CHILDREN NEED PRIVACY
On Parenting, Osho says -
A child needs immense privacy, as much as possible, a maximum of
privacy, so that he can develop
his individuality un-interfered with. But we are trespassing on
the child, continuously trespassing. The
parents are continuously asking, 'What are you doing? What are
you thinking?' Even thinking!
ďA child needs immense privacy. The parents should come on to
help him, not to interfere. He should
be allowed to do things or not to do things. Parents should only
be alert that he does not do any harm
to himself or to somebody else -- that's enough. More than that
A tourist drove into a small town and spoke to a boy who was
sitting on a bench in front of the post
office. 'How long have you lived here?' the tourist asked.
'About twelve years,' the boy replied. 'It sure
is an out-of-the-way place, isn't it?' the tourist asked. 'It
sure is,' the boy said. 'There isn't much going
on,' the tourist said. 'I don't see anything here to keep you
busy. ' 'Neither do I,' the boy said. 'That's
why I like it.'
The children like very much to be left alone; spaciousness is
needed for their growth. Yes, parents
have to be alert, cautious, so that no harm happens to the
child, but this is a negative kind of
cautiousness -- they are not to interfere positively. They have
to give the child a great longing to
inquire about truth, but they have not to give him an ideology
that gives him the idea of truth. They
should not teach him about truth, they should teach him how to
inquire about truth. Inquiry should be
taught, investigation should be taught, adventure should be
The children should be helped so that they can ask questions and
the parents should not answer
those questions unless they really know. And even if they know
they should say it as Buddha used
to say it to his disciples: 'Don't believe in what I say! This
is my experience, but the moment I say
it to you it be-comes false because for you it is not an
experience. Listen to me, but don't believe.
Experiment, inquire, search. Unless you yourself know, your
knowledge is of no use; it is dangerous.
A knowledge which is borrowed is a hindrance.'
But that's what parents go on doing: they go on conditioning the
The children need privacy, they need freedom -- they need the
freedom to be. But every parent is
trying to make the child into something other than he is. They
are telling the child to become a Jesus
Christ or to become a Gautam Buddha or to become a Mahavira or a
Zarathustra. And this is such
an ignoble project because nobody can become a Bud&a again,
nobody can become a Jesus again.
Existence is so creative it never repeats itself. Two thousand
years have passed since Jesus --
has anybody become a Jesus again? That is not possible, that is
not allowed, and it is good that it
is not possible. Twenty-five centuries have passed since Buddha
and millions of people have tried
and imitated in order to be Buddhas, but nobody has succeeded.
It is good that nobody succeeds,
because everybody has his own uniqueness.
Imitation is to destroy yourself, it is suicidal! But all the
parents are teaching the children some suicidal
thing: 'Become somebody, somebody else. Become anybody, but
don't become yourself.' The child
is condemned, rejected in every possible way, told directly,
indirectly that 'Whatsoever you are is
not right, whatsoever you are doing is not right.' You have to
be following some example, some
ideal. 'Unless you behave like a Buddha or Mahavira, Confucius
or Moses, you are not right' -- and the
child starts imitating. This world is full of imitators, that's
why there is so much misery, that's why there
is so much uncreativity and so much insensitivity, so much
It is like telling the roses to become marigolds and telling the
marigolds to become lotuses. Neither
the rose can become a marigold nor the marigold can become a
lotus. Only one thing is possible: if
the lotus gets the idea of becoming a rose and the rose gets the
idea of becoming a marigold and the
marigold is conditioned to become a lotus, there will be no more
lotuses, no more marigolds, no more
roses, because the whole energy of the rose will be wasted on
becoming a marigold, which the rose
cannot become, which is not possible. And because it cannot
become a marigold its energy is wasted
-- the same energy which would have blossomed as a rose.
No conditioning is needed for the children, no direction has to
be given to them. They have to be
helped to be themselves they have to be supported, nourished,
strengthened. A real father, a real
mother, real parents will be a blessing to the child. The child
will feel helped by them so that he
becomes more rooted in his nature, more grounded, more centred,
so that he starts loving himself
rather than feeling guilty about himself, so that he respects
Remember, unless a person loves himself he cannot love anybody
else in the world, unless a child
respects himself he cannot respect anybody else. That's why all
your love is bogus and all your
respect is pseudo, phony. You don't respect yourself, how can
you respect anybody else? Unless love
for yourself is born within your being it will not radiate to
others. First you have to become a light unto
yourself, then your light will spread, will reach others.
Children are immensely intelligent, they just need a chance!
They need opportunities to grow, the
right climate. Every child is born with the potential of
enlightenment, with the potential of becoming
awakened, but we destroy it.
This has been the greatest calamity in the whole history of man.
No other slavery has been as bad as
the slavery of the child and no other slavery has taken as much
juice out of humanity as the slavery of
the child, and this is also going to be the most difficult task
for humanity: to get rid of it."