He said, “That’s true. In fact, it is a small dog.” But the child made the comment, “I was exaggerating, and that is wrong. What about you? You said, ‘How many millions of times have you told me….’”
I was staying in Calcutta in a friend’s house from where I was going to a conference. I was sitting with him in the car and we were waiting for his wife. He was honking the horn. She came very angrily to the window and said, “I have told you a thousand times that I am coming in a minute!”
I said to my friend, “This is something – a miracle. She has told you a thousand times that she is coming in a minute. In fact, in a minute, one cannot say it a thousand times. And she has again disappeared into the bathroom.”
The man said, “You don’t know how she exaggerates. And the disease has caught me too. Once in a while, I suddenly become aware that I am exaggerating and it is just my wife….”
Parents are doing everything for which they are criticizing the child. And he is watching – and his watchfulness is far more clear. His intelligence is still growing; he can see that the same thing for which he is wrong, the parents are right. They are watching television late into the night – they are right – and he should go to sleep before nine o’clock. Slowly, slowly he gets accustomed to these things and starts feeling, “Somehow I am wrong. Everything I do is wrong.”
I once asked my father, “Will you tell me some time, some day, just once, ‘What you are doing is right’? Can’t you see that it is impossible to do everything wrong for twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year…everything wrong? If it is true, I am really accomplishing something miraculous. Just make an exception – just one time say to me, ‘What you are doing is right.’”
He was shocked because he understood the meaning of what I was saying, that it is impossible that I could be doing everything wrong.
But parents enjoy the idea because it is very fulfilling: it is the lust for power. Whenever you say to somebody, “No,” whenever you say to somebody, “You are wrong,” you feel powerful. It feeds your ego and it feeds the ego of everybody – the teachers, the neighbors. Wherever the child goes, everybody is enjoying the lust for power, and the child is crushed. And when so many people are saying that he is wrong, naturally he has to believe it.
But remember, as a reaction, he starts judging others. When everybody else is judging him, there is no reason why he should not judge others. You are teaching him to judge, to judge everybody – and as much as possible to judge negatively. So he starts judging that others are wrong.
And this is our world – where everybody is judging himself as wrong and judging everybody else as wrong. How can you be loving, friendly, trusting? How can you open your heart? You will be isolated, you will be completely closed, you will live in a world which you condemn and the world will condemn you.