Colloquial Definition of Independence: “You can do anything you want to, provided you do within the boundaries I give you”
India got independence 66 years back but what we failed to acknowledge and take over was Responsibility which came along.
Keeping the city clean became someone else’s responsibility (work); maintaining traffic sense became the job (responsibility) of the traffic police. The list can go on. Think if each one of us does not throw any trash on the road – then the city would become clean in a day!! Looking at the current situation – a Clean Delhi sounds to be an out of the mind expectation, but imagine if each one of us be responsible for ourselves, it will cause a miracle in a day..
Normally we think Independence is fine but there’s need to be boundaries. Boundaries would ensure that people remain ethical and take care of themselves, others, environment etc. So a group of people get together and formulate the ‘rules’ and ‘boundaries’ and another set of people become the custodians / the wardens of the rules; Sounds logical. Boundaries are required else people will go berserk. Sure have boundaries, BUT responsibility very subtly shifted to a few (the custodians) and the other became the ones who would be managed. What we forgot to take over on that day was each one of us being responsible for ourselves, our family, our neighbors, our society, our country.
You will say “what’s this conversation got to do with Parenting and children?”
That’s exactly what we do with our children. We want them to be independent! Be self reliant! And then we setup boundaries for them, within which WE want them to operate – boundaries that we manage. So managing boundaries became our job! It’s their job to setup and maintain the boundaries. What comes with Freedom and is never nurtured is ‘being responsible’. When we start nurturing responsibility in a child – they become responsible for their well being, their life, their studies, their career etc. and they start taking it up for themselves is when they enjoy complete freedom.
Let’s not hide behind the cliché ‘they are too young to understand this’ the truth is we never gave them a chance, a chance to take it on; a chance to try on, fail and succeed – work a little bit on making them responsible and see the magic for yourself.
When children take on being responsible, they and you enjoy true freedom!
Freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin they are like the back and the front of the hand. Replacing Responsibility with Discipline / boundaries doesn’t work. It hasn’t… Crime, accidents, dirt, breaking the law has only increased. Let’s have a new beginning. Not just in our parenting. Nurturing freedom and responsibility not just in our kids but in ourselves too… as our contribution to our children, our future, our country and the world …
Happy Independence Day!!