How to Pursue the Truth (19) Part Three

Parents’ expectations for their offspring involve two aspects: One aspect has to do with expectations during their children’s formative years, and the other involves expectations when their children become adults. Last time, our fellowship briefly touched upon expectations when children become adults. What did we fellowship about? (God, last time we fellowshipped about parents hoping that their adult children will have a smooth work environment, happy and fulfilling marriages, and successful careers.) That is roughly what we fellowshipped about. After parents raise their children to adulthood, their children become adults, and they face circumstances involving work, career, marriage, family, and living by themselves independently, even raising their own offspring. They will leave their father and mother and be independent, facing every problem they may encounter in life on their own. Because their children are now grown, parents no longer carry the responsibility of caring for their children’s physical health or being directly involved in their lives, work, marriage, family, and so on. Of course, due to emotional and familial bonds, parents can offer superficial care, provide occasional advice, give a few suggestions or assistance from the role of someone with experience, or temporarily provide necessary care. In short, once children become adults, parents have mostly fulfilled their responsibilities toward their children. Therefore, some expectations that parents may have for their adult children, at least from My perspective, are unnecessary. Why are they unnecessary? Because, regardless of what parents expect their children to become, what kind of marriage, family, work, or career they expect them to have, whether they will be rich or poor, or whatever parents’ expectations may be, these are nothing more than expectations, and as adults, their children’s lives are ultimately in their own hands. Of course, fundamentally speaking, the destiny of their son or daughter’s entire life, and whether they are rich or poor, all of it is ordained by God. Parents have no responsibility or obligation to oversee these matters, nor do they have the right to intervene. Therefore, parental expectations are simply a kind of well-wishing founded in their affections. No parent is willing for their child to be poor, unmarried, divorced, have a dysfunctional family, or experience hardship at work. Not one of them expects these things for their child; they undoubtedly expect the best for their children. However, if parents’ expectations conflict with the reality of their children’s lives, or if that reality goes against their expectations, how should they approach this? This is what we need to fellowship about. As parents, when it comes to the attitude one should foster toward their adult children, apart from blessing them in silence and having good expectations for them, no matter what kind of livelihood their children lead, what kind of destiny or life they have, parents can only let it happen. No parent can change any of this, nor can they control it. Although you gave birth to your children and raised them, as we’ve discussed before, parents are not the masters of their children’s destinies. Parents conceive their children’s physical body and raise them to adulthood, but as for what kind of destiny their children will have, this is not something given or chosen by their parents, and their parents certainly don’t decide it. You wish for your children to do well, but does that guarantee they will? You do not wish for them to encounter misfortune, bad luck, and all kinds of unfortunate events, but does that mean they will be able to avoid them? Regardless of what your children face, none of those things are subject to human will, nor is any of it determined by your needs or expectations. So, what does this tell you? Since children have become adults, are capable of taking care of themselves, of having independent thoughts, views on things, principles of self-comportment, and outlooks on life, and are no longer influenced, mastered, constrained, or managed by their parents, then they are truly an adult. What does it mean that they have become an adult? It means that their parents should let go. In written language, this is called “letting go,” allowing children to independently explore and take their own path in life. What do we say in spoken language? “Step aside.” In other words, parents should stop giving orders to their adult children, saying things like, “You should look for this job, you should work in this industry. Don’t do that, it’s too risky!” Is it appropriate for parents to give orders to their adult children? (No, it’s not.) They always want to keep their adult children’s lives, work, marriage, and family under their control and within their line of vision, getting anxious, worried, fearful, and concerned if they don’t know about something or can’t control it, saying, “What if my son doesn’t consider that matter carefully? Could he get into legal trouble? I don’t have the money for a lawsuit! If he gets sued and there’s no money, could he end up in jail? If he goes to jail, could he be