Expectations, and the parental love for kids

Acharya Prashant
3 min readAug 1, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, is this possible to not expect anything from the child and let him do whatever he wants?

Acharya Prashant (AP): First of all, please see that we are not talking imaginary stuff here. Given the way we are, can we let our kids live without expectation? We expect value even from half a rupee we spend. That’s how we are. But you are saying, “If we let the child be free.” Is there anybody that we can let free?

Is there anybody we may not expect anything from? Do you know what it requires to let anybody free? Do you know what it requires to not expect anything in a relationship? You are saying this, as if it is a choice, as if you can do that remaining what you are.

So you are saying, “No, no. It is possible, I can do it. It is within my control. I just have to flip a switch or push a button. But you know, I am not doing it.” Do you have it in you to do that, first of all? Do you have it to let the loved one fly free? Do you have it to not expect anything? Do you have it to not be greedy in a relationship? Do you have it to give, without asking for returns?

But we don’t look at that.

We say, “You see, if I do that, then it won’t be right.” The question is not about — if you do that. The question is — Can you do that? Given what you are, can you do that? But look at the misplaced confidence.

“Oh! Of course, I can do that. Of course, of course. I am not doing it because it is not right.”

“Of course, I can do this. Of course.”

Try giving even one rupee to a beggar without expecting gratitude. Try!

It’s not so much about the kid, it’s about you.
If you are right, then most of these questions themselves would vanish.

Your obligation is not to expect. That is your compulsion, that is your inner compulsion. How do you like it when people demand returns from you? Do you feel loving towards them? Is this not obvious?

Someone serves you a glass of water and then serves you the bill. Do you give him — ‘I love you’- in return? And then you are using words like ‘ancient…

Acharya Prashant