Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (diaogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner: Sir, is there something we can do for the education of our kids at home or at schools?
What we call as education is just a preparation to serve social roles. The kid comes only physically conditioned; we make the kid a servant of the society.
If you are in charge of a kid, then you have to be very sensitive, very careful and loving. Because remember that education does not happen only in school or college, education also happens when he is on the TV or the internet or with his peers, education is happening all the time. One has to be very careful about these messages.
Listener: Yes! I have read that it is useless to try to educate the children; they will just imitate you anyway.
AP: Very well said. When you are standing in front of your child, he is imitating you, he is absorbing a lot of things. You know what happens — 20 years, 30 years are spent just absorbing garbage from here and there. And then, you come to spirituality to detoxify yourself. Incidentally, instead of detoxification, what you get is more education so now you are full of knowledge, now you have gone back heavier than you came. You must check your luggage on the flight back. It is always a little heavier than when you came, your brain is accumulated with such great knowledge that now you know what is ‘Bhram’, ‘Turiya’ all the fancy full terms.
L: Would teaching them observation help?
AP: Yes. In fact, just being with the kid in a loving way, not even having planned what to teach him is sufficient
L: But there are so many distorted loving ways!
AP: Oh Yes! As long as the parents think that they are parents, they will only spoil the kid. You just have to be with the kid. In love, there is no name of the two parties and the relationship cannot have a formal structure. Whenever I have been with the kids, instead of teaching them I have been learning from them. On several occasions, they have given my ego great lessons — by exposing me.
I do not know whether we are qualified to teach kids; we must first learn from them. And maybe that would be sufficient.
Then there is a question of knowledge, all the technology and all the progress, economics and civilizations and politics. That knowledge, some part of it, is probably necessary for physical survival and that needs to be given but without its psychological content; without the psychological connotations that its carries. That must be given, obviously, but they must know that they need to stop when the traffic signal is red. So that knowledge needs to be imparted but that’s all.
In the psychological sense, no kid needs any training; we need de-training.