falsely accused by evil people, and serve eight or ten years? Will his wife leave him? Who will take care of the children?” The more they think about it, the more they have to worry about. “My daughter’s job is not going well: People are always mistreating her, and her boss isn’t good to her either. What can we do? Should we find her another job? Should we pull some strings, do some networking, spend some money, and get her a job in a government department where she can have a light load every day as a government employee? Even though the salary isn’t high, at least she won’t be mistreated. We couldn’t bring ourselves to hit her when she was young and we pampered her like a princess; now, she’s getting bullied by other people. What should we do?” They worry to the point where they can’t eat or sleep, and their mouths get all blistered up from the anxiety. Whenever their children face anything they become anxious and take it to heart. They want to be involved in everything, standing in on every situation. Whenever their children become ill or encounter some difficulty, they feel agonized and miserable, saying, “I just want you to be well. Why aren’t you well? I want everything to go smoothly for you, I want everything to go just as you wish, just as you plan it to go. I want you to enjoy success, not to have bad luck, to be cheated, or to be framed and get into legal trouble!” Some children take out a mortgage on a house, and their mortgage can last for thirty or even fifty years. Their parents start worrying, “When will all these loans be paid off? Isn’t this the same as being a mortgage slave? Our generation didn’t need a mortgage to buy a house. We lived in company-provided apartments and paid a few bucks in rent each month. Our living situation felt so relaxed. Nowadays, it’s really tough for these young people; it really isn’t easy for them. They have to take out a mortgage, and even though they live well, they work so hard every day—they’re exhausted! They often stay up late working overtime, their eating and sleeping schedules are irregular, and they’re always eating takeout. Their stomachs suffer and so does their health. I have to cook for them and clean their place. I have to tidy up for them because they don’t have the time—their lives are a mess. I’m an old lady now with old bones, and I can’t do much, so I’ll just become their maid. If they hire an actual maid, they’ll have to spend money, and they might not be trustworthy. So, I’ll be their maid for free.” So she becomes a servant, cleaning her children’s home every day, tidying up, cooking when it’s time to eat, buying vegetables and grains, and taking on endless responsibilities. She goes from being a parent to being an old servant, a maid. When her children come home and aren’t in a good mood, she has to watch their expressions and speak cautiously until her children are happy again, and only then can she be happy. She’s happy when her children are happy, and worries when her children are worried. Is this a valuable way to live? It’s no different from losing oneself.

Is it possible for parents to bear the cost of their children’s destinies? In order to pursue fame, profit, and worldly pleasures, children are willing to endure whatever hardships come their way. Moreover, as adults, is it okay for them to face whatever hardships are necessary for their own survival? As much as they enjoy, that much should they also be prepared to suffer—this is natural. Their parents have fulfilled their responsibilities, then regardless of what their children want to enjoy, they should not foot the bill. No matter how good a life parents want their children to have, if their children want to enjoy good things, then they should bear all the pressure and suffering themselves, not their parents. Therefore, if parents always want to do everything for their children and bear the cost for their hardships, willingly becoming their slaves, then isn’t this excessive? It’s unnecessary because it goes beyond what parents should be expected to do. Another major reason is that, no matter what or how much you do for your children, you cannot change their destiny or alleviate their suffering. Every person trying to get by in society, whether they pursue fame and profit or take the correct path in life, as an adult they must take responsibility for their own desires and ideals, and they should pay their own way. Nobody should take on anything for them; even their parents, the people who gave birth to them and raised them, the people closest to them, are not obligated to pay their way or share their suffering. Parents are no different in this regard because they cannot change anything. Therefore, anything you do for your children is in vain. Because it’s in vain, you should give up this course of action. Although the parents may be old and have already fulfilled their responsibilities and obligations to their children, although anything parents do is insignificant in their children’s eyes, they should still have their own dignity, their own pursuits, and their own mission to fulfill. As someone who believes in God and pursues the truth and salvation, the energy and time you have left in