Posted by Laxmi Parmeswar
Did you know that in 1913, Rabindranath Tagore was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for literature? A painter, playwright, poet, composer, novelist, author, AND international traveler, he was primarily an individual way ahead of his time! His following quote is the one that deeply resonates with me. He said (and I try to remember this daily, particularly in my role as a parent), “Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.”
Even the most well-intentioned and thoughtful parent tends to forget that (s)he can never really walk in the shoes of his or her child. It was true for us as children; it is still true today for us as parents and will remain true tomorrow. This is a simple fact that needs to be comprehended fully. Each one of us is blessed with our own set of cumulative experiences that make us who we are today – every event, every memory, every perception, every story and every moment. No two individuals are identical; not even identical twins, who share the same genetic make-up.
Many “good parents” fall into the trap of believing that their adult children should learn from their mistakes. But can they really? Can we package “good decisions” and hand them over to our children? Can we protect them from mistakes, errors in judgment, pain, grief, disappointment, anger, regret, and loss? Maybe we should find a way to protect them from us!