44. Puberty: the time for respect

January 18, 2018 Sociocultural Issues, Sticky Thoughts No Comments

Children in their puberty ask (in many cases very loudly) for respect, although they can have a huge difficulty in giving it themselves. The voice of protest is never far away… and I think they are essentially right. I also think that to become a grown-up in a profound way means to keep one’s own puberty alive.

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Isn’t it nice?

To get older in a profound way is to stay forever young.

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Of course I’m not talking here of protest just and only for its own sake. I see puberty as the age in which a new personality is being formed further while also coming into contact with the real world. This means looking at the world in a new and fresh way. Beginner’s mind. The mind of someone who doesn’t look through layers and layers of deeply internalized preconceptions. Surely the preconceptions of puberty are there, but they too are still fresh and very changeable. This is wisdom, if only it gets proper support.

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Of course a child in puberty needs support. Tons of support. A huge part of this can be delivered as respect. This is: really listening to the child, not taking anything for granted from either side. To ‘feel’ the child and to let yourself be ‘felt’ without taking recourse to the immediate and harsh “I know, you don’t”. What’s on a child’s mind?

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Children of any age need ‘soul’. If you give them some, you can see how they blossom. If they don’t get it, they become demotivated, disrespectful themselves, bored, even violent. After a while and a number of aborted efforts, even their asking for ‘soul’ disappears. Everything becomes useless, especially adults, especially the own parents. What remains in really bad cases, are mainly egoistic longings and in the end, out of despair and not knowing anything else, becoming themselves the loathed adults to a new generation of genuine askers.

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It doesn’t need to be that way. If you’re an adult and have trouble with a child in puberty, then look for ‘soul’ and give it. Talk about it. Don’t run away by giving the child anything that it demands. ‘Anything’ is not ‘soul’. It may even be the opposite. The child doesn’t ask any-thing. It asks the one thing. Not only the child before you does so. Also the ‘child within you’ does. Therefore be deeply honest. Be truly yourself. Keep the child within yourself always alive. You and all your children will reap the rewards.

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Play. Play. Deeply play.

In the morning. In the evening.

Even your last breath will be a smile.

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