“A child is the father of man”, they say! Indeed, there is truth in it.
We are so occupied in trying to imitate others that we forget our unique identity. We forget what we are? Who we are? What we have come here for? We can’t define ourselves, our purpose and our existence.
Ask a boy what he wishes to be in life when he grows up. He pulls out a list with names of some of the great men who have gone down in history for having charted out destinies for themselves and others. That boy is admonished by his parents to appoint an idol for himself who would influence his path.
Kids have a fertile mind. So long as they are on their own, in thoughts, they follow natural logic. We mend their imagination according to our fancies and experiences – most of which are actually flawed and concocted.
Sarah, 6 years, my niece, was once sitting with me and having apple. I asked her what will you be when you grow up. She said, “Sarah”.
I was astonished! That was unexpected!!
I was hoping to get an answer such as, Mother Teresa, Indira Gandhi, or perhaps Queen of Jhansi or maybe some other personality. But, Sarah? It took me totally unawares!
I asked her about it. She said, “I am Sarah. So, I will remain Sarah when I grow up. It’s so simple! Isn’t it?”
It was indeed simple! We don’t have simple thoughts as grown-ups. We have complex thoughts. We like complex things. Very complex. So complex that we can’t recognize it. Can’t understand it. Can’t follow it. Can’t explain it. We need an idol. An idol that is history. An idol that will never be born again. Einstien will never be born. Newton will never see this world again. Edison is history. Mahatma Gandhi will never be seen in flesh and blood.
Yet, we search for an idol. An idol that is history. An idol that can’t talk. Can’t guide. We are dependent. We are not ourselves. Cast into an idol. The cast is old. Of history. The cast is imperfect. We come out imperfect.
Great men walked this earth before. They had unique problems to tackle. They resolved those by their ingenuity. By their hard work. The problems are gone. The people are gone. We are faced with new problems. New problems call for new solutions. New breed of minds to tackle and resolve. How could we attempt to resolve new problems with old solutions?
Well, the kid wants to grow up as Sarah. Live as Sarah. And, perhaps go as Sarah. Unique. Never born before. Will never be born! Rare! Absolutely!!
Do we understand?