A thought inspired by Tuesday’s Daf (page) in the Talmud, Nazir 29
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Tone down your individualism for your child.
This post presents a philosophical idea inspired by the text of today’s Daf. The Daf is one page in the Talmud that tens of thousands of people study each day. I explain the connection to the text in a comment below. My purpose is to show that there are underlying philosophical assumptions in the Talmud that can have great significance for anybody today trying to understand our complex reality.
While individualism is a valuable trait, it may be worth considering toning down the emphasis on individualism when making decisions about your child’s education. This is particularly important to prevent overwhelming your child’s developing personality with an excessive focus on individualism.
There are several arguments in favor of individualism, including the freedom to reject current societal attitudes and appearance, which can often be arbitrary. Your path in life should be shaped by your personal history and values, and individualism allows you to express your authentic self. Furthermore, society as a whole benefits from the experimentation and diversity that individualism can generate.
While there are certainly advantages to striking your own path in life, it’s important to keep in mind that your decisions are not necessarily superior to those of your peers. In fact, the consensus of the majority may have its own unique benefits. Additionally, it’s important to consider the potential personal costs of behavior that others may judge harshly.
The choices involved in embracing individualism are personal, which makes the small costs associated with this behavior worth paying. However, it’s also important to consider the impact that your choices may have on those close to you. While the adults in your life have chosen to be part of your journey, the children you give birth to have not been given the choice to be born to you.
The educational path that you choose for your children is one of life’s greatest responsibilities, and this fact should be celebrated. No one should take that privilege away from you. However, it’s important to remember that an important aspect of growing up is learning to navigate and adapt to the reactions of peers. While you’ve already gone through this process and made your own choices, it’s essential to recognize that your children haven’t given consent to pay the same price. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to strike a balance between imparting your beliefs and allowing your children the space to develop their own perspectives.