Friday, July 28, 2017

Growing Up Well Nurtured

A priest working in counseling writes in a pastoral bulletin about a newly wed couple waiting for their first child and asking what is necessary to have a child with a good family background. They wanted to know what they had to do to raise the child to hear this compliment in the future.

In psychological therapy language, the good relationship between parent and child is the sign of a good family background: the results of the proper upbringing of a child. He compares the two words used for raising in Korean, one used for children, the other in the raising of animals. One is to nurture and the other to train.

Nurturing a child is to appreciate the growing period of a child and not to confine growth to a mold of one's own making but to the needs of the child. Putting it simply, to give the child liberty to grow creatively and freely. The other would be to raise the child according to a standard with coercion and  without accepting criticism.

Both with children and animals when you take away freedom they become cruel. They in turn in dealing with others want to do the same. They want to force their ideas on others and when this is not possible they get angry and have problems controlling their anger. We see this is in psychopaths and dictators.They force their ideas on others and will not take criticism.

We have this situation not infrequently also within  religion. We have those speaking in the name of God and giving their personal violent teaching in the name of God.They do not consider the diversity of believers and act as dictators. We have the dismantling of existing groups. There is not a nurturing but a standardizing which destroys the spirit of the community. 

They have a weak sense of humor. They have a stiffness about them. We have this example in some of our leaders, they become an object of ridicule. In the church, we have those who speak the Gospel message but it feels like we are eating rice not well prepared.

Those who are not nurtured correctly will not be creative. They have been raised in an uninformed and forced manner. They are not able to forsake their way of thinking and accept a wiser opinion. They lack freedom that does not allow them to grow.

Jesus was a free spirit. He criticized the Pharisees for keeping the people locked up and force fed with their ideas. Those who grow up with freedom have a joy and openness that comes from a home in which they have been well nurtured.

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