As a parent we have a never-ending challenge of trying to teach our children positive principles of thinking and behavior that will enable them to thrive personally and professionally.
But, at the exact same time, we want to also engender them with the courage to stand up for themselves, for what they believe, and to be courageous in the face of social and cultural odds when they may be in the minority.
I encountered this Friedrich Nietzche quote that brought this thinking and challenge home:
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.
I immediately think of Apple’s very famous mantra, “Think Different” and how they’ve been wildly successful by doing just that.
How do we balance these competing forces and tensions as parents? I’m divided because there is a real part of me that rejoices when I see and experience my own child rebel but I also know that this will open them up to pain and perhaps even societal isolation.
Revolutionaries rebel. People who see the world differently rebel. They do not think alike and they see things differently.
I don’t want to kill that important part of my children.