Today while walking to my home from my office, I purchased a bottle of orange juice. I was a bit bored and started tossing it in the air (if throwing it 15cm in the air can be called tossing :) ). As I reached a stretch of road without people, I started tossing it higher, maybe a few meters in the air. I felt happy doing this. However, on the next turn, I saw a couple of guys talking on the sidewalk, I stopped tossing. I thought I would resume once I was past these guys. The reason I stopped was very obvious, I didn’t want these guys to watch me toss the bottle and fail to catch it. Then I started thinking, I always used to say ‘Do not be afraid’. Back in the day, I even had a poster stuck on my wall which read ‘Do not be afraid’. And here I was, afraid of what two strangers would think if I dropped the bottle (which is such a trivial thing but that’s not the point).
It is astounding how we are afraid to do simple things even in complete anonymity. These guys really didn’t know me, and even if I failed to catch the bottle, it had no real consequences, they were probably not even looking or thinking about it.
So, here I was afraid of experimenting with a trivial thing, inspite of all my beleifs. Then it hit me, the more you fear, the lesser you experiment and the lesser you experiment the lesser you grow. Experimentation takes courage.
The human mind is such a complex thing, and we can only grow if we learn about our true selves instead of living in a state of denial. So, experiment with gay abandon, don’t be afraid of the consequences. No one is really paying attention to every little action you do. Even if they are there are really no consequences most of the time.
Now, that I know my weakness, I hope to overcome it and be able to experiment a little more regardless of the consequences(real or imaginary).
As they say, Knowing that you don’t know something is the most important stage of learning. I have hopefully reached this stage, I can’t say for sure though, there are many things which we say which we don’t fully comprehend. It is like seeing an important detail which you missed while watching a movie the first time. Wise words have layers of meaning hidden under them. Everytime you think you have understood them completely, they show you more by uncovering another layer.
If you don’t let your kids experiment and explore this world, you are limiting their growth. It is your job to expose them to all the things in the world. One of the huge problems in Indian education is that most of the kids don’t know what they need or love till they graduate. There are many who don’t know what they love even till they die. I am not talking about the kind of food you like. I am talking about much bigger things. For instance, my sister who is 20 years old, has just found that she loves cooking. Think about it for a second, she is an Indian girl, she has access to a kitchen, and it still took 20 years for her to find that she loves cooking. Obviously it is because she hasn’t tried cooking before.
So, as parents it is your responsiblity to expose your children to as many things as possible.
Explore, experiment, toss a frigging bottle. Do not be afraid.
P.S: By the way, I didn’t stop tossing the bottle till I reached my home :)