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Osho Quotes on Children

  1. We go on forcing children to go to sleep when we think it is time. But sleep is not to be manipulated by time, sleep is something inner. When the child feels sleepy he will go to sleep, but mother and father go on forcing the child to go to sleep, as if sleep can be ordered. Children must think that you are foolish, they think that something has gone wrong in your mind. How can a child force sleep? He can pretend, so when you are there he can close the eyes and when you have gone he can open the eyes, because sleep cannot be forced. Nobody, not even you, can force sleep. If you don't feel sleepy how can you go to sleep?
    But this is how society destroys.
  2. If there exists in the future any possibility of a real human society, the first thing, the basic thing that will have to be done is this: don't make children automatic. Even if it takes a little longer to make them efficient, make them efficient with awareness; don't make them machines. It will take longer, because two things have to be learned: the efficiency and awareness. A human society will give you awareness, even with less efficiency, but efficiency will come by and by. Then when you are alert you will be able to be efficient with alertness.
  3. Very few people are accepted as creative: A few painters, a few poets -- one in a million. This is foolish! Every human being is a born creator. Watch children and you will see: all children are creative. By and by, we destroy their creativity. By and by, we force wrong beliefs on them. By and by, we distract them. By and by, we make them more and more economical and political and ambitious.
  4. If you miss your youth, you will miss your old age also -- remember. So I am not saying become old while you are young. I am saying be whatsoever you are; let that moment be your totality. When a child, be a child; never enforce your wisdom on any child because that is a crippling thing. Don't try to make a child old before he is old, don't crush him. That's what has happened in the world: old people are dominating children, and they want to pull them out of their childhood faster than nature allows. They kill and they crush -- the child loses something forever. And when a child was not a child when he was a child, he will not be young when he is young. Something will always go on missing. He will always be late in life -- he will miss the train.
  5. Children are careful watchers, observers of what is happening all around. Of course, their senses are very clear, unclouded. They see the truth immediately. You cannot cheat a child; he knows it immediately, intuitively. And he is so innocent that it is impossible for him to be formal. But he has to be formal to survive. And man's child is very helpless. It is because of man's child's helplessness that our whole civilization exists. We can manage, mold the child in every possible way, whatsoever way we want.

    Children are not supposed to say things that they know. They know much more than they ever tell you. They pretend to be innocent because you don't want them to know more than is taught in the school, than is taught by the preacher, than is taught by you; and they certainly know more. They move in society, in life, with keen, alert senses. They are watching everything, whatsoever is happening all around. But they learn one thing sooner or later: that they have to be diplomatic -- with the grown-ups you can't be true, honest, sincere.
  6. In schools children are sitting for five or six hours -- by and by they are dulled, their intelligence is lost. Every child is born intelligent and almost ninety-nine per cent of people die stupid. The whole education dulls the mind -- and you can do it yourself also.
  7. The moment you are born, conditioning starts, from your very first breath; it cannot be avoided. The parents will condition you, the children you play with will condition you, the neighborhood will condition you, the school, the church, the state. And consciously not much conditioning is being done, but unconsciously the child goes on and on accumulating it. The child learns by imitating. So don't be worried. This is the normal situation in the world: everybody is conditioned. And everybody has to come out of the conditioning. It is difficult. It is not like undressing -- it is like peeling your skin. It is hard, it is arduous, because we have become identified with our conditioning.
  8. That's why children look so beautiful: because they are yet full of hope, full of dreams, and they have not yet known frustration. Old people start looking very very dead. Hopes have leaked out, by and by, and only frustration -- a very bad taste on the tongue. Experience makes people bitter. Experience makes people lose their innocence, lose their hope, lose their trust. But it is not experience really -- because they wanted to make their dreams real, that's why. Otherwise you could remain as innocent to the very end of your life as in the beginning -- in fact, even more -- because the innocence that happens in childhood is just natural. It has not been tested against fire; it is very fragile. It has no crystallization in it. It is just a gift; it has not been earned. But when an old man is childlike, innocent, then nothing can destroy it. Then it has a solidity to it, then it is substantial; he has earned it.
  9. Psychologists have come across a very significant fact: that if small children are left to themselves, they always choose the right thing to eat. You put everything around, you leave it on the dining table, don't force anything, and don't say what to eat and what not to eat. It has been a tremendous discovery that children eat only the right thing in the right time. If a child is suffering from something and a certain thing is needed which will be helpful for it, he will choose to eat it. By the time that suffering disappears he will stop eating that. We confuse them. We tell them to eat this and don't eat that. Then by and by, their natural instinct functions no more.
  10. Children are trusting, but by and by there will be experiences in which they will be deceived, in which they will get into trouble, in which they will be opposed, in which they will become afraid. By and by they will learn all the tricks of the world. That's what has happened to everybody, more or less.
  11. The children first have to be taught the physical joys. Help them to climb the trees, help them to run, help them to swim, help them to dance, help them to do physical yoga, hatha yoga, so they can have a feel of their bodies, so their bodies can be felt as alive phenomena -- not something dead around them, not something disconnected, not like a machine to be used -- so that they can have a respect for the body, love for the body, so their bodies can become sacred temples.

    And then don't be in a hurry. The next step has to be taken very slowly. The movement from the body to the mind has to be very, very delicate, because you are moving from the gross to the subtle. And the movement cannot be very direct; it has to be very indirect. Slowly, slowly let the child know about music, poetry. Let the child know about great paintings, architecture. Let the child enjoy the exercise of his mind.

    And then when the child is ready, when he has fulfilled his mind needs, help him to meditate. And nothing has to be done in haste. Let everything ripen, help everything to become mature. Just remember one thing: that the child should not get stuck anywhere. There are many who have become stuck at the body, the physical pleasure; then sex remains their center of life. There are many who have got stuck in the mind; then thinking, philosophizing, logic, and the joys of thinking and philosophizing and logic, remain for their whole lives. These people are half-grown people. Before the child gets stuck somewhere, push him to the further level, to the further plane. Help him to meditate.





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