In the chapter titled The Son in Siddhartha, an allegorical, perhaps autobiographical, novel by Herman Hesse, set in a mythical place in India, Siddhartha experienced excruciating pain in regard to his son. Although Siddhartha had devoted his entire life to his own personal quest for peace, he encountered an emotion in his later years toward his son that he had not anticipated and did not know how to resolve. He felt a love for the eleven year old boy that was strong, sweet, ecstatic and yet, at the same time, more painful and fearful than any emotion he had ever known. Because of this love, Siddhartha wanted to keep the boy with him, protect him from the dangers of the world, and impart his gentle wisdom to him. Little Siddhartha, the son who had been nurtured by a doting mother, rebelled at his fathers efforts, defied him and eventually ran away from the home Siddhartha tried to provide for the boy.
Siddharthas dilemma was that he longed to have his son want to be with him, and he feared for the boys safety without fatherly protection. Siddharthas wise old friend Vasudeva helped him resolve this dilemma by gently offering the suggestion to love him, show him your example, and let him go his own way. Do not constrain him out of a false sense of love to avoid the world to which he belongs; but, rather, continue to take care of yourself while allowing the boy to pursue his own journey along with his peers, people his own age. Be heartened by the boys quest, delight in his desire, have faith in him and in the inevitability of life.
Vasudevas suggestion has implications as an approach for todays parents and educators of adolescents.
According to Carl Rogers, most...