your life should be spent performing your duty and on whatever God has entrusted to you; you shouldn’t spend any time on your children. Your life does not belong to your children, and it should not be consumed for their lives or survival, nor to satisfy your expectations of them. Instead, it should be devoted to the duty and entrusted task that God has given you, as well as the mission you should fulfill as a created being. This is where the value and meaning of your life lie. If you are willing to lose your own dignity and become a slave to your children, to worry about them, and to do anything for them in order to satisfy your own expectations for them, then all of this is meaningless and devoid of value, and it will not be commemorated. If you persist in doing so and do not let go of these ideas and actions, it can only mean that you are not someone who pursues the truth, that you are not a qualified created being, and that you are quite rebellious. You cherish neither the life nor the time given to you by God. If your life and your time are spent only for your flesh and affections, and not for the duty God has given you, then your life is unnecessary and devoid of value. You don’t deserve to live, you don’t deserve to enjoy the life God has given you, and you don’t deserve to enjoy everything that God has given you. God gave you children only for you to enjoy the process of raising them, to gain life experience and knowledge from it as parents, to let you experience something special and extraordinary in human life, and then to let your offspring multiply…. Of course, it is also to fulfill the responsibility of a created being as a parent. It is the responsibility God ordained for you to fulfill toward the next generation, as well as the role you play as parents for the next generation. In one respect, it is to go through this extraordinary process of raising children, and in another, it is to play a role in propagating the next generation. Once this obligation is fulfilled, and your children grow up into adults, whether they become highly successful or remain plain, ordinary, and simple individuals, it has nothing to do with you, because their destiny is not determined by you, nor is it your choice, and you certainly did not give it to them—it is ordained by God. Since it is ordained by God, you should not interfere or stick your nose into their life or their survival. Their habits, daily routines, and attitude toward life, whatever survival strategies they have, whatever outlook on life, whatever their attitude toward the world—these are their own choices to make, and they are not your concern. You have no obligation to correct them or to bear any suffering on their behalf to ensure that they are happy every day. All of these things are unnecessary. Each person’s destiny is determined by God; therefore, how much blessing or suffering they experience in life, what kind of family, marriage, and children they have, what experiences they go through in society, and what events they experience in life, they themselves cannot foresee or change such things, and parents have even less of an ability to change them. Therefore, if children encounter any difficulties, parents should help positively and proactively if they have the ability to do so. If not, it is best for parents to relax and view these matters from the perspective of created beings, treating their children equally as created beings. The suffering you experience, they must also experience; the life you live, they must also live; the process you have gone through of raising young children, they will also go through; the twists and turns, fraud and deception you experience in society and among people, the emotional entanglements, and interpersonal conflicts, and every similar thing you have experienced, they will experience it too. They, like you, are all corrupted human beings, all carried away by the currents of evil, corrupted by Satan; you cannot escape it, and neither can they. Therefore, wanting to help them avoid all suffering and enjoy all the blessings in the world is a silly delusion and a foolish idea. No matter how vast the wings of an eagle may be, they cannot protect the young eaglet throughout its entire life. The young eaglet will eventually reach a point when it must grow up and fly alone. When the young eaglet chooses to fly alone, no one knows where its stretch of sky may be, or where it will choose to fly. Therefore, the most rational attitude for parents after their children grow up is to let go, to let them experience life on their own, to let them live independently, and face, handle, and resolve the various challenges in life independently. If they seek help from you and you have the ability and conditions to do so, of course you can lend a helping hand and provide necessary aid. However, the prerequisite is that, no matter what help you provide, whether it’s financial or psychological, it can only be temporary and cannot change any substantial issues. They must navigate their own path in life, and you have no obligation to shoulder any of their affairs or consequences. This is the attitude parents should have toward their adult children.

