I have a plea. This may sound personal. It is: Our children have suffered a lot during this pandemic. We don’t know what they’re going through. It is scary being a child. You don’t make your own decisions; your parents do. You don’t know what to do; you follow your parents. You don’t know how to make yourself feel better. You don’t have the skills to do so.
Our children have been locked up at home.
Our children have lost the right to be free.
Our children are masked.
Our children are learning from the worst teacher — a screen.
Our children have lost human contact.
So please, from the bottom of my heart I ask you this:
Let them be free.
Let them be free of pressure.
Let them breathe.
Let them enjoy learning what they can.
Let them have freedom.
You will ask me next: What about their future?
My answer will be: Grades and performance don’t make a future. Mental health and physical health… they do. And they are inextricably linked. Preserve your child’s mind. Free them of fear, pressure and disconnection.
Value their happiness. Value their joy.
Please do not:
Put pressure on them to get better grades.
Put pressure on them to compete.
Put pressure on them to do better.
The pressure will kill their spirit.
The pressure will increase the fear that they are already sensing all around them.
The pressure will make them feel not good enough.
The pressure on them will make them feel CONDITIONALLY LOVED.
From the bottom of my heart, please I ask you, don’t. I know you’re coming from a place of creating a secure future for your child. “I want them to be good at school so they get into a good college so they get a good job and are secure…”
And then? Will that make them happy? Does that mean they will be joyous individuals full of love for themselves? Or will they become human beings chasing success, money and power to feel better? Are you killing their inherent beauty in the name of external validation?
We are in a pandemic and the future is uncertain. We are taking things one day at a time. The world burns around us because we’ve let people who value money, success and power rule it and rule us. There is no value for who we are without any of external measures of worth. There is no value for our mental peace as we destroy our source of oxygen and nurture — our planet — for money and power.
Changing the world begins at home. It begins with you looking into your precious child’s eyes and telling him/ her/them:
“You are beautiful. Your happiness, your joy, it matters to me more than anything. I love you for you. Not for what you achieve. It doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me, is only you. You are loved for being exactly who you are. Remember that.”
And then, maybe then, they will believe that it is inner peace that matters. That is the thing of value. Not power, not the other; just who they are within… the magic lies within. And they can listen to what they want; they can do what feels right to them without needing to chase and acquire.
These beings we are raising at home… they are the future. As we see people world over losing homes, starving, handing their infants over walls for medical attention to soldiers they don’t know… as you look at tear streaked, dirty, sorrow filled innocent faces, deadened eyes brutalised by war, crime, abuse… as you see these faces now… of innocent children everywhere…
They are where they are because the world thinks power matters more than love. When you pressure your children to be more, you are replacing love with chasing MORE, MORE, MORE… More of what? They are already everything. Remind them of that. And then, maybe then, we can hope for a different world.