Sadhguru speaks to the director of the film, “For Real”. He talks about the best form of parenting there is, which is to straighten up – not our children, but ourselves. Since parenting is a 20-year project, he talks about the importance of staying committed to the role, and nurturing the relationship through simple friendship.
Sadhguru: When a child is born, the first and foremost thing one should understand is that you did not create life. You only worked as a passage to deliver life. So you must understand that this has only come to you, this doesn’t really come from you or belong to you. It is just that you have the privilege of nurturing it for a certain period of time. You need to build a certain friendship with this little life that’s entered your space now.
A child is everything that you are on a small scale. So if a child has arrived and is of a certain significance to you, the first and foremost thing that you need to do is, start cleaning yourself up. The best parenting you can do is to fix yourself. You might have lived in all kinds of distorted ways, but now a child has come. This is the time to straighten up your life. Don’t worry about straightening up the child’s life because he is learning quickly by imitation. He is picking up whatever he is exposed to. In many ways, you are the biggest source of imitation for him. The best thing is that you are straight; you are the way your ideal is. Whatever you think is the highest way to be, you be that way when the child is around, because he is learning by imitation. He may be exposed to many other sources of imitation which you cannot control. At least you can do your part. So the best thing you can do is to come down from your high horse of “parenting” somebody. Just learn to be a simple friend to your child, so that when he is in some kind of confusion or some kind of trouble, you are the first person he wants to talk to.
It’s very important that parents look at this – whatever their aspirations, whatever their goals, if you want to bring up a child, it is a 20-year project. So when you start, you must have at least a 20-year commitment. Our ideas, our thoughts, our emotions may change as we move on and many discords may happen, disagreements may happen, struggles may happen. When two human beings are in a certain level of proximity, certain level of sharing, many things may happen. But, because we have a 20-year project, we must be committed at least for 20 years. This much maturity and commitment one must have before they decide to bear a child. Otherwise, it is not needed for you. You are still a child; you can fight and go away. You can disagree with somebody and leave the house today, if you are in that condition, you are still a child and you don’t need a child. Asking a child to bear another child is not fair. So you don’t have to bear a child. And you will be doing a great service to the world, because right now our only problem is excessive human population.