A ten-year-old asked: “What is the purpose of school? I don’t see why kids have to go to school. I’m not learning anything.”
So I said, “What is the purpose of a rainbow, or a waterfall, or a grain of sand?”
“I don’t know.”
Then I said, “Your purpose (and their purpose) is just to be. Not to be a somebody or a nobody — because when you do you become greedy and ambitious — but just to be.”
A lot of people think I am helping children. No! Oh, no, no, no! Don’t expect me to be of help to anyone. Nor do I expect to damage anyone either. If one is damaged, then he or she did it; and if one is helped, then he or she did it. If a child is disobedient, it’s because that is his or her nature. If a child speaks and writes fluently, it’s because that is his or her nature. Anyone who claims they’ve helped someone else big time — they’re lying! Because that’s called conditioning.
The other day, I was watching the HBO documentary of Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton. In the documentary, the World Champion was asked: “What makes a good driver — at your level?”
“You've got to have no fear — I'm fearless when I'm driving,” Hamilton said. “You've got to understand lines, trajectories, and when you're driving at 200mph and you brake with a goal of getting to the corner at a certain distance, you need depth perception. That's a given gift.”
I’ve tried to explain it countless times to my brother who’s learning ways to bring up his children, and to parents of kids whom I work with: it’s not about pursuing your desires. It’s about learning what connection your child has with what he or she is doing.
Lewis Hamilton bonded with playing remote control cars, then it led to go-carting, before finally touching down with Formula One. Likewise, a writer has connection with words; a musician with instruments; a singer with voice; a painter with nature and canvas; a weaver with threads; a chef with food combination and taste. Even your author feels guilty of this affinity with children. This is the gift that every human being has been entrusted with and cannot be duplicated, taught, nor explained by any theory.
The way I see it, there are only two ways parents would teach their children to discover their natural abilities. First, they’ve experienced it themselves, firsthand. And second, they’re desperate. Only then will parents offer their children a different kind of education.
So there it is: people don’t really want to grow up, people don’t really want to change, people don’t really want to be happy. As someone so wisely once said: “Don’t try to make people happy, you’ll only get in trouble. Don’t try to teach a monkey to sing; it’ll waste your time and it’ll irritate the monkey.”
There is a funny story about the businessman who went into a bar, sat down, and saw this fellow with a banana in his ear — a banana in his ear! And he thought: “I wonder if I should tell him. No, it’s none of my business.” But the thought nagged him, so after a drink or two, he said to the fellow, “Excuse me, ah, you’ve got a banana in your ear.”
The fellow said, “What?”
“You’ve got a banana in your ear,” repeated the businessman.
Again the fellow said, “What was that?”
“You’ve got a banana in your ear,” shouted the businessman.
“Talk louder,” said the fellow, “I’ve got a banana in my ear!”
So it’s useless. “Give up. Just give up!” I say to myself. Say your thing and get out of here. And if they profit, that’s fine, and if they don’t, too bad!