Having understood the attitude parents should have toward their adult children, should parents also let go of their expectations for their adult children? Some ignorant parents cannot comprehend life or destiny, do not recognize God’s sovereignty, and tend to do ignorant things when it comes to their children. For example, after their children become independent, they may encounter certain special situations, hardships, or major incidents; some face illnesses, some get involved in lawsuits, some get divorced, some are deceived and scammed, and some are kidnapped, harmed, severely beaten, or face death. There are even some who fall into drug abuse, and so on. What should parents do in these special and significant situations? What is the typical reaction of most parents? Do they do what they ought to do as created beings with the identity of parents? Very seldom do parents hear such news and react as they would if it had happened to a stranger. A majority of parents stay up all night till their hair turns gray, they lose sleep night after night, have no appetite during the day, rack their brains with thinking, and some even weep bitterly, till their eyes turn red and their tears run dry. They pray fervently to God, for God to take their own faith into account and protect their children, show them favor and bless them, show mercy, and spare their lives. As parents in such a situation, their human weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and feelings toward their children are all exposed. What else is revealed? Their rebelliousness against God. They implore God and pray to Him, beseeching Him to keep their children from calamity. Even if a disaster occurs, they pray that their children won’t die, that they can escape danger, they won’t be harmed by evil people, their illnesses won’t grow more severe but will improve, and so on. What are they really praying for? (God, with these prayers they are making demands of God, with an undertone of complaint.) In one respect, they are extremely dissatisfied with their children’s plight, complaining that God shouldn’t have allowed such things to happen to their children. Their dissatisfaction is mixed with complaint, and they ask God to change His mind, not to act like this, to deliver their children from danger, to keep them safe, to heal their sickness, to help them escape lawsuits, to avert calamity when it arises, and so on—in short, to make everything go smoothly. By praying like this, in one respect, they are complaining to God, and in another, they are making demands of Him. Isn’t this a manifestation of rebelliousness? (It is.) Implicitly, they are saying that what God is doing is not right or good, that He shouldn’t act like this. Because these are their children, and they are believers, they think God shouldn’t let such things happen to their children. Their children are different from others; they should receive preferential blessings from God. On account of their faith in God, He ought to bless their children, and if He does not, they become distressed, they cry, throw a tantrum, and no longer want to follow God. If their child dies, they feel that they can’t go on living either. Is that the sentiment they have in mind? (Yes.) Isn’t this a form of protest against God? (It is.) This is protesting against God. It’s like dogs who demand to be fed at mealtime, and throw a tantrum if it’s even slightly delayed. They snatch up the bowl in their mouth and bang it against the floor—isn’t this unreasonable? (Yes.) Sometimes, if you give them meat for a couple days in a row but occasionally go a day without meat, then dogs in their animal temper might dump their food on the floor, or else take the bowl in their mouth and knock it against the ground, telling you they want to be given meat, that meat is what they believe they should be given, and that it is unacceptable not to give them meat. People can be just as unreasonable. When their children face troubles, they complain to God, make demands of Him, and protest against Him. Isn’t this more or less the behavior of animals? (Yes.) Animals don’t understand the truth or people’s so-called doctrines and human feelings. When they throw tantrums or act out, it’s somewhat understandable. But when people protest against God in this way, are they being reasonable? Can they be forgiven? If animals behave like this, people might say, “This little fellow has quite the temper. It even knows how to protest; that’s quite clever. I guess we shouldn’t underestimate it.” They find it amusing, and think this animal is anything but simple. So, when an animal throws a tantrum, people hold it in higher regard. If a person were to protest against God, should God have that same regard for them and say, “This fellow comes with such demands; they’re anything but simple!” Would God hold you in high regard like this? (No.) So, how does God define this behavior? Is it not rebellion? (It is.) Do people who believe in God not know that this behavior is wrong? Hasn’t the epoch of “One person’s belief in the Lord brings blessings to the whole family” passed a long time ago? (Yes, it has.) Then why do people still fast and pray like this, pleading shamelessly with God to protect and bless their children? Why do they still dare to protest and contend with