Primum Non Nocere (First, To Do No Harm)
I often used to wonder why we are born as kids and not as ready-made adults. I mean if that’s the ultimate goal God had outlined for us then might as well. He could have saved himself and us, a lot of effort.
Of course, over the years I have realised that God did have a bigger picture in mind for all of us when he came up with plan of making children. Here’s what I have learnt;
- Every child is unique just like a snowflake. Isn’t that His way of telling us that we are all unique?
- The idea of having to start off as a child is probably a means to reconnect us with our childhood to remind us that life can be simple and uncomplicated.
- Children are the most perfect creations of God. Unblemished, untouched, supremely pristine. God created children so we could believe in Him.
- A child is a bundle of possibilities. As she grows and makes choices, a personality is carved. Though God may be pulling the strings, He has given us a power over our choices.
- Children are our shot at becoming better human beings. They come to us to teach us faith, patience and the power of unconditional love.
As you read this, I am sure you’ll come with your own take on this and add to the list. Having established that, I feel we take our ability to ‘make’ children very seriously. When actually it’s the other way around. They are the ones who make us.
Instead let’s spend more time with kids. Their perspective is refreshing and who knows, some of their wisdom just might rub in on us.
Their uniqueness is a reason for celebration not an opportunity to hammer a square peg in a round hole. Let us not restrain them or make an attempt to modify them. Have we ever tried to modify the course of, say, a waterfall? We truly firmly believe; it’s been put there to be enjoyed and marvelled at. Then why do we change our perspective when we look at our children? They also have been placed there to be enjoyed and marvelled at.
Doctors are quite familiar with the phrase from the Hippocratic oath- Primum non nocere (first, to do no harm). That applies to parenting as well. Let’ try to curtail our urge to be control freaks and not treat our kids as projects that need to be perfect. They ARE perfect already, let’s not mess with that!
At best, we may monitor their influences, their surroundings and empower them by helping make the right choices. I recently read somewhere that a whole generation of artists, writers, singers is lost because their parents were busy making them doctors, engineers and lawyers. Isn’t it a disservice to the society in general and to our children in specific?
God has put a lot of trust in us when he gave us children. We need to prove ourselves to be worthy of the trust that in us. Say what?
-Dr. Shivani Salil
PS: I know that a lot of parents are aligned with these thoughts of mine. This is more of a reminder to myself and to all others and a validation as well for all those who are imbibing this thought process.