We need to understand danger, so it’s a danger no more. We can’t understand fire unless we feel its heat. We can’t grasp electricity without seeing its power, nor can we appreciate water without touching its flow. We are the children of death; for we came from the unknown and to it we shall return. In between, we will be riddled, urged to learn, hungry to explore. A beautiful spell our little ones will inevitably inherit. But in their own urge to understand, is it up to us whether they take to the road, or stay grounded for permission?
Permission is a bold word. It portrays authority. As parents we feel entitled to that power because it makes us feel in control. But in truth, that permission should not be ours to give. It should only be used as a personal guide for the seeker to question their own readiness to take on a challenge. Think of it as putting our children in a protection box with a lock. We can either hold on to the key until we think they are ready, all the while projecting our own insecurities on to them, or worse, have them try to break free of the box. Or we can give them the key, and tell them to open their safety box when they feel they are ready. By feeling entitled to hold on to that key we are fueling our own ego, but by empowering them we are fueling their humility. By giving them the tools of control we allow them to take on challenges knowing that our guidance is one blessing away. Do we want our children to be a better version of us? No, we don’t. We want them to be the best version of themselves, by exploring, taking chances, developing and understanding their own limitations, not ours.
Chance is not always a gamble. The persistent among us hit a mark with a thousand-to-one chance they could miss. It is not simply luck that yields such results, but the constant strive and dedication required to reach a desire. Persistence is undoubtedly the key to reaching any goal, but how we choose to spend the wait between start and finish sets the stage for life’s most important lesson. We can either choose to be anxious, obsessive and forceful, or we can choose to be patient, adaptive and gentle. The end goal might be the same, but the effect is subtly different. One blinds us of the pleasures of progress, trapping our minds in the aspirations of unpredictable futures. The other allows us to be present in the journey, reaping the rewards of our efforts in each moment regardless of the destination. So, persistence allows us to hit the mark but patience allows the mark to hit us in due time.
So, what do we do? Do we allow our children to take chances? Do we guide them? Do we always put their safety first? Yes, yes, and yes. But how we do it is what matters most. So, instead of just wanting our children to ask for permission, lets strive to give them our blessings to break through the safety of our nets in due time. As the American scientist Grace Hopper noted, “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission”. So, how about we make that permission request much easier to attain than asking for forgiveness? After all, to give blessings is to receive blessings.