God, saying, “If You don’t do it like this, I’ll keep praying; I will fast!” What does fasting mean? It means going on a hunger strike, which in another sense is acting shamelessly and throwing a fit. When people act shamelessly toward other people, they might stamp their feet, saying, “Oh, my child is gone; I don’t want to live anymore, I can’t go on!” They don’t do this when they’re before God; they speak quite elegantly, saying, “God, I implore You to protect my child and cure their illness. God, You are the great physician who saves people—You can do all things. I beseech You to watch over and protect them. Your Spirit is everywhere, You are righteous, You are a God who shows mercy to people. You care for and cherish them.” What is meant by this? Nothing of what they’re saying is wrong, it’s just not the right time to say such things. The implication is that if God doesn’t save your child and protect them, if He doesn’t fulfill your wishes, then He isn’t a loving God, He is devoid of love, He isn’t a merciful God, and He isn’t God. Isn’t this the case? Isn’t this acting shamelessly? (Yes.) Do people who act shamelessly honor God as great? Do they have God-fearing hearts? (No.) People who act shamelessly are just like scoundrels—they lack God-fearing hearts. They dare to contend and protest against God, and even act in an unreasonable manner. Isn’t this the same as looking for death? (Yes.) Why are your children so special? When God orchestrates or rules someone else’s fate, you think it’s fine as long as it has nothing to do with you. But you think He shouldn’t be able to rule the fate of your children? In the eyes of God, all humanity is under God’s sovereignty, and no one can escape the sovereignty and arrangements set by God’s hands. Why should your children be an exception? God’s sovereignty is ordained and planned out by Him. Is it okay for you to want to change it? (No, it isn’t.) It isn’t okay. Therefore, people must not do foolish or unreasonable things. Whatever God does is based on predetermined causes and effects—what does it have to do with you? If you resist God’s sovereignty, you’re looking for death. If you don’t want your children to experience these things, that stems from affection, not justice, mercy, or kindness—it is merely due to the effect of your affection. Affection is the spokesperson of selfishness. That affection you have isn’t worth showcasing; you can’t even justify it to yourself, and yet you still want to use it to blackmail God. Some people even say, “My child is sick, and if he dies, I won’t go on living!” Do you really have the nerve to die? Try dying then! Is the faith of such people genuine? Will you really stop believing in God if your child dies? What can their death possibly change? If you don’t believe in God, neither God’s identity nor His status will change. God is still God. He is not God because you believe in Him, nor does He stop being God because of your disbelief. Even if all humanity didn’t believe in God, God’s identity and essence would remain unchanged. His status would remain unchanged. He will always be the One who is sovereign over the fate of all humanity and over the universe world. It has nothing to do with whether you believe or not. If you believe, you will be shown favor. If you do not believe, you won’t have the opportunity for salvation, and you will not attain it. You love and protect your children, you have affection for your children, you can’t let go of them, and so you don’t allow God to do anything. Does this make sense? Is this in line with the truth, with morality, or with humanity? It is not in line with anything, not even morality, isn’t that right? You’re not cherishing your children, you’re shielding them—you’re under the influence of your affection. You even say that if your child dies, you won’t go on living. Since you are so irresponsible toward your own life and don’t cherish the life God has given you, if you want to live for your children, then just go ahead and die together with them. Whatever illness they come down with, you should quickly get infected with the same disease and die together; or just find a rope to hang yourself, won’t that be easy? After you die, will you and your children be the same kind? Will you still have that same physical relationship? Will you still have affection for one another? When you return to the other world, you will change. Isn’t that how it will be? (Yes.) When people look at things with their eyes and judge whether they are good or bad, or what their nature is, what do they rely on? They rely on their thoughts. Just by looking at things with their eyes, they cannot see past the material world; they cannot see into the spiritual realm. What will people think in their minds? “In this world, the people who gave birth to me and raised me are the closest and dearest to me. I also love the people who gave birth to me and raised me. No matter when, my child is always the closest to me, and I always cherish my child the most.” This is the extent of their mental landscape and horizon; this is how “broad” their mental landscape is. Is this a foolish thing to say or not? (It is foolish.) Isn’t it childish? (It is childish.) So childish! Your children are only related to you by blood in this life; what about their past life, how