All of us are ambitious. Especially when it relates to our children. We want the best in every area. What is it drives us? Is it our love for children? Is it a passion for power? Is it that we arrogate to ourselves that we are the masters of everything around us including our children? Hundreds of such questions find no answers.
The main motivating force is the desire of the parents who want their children to excel in all fields- school education, sports or arts and craft skills etc. That would be a very welcome ambition. But when it takes an obnoxious turn when the ambitions drive the children not on their own volition but the adults’ Will.
“ Adults, like children, seem to differ from one another mainly in their defects. But hidden in their hearts there is something deep, common to all. All have a tendency to raise themselves up; they aspire to something spiritual. Both the individual and society have this in common; a common tendency towards progress” –Absorbent mind by Maria Montessori
Yet there is a difference in the way we want to accomplish things. They say it works vertically when one learns more to improve his standard of living, or make people respect him/her or even choose things prestigious.
But this movement upwards is not always steady. It vacillates. Moreover .one who moves upwards is never sure whether it is sufficient. Again there is the apprehension of sliding down. This makes the person tense, anxious and fearful. It is a state of being vulnerable constantly. Added to this, there is the prospect of someone else going up the ladder faster thus making one’s position secondary. Demanding self-elevation leads to fear of committing errors.
Contrary to this is what we call the horizontal pattern. This person is absolutely sure of what he aspires for. It is not a movement upward but movement ahead. Interest in the work motivates him. Interest becomes stronger can transform itself into enthusiasm. This can lead to converting any possible mistake into a stepping stone to success.’ Wanting to be useful’ spreads horizontally to everyone in society.
Stimulated by the great fascination for social status and personal glory we find that the adults not only drive themselves to a state of panic but also try to lead their children in the same path.
It would be good exercise for those who live with and for children to stop for a moment to ponder. Would it not be wise to ensure that our children build themselves into very strong personalities? They would be able to face any situation in later life. They can join any rat race and come on top because they are strong in body and mind. They would be calm and peaceful when they are successful. They would not break to pieces when they meet with disappointments. They would view the world as a pleasant place to live in. They would understand that there is place for everybody in this large world. They could live for themselves and for others at the same time. They know that while they give they receive. They know while they receive they are giving. They will meet their mistakes with courage. All these can take them to very high places.
But this cannot be done after their personalities are completely built up
The personality gets completely done long before they become adults. The process is irreversible. If he grows vertically he cannot grow horizontally later on It would be imbalanced and unsteady because the base is narrow. But if, at the base, it is horizontally strong vertical growth is easy and steady So, what shall we do?
Shall we allow our dear children to grow horizontally or vertically? .