Most children between the ages of five and six years often do have faint recollections of drawing their “growth influence” from adults around them; who from and where. I certainly do. It was so easy for me to gather influences around me; after all, I had a fertile mind, ready for “idea-cultivation”. Like most kids, I simply had my “invisible antennae” up all the time, sensitively and silently identifying my heroes and heroines, albeit unbeknown to them, and working hard subconsciously to fashion my personal life after theirs. Thank G-d, I was surrounded by many good heroes and heroines.
At some point in my early childhood years, when I had not really started to see the “me”, “myself”, as a unique part of the human race, I was so naive. I felt myself just as “me” and experienced all these external influencing others as being different, and so adaptable to change. I felt on the scale of existence, a bit insignificant.These others though, I could not help it, were significantly more important to me. They were not necessarily all members of my family. They included teachers and extended families and friends of the family.
That is my earliest personal recollection of external influences in my life and how I responded to them at that stage.
Now time had passed. Many significant moments had featured in my life as they do in all our lives. Voila! I had made a big discovery, even though I hadn’t really realised or understood it for what it was then.
I was lucky to have discovered at about between the ages of 12 -14 years of age that this “influence arrangement” was not going to be enough to sustain my personal growth long term, judging from the way my mind was beginning to dictate. I was beginning to recognise my individuality. How I figured this out only G-d knows. But with hindsight I believe this was all part of the ingrowth mechanism built into each one of us by the Almighty Creator; or sometimes I ponder; was it destiny at work, a grand masterplan or simply, freewill and choice making at work? I do not know for certain. One big lesson I learnt during that stage of my life, and for which I am eternally grateful is that human beings are, (or could be ?) full of frailties without G-d. I have seen men and women rise so high and also fall as quickly as their rising.
My physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual awareness and growth, to a very large extent, had helped me to figure out my place in the grande scheme of human existence. As my self awareness increased, so did the realisation for my need frequently to choose between good and evil, right and wrong, and the deeper knowledge that I constantly need help from above to accomplish what my mind dictates for my heart to follow. I suppose this is true for everyone.
Growth also meant significantly, more struggle to keep evil far removed from me. These became daily tasks, because, as again, I continued to notice many rise and fall. Seeing many rise and fall made me to begin to contemplate that there must be more to human beings. Something within me out of empathy began to feel this kindred spirit with the weakness in man and the need for an external source of power or strength to help with life’s life navigation and personal growth. This became indeed the beginning of an ongoing journey with my Maker.
None has made him/herself. And if we all have similarities as living beings, experiencing the same emotions, joys, sorrows, disappointments, victories and defeats, at various times and to varying degrees, then we all must have been made by one and the same Maker.
It is therefore my responsibility, and yours too, to find our way to connect with our Maker for support and strength. Strength to stand up for what is true, pure, honest and worthy of praise.
Now back to talking of growth, have I stopped growing?
Each time I see a new life in a new born baby , each time a flower buds, each time I look at young plant .. lush and delicate .. in its rightful place, gaining in size .. and in beauty .. I am reminded of something in me that is forever growing .. Only if I keep my focus on my Maker.
And just as I thought to round up my thoughts for this moment, I decided to check if there was anything that supports my thoughts on the web. Something I don’t do when I am “with myself” as I am now.. Surprise surprise.. I found something interesting… and here below is what I found:
“… For policy making and planning, vicarious experience is a potent source of learning: the problems others face, the objectives they seek, the routes they try, the outcomes they achieve, and the unintended results they produce all deserve analysis.” (Mary Hayden. Jeff Thompson. International schools: growth and influence. 92.
UNESCO: International. Institute for Educational. Planning. Fundamentals of Educational Planning. F undamentals. International sc hools: Growth and Influence
Until next time,