Our Children Are Not Ours
By Isabel Galiardo
We unconsciously manipulate our children, demanding they behave as we wish them to, or else we withdraw our affection. Thus, we have been educated and so we educate.
”If you don’t eat your food mom will be sad”, “Don’t make your dad angry”, “You have disappointed me”. We have grown up trying to be what we are not, trying to please and fulfil the expectations of others, spending much of our lives terrified at the possibility of ceasing to be loved and accepted.
We have created a competitive society where there can only be winners or losers. We must meet standards, even at the cost of sacrificing our essence. Making money, having good looks, gaining academic and professional merits are the highest aspirations in our culture. Our children live from an early age subjected to the pressure of being always under examination. You have to get results, pass exams, learn languages and excel in this desperate race to get ahead. There is no longer time to be, to play, to learn for the sheer pleasure of doing so.
Our culture has made the mind prevail over the heart. We take pride in our achievements in science and technology, but we have lost something fundamental on the way, our heart. Without it we are incomplete, we are tripartite beings: head, heart and instinct.
Let’s invite the children and the youth to think for themselves and to question our ideas and to find what resonates with them as truthful and they will become conscious adults.
Let’ encourage the new generations to listen to their emotions and they will transform into compassionate and loving people.
Let’s support them to initiate, to try, to dare without being chased by the terrible ghosts of shame, criticism and judgment.
Let us teach our children to develop a relationship with themselves in which they listen to their guts and heart, in addition to their heads, in which they can recognize what they need and want, not only what is expected of them. In this way, they will be able to share from their greatness, from their full potential, instead of shrinking to conform to our expectations.
“It is very easy to conform to what your society or your parents and teachers tell you. That is a safe and easy way of existing; but that is not living…To live is to find out for yourself what is true.” Jiddu Krishnamurti