see his boy become the president of the country or the prime minister, without bothering that the boy is potentially a musician, a Yehudi Menuhin, or an artist, a Michelangelo, or a mathematician, an Albert Einstein. Nobody cares abut the child, he is not to be considered at all.

In a commune, it is not the parents who are going to decide what their children should be. The children are born out of the parents, but they don’t belong to them. They belong to the commune, and the commune will decide - through psychoanalysis, through hypnosis, through other methods - what is the potential of the child. And a child should be helped in every possible way to become what he has come here to become; then he will be immensely happy.

In life there is only one blissfulness, and that is to become what you have been carrying within you - the potential - and to bring it to a full flowering. A rosebush should become roses, and that is its joy.

One great surgeon was invited by his friends, because he was retiring. He was the greatest surgeon of his country, and people were celebrating the occasion, giving him a good farewell. But he looked very sad. And one friend came to him and asked, “Why are you so sad?”

He said, “I am sad because I never wanted to become a surgeon. I wanted to become a musician. Even if I had to die on the street as a beggar with my guitar in my hands, I would have been more happy than to be the greatest surgeon in the country, because that was not at all my longing; it was not my destiny.”

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