We must structure our life in such a way that every kind of human being can fit into some part and play their role.
Questioner: Can you comment about children who are born with disabilities such as autism?
Sadhguru: There are no autistic children; there are children with different types of capabilities; there are different kinds of bodies and minds. Nature’s making is not always coming out the way you think it should; the production line is not automated, fortunately.
Compared to a man of a certain intelligence, even people who consider themselves normal and who can be medically certified as normal would look autistic, isn’t it? Similarly, compared to an international athlete, the way you walk and run, you are autistic. Yes or no? If a human body can do all that and yours can only go like this, this is a certain level of disability, isn’t it? But because you have so many people around you who are in the same level of disability, you call this normal.
So if you set up things in such a way that every human being must be capable of doing this or that, and when somebody cannot, if you label them, then it is not the child who is sick, it is the society which is sick. It is not necessary to label children. Maybe the intention is to provide them with the necessary care and assistance, I understand that, but still the label causes more damage than help.
Every human being has come with different possibilities; you do not know what he is capable of. But because we have set up production lines to serve our industry, corporate sector, schools, political systems, and all these things, we need cogs that fit into this system, so we reject some human beings as unfit. This process of labeling children is a horrible crime. If these children were born in a tribal society, the elders would have had the wisdom to see, ‘Okay this child can only do this,’ and they would have put him into that kind of activity; they would not have tortured him with any other kind of activity. It would have been very simple without having to label him. But because you have standard systems for everybody, you want to put everybody through the same extruder— everybody should come out with the same shape, same degree, same nonsense. A lot of people do not fit in.
Many children manage to come through, but the process of learning is such a suffering for most of them. For a lot of children, going to school is a suffering. I would say, only about 30-35% of children can actually fit into the present education system without too much crushing. Another 15-20% will fit in with a little bit of kneading, but the rest are definitely suffering. This is simply because you want everybody to come out in the same shape, which is a horrible crime against humanity.
A child is the most exploited being in the world. Women claim they are, but no—it is the child. Both man and woman exploit the children. When I say exploit, you putting all your nonsense—your ideas, emotions, philosophies, belief systems, and religion— into them is the worst crime. Just because he is helpless and receptive and is looking up to you, you are loading him up with all the nonsense that your parents gave you and which never worked for you.
So instead of labeling children, if we see what part of life they can easily fit into and encourage them to do that joyfully, they will be fine. Maybe the child will not run a company, but maybe he will play an instrument. Each child has to be attended to as it is necessary for him. If somebody has the time, the patience, the love and wisdom, they must attend to that child as that child needs. You cannot treat a rosebush like a coconut tree. What they need is care and a wiser and more compassionate way of looking at them. It is not treatment. It is about structuring our societies in such a way, we must structure our life in such a way that every kind of human being can fit into some part and play their role.
|Named one of India’s 50 most influential people, Sadhguru speaks before millions annually around the globe, including to prominent leadership forums such as the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, TED, and the World Peace Congress. From ground-breaking yoga programs to projects for rural communities and the environment, Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation (www.IshaFoundation.org) serves as a thriving model for human empowerment, which is reflected in the Foundation’s special consultative status with the UN.
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