A child is like a tree.
Parents can help them grow
by preparing the soil
and nurturing them with love.
The trees go on growing
without anybody teaching them
how to grow.
The animals, the birds,
the whole existence,
needs no programming.
According to me,
the function of the parents
is not how to help the children grow —
they will grow without you.
Your function is to support, to nourish,
to help what is already growing.
Don’t give directions and don’t give ideals.
Don’t tell them what is right
and what is wrong:
let them find it by their own experience.
Only one thing you can do,
and that is share your own life.
Tell them that you have been conditioned
by your parents,
that you have lived within certain limits,
according to certain ideals,
and because of these limits and ideals
you have missed life completely,
and you don’t want to destroy
your children’s life.
You want them to be totally free —
free of you, because to them
you represent the whole past.
It needs guts and it needs immense love
in a father, in a mother,
to tell the children,
“You need to be free of us. Don’t obey us —
depend on your own intelligence.