were they related to you then? Where will they go after they die? Once they die, their body breathes its last, their soul departs, and they completely bid farewell to you. They won’t recognize you anymore, they won’t even stay for a second, they will simply return to the other world. When they return to that other world, you cry, you miss them, and feel miserable and tormented, saying, “Oh, my child is gone, and I won’t be able to see them ever again!” Does a dead person have any awareness? They have no awareness of you, they don’t miss you in the slightest. Once they leave their body, they immediately become a third party, and they have no relationship with you anymore. How do they view you? They say, “That old lady, that old man—who are they crying for? Oh, they’re crying for a body. I feel like I’ve just been separated from that body: I’m not so heavy now, and I don’t have the pain of illness anymore—I’m free.” That is what they feel. After they die and leave their body, they continue to exist in the other world, appearing in a different form, and they no longer have any relationship to you. You cry and long for them here, suffering for their sake, but they feel nothing, they know nothing. After many years, due to fate or coincidence, they may become your co-worker, or your fellow countryman, or they may live far away from you. Though you live in the same world, you will be two different people with no connection between you. Even if some people may recognize that they were so-and-so in the previous life due to special circumstances or because of something special that was said, yet they feel nothing when they see you, and you feel nothing when you see them. Even if they were your child in the previous life, you feel nothing for them now—you only think about your deceased child. They feel nothing for you either: They have their own parents, their own family, and a different surname—they have no relationship to you. But you’re still over there missing them—what are you missing? You are merely missing the physical body and the name that was once related to you by blood; it’s just an image, a shadow that lingers in your thoughts or mind—it has no actual value. They have been reincarnated, transformed into a human or any other living being—they have no relation to you. Therefore, when some parents say, “If my child dies, I won’t go on living either!”—that’s just plain ignorance! Their lifespan has reached its end, but why should you stop living? Why do you speak so irresponsibly? Their lifespan has come to an end, God has cut their thread, and they have another task—what business is it of yours? If you have another task, God will also cut your thread; but you don’t yet, so you have to keep living. If God wants you alive, you cannot die. Whether it involves one’s parents, children, or any other relatives or people related by blood in their life, when it comes to affection, people should have the following view and understanding: Regarding the affection that exists between people, if it is related by blood, then fulfilling one’s responsibility is enough. Apart from fulfilling their responsibilities, people have neither the obligation nor the ability to change anything. Therefore, it is irresponsible for parents to say, “If our children are gone, if we as parents must bury our own children, then we won’t go on living.” If children really are buried by their parents, it can only be said that their time in this world was only so long, and they had to go. But their parents are still here, so they should continue to live well. Of course, according to their humanity, it is normal for people to think about their children, but they should not squander the time they have left missing their deceased children. This is foolish. Therefore, when dealing with this matter, in one respect people should take responsibility for their own life, and in another they ought to fully comprehend familial relationships. The relationship that truly exists between people is not based on ties of flesh and blood, but it is a relationship between one living being and another created by God. This kind of relationship carries no ties of flesh and blood; it is only between two independent living beings. If you think about it from this angle, then as parents, when your children are unfortunate enough to fall sick or their lives are in danger, you ought to face these matters correctly. You should not give up the time you have left, the path you ought to take, or the responsibilities and obligations you should fulfill, because of your children’s misfortunes or passing—you should face this matter correctly. If you have the right thoughts and viewpoints and can see through these things, then you will be able to quickly overcome despair, grief, and longing. But what if you can’t see through them? Then it may haunt you for the rest of your life, until the day you die. However, if you can see through this circumstance, there will be a limit to this season of your life. It will not go on forever, nor will it accompany you for the latter part of your life. If you can see through this, then you can let go of a part of it, which is a good thing for you. But if you can’t see through the familial ties shared with your children, then you will be unable to let go, and this will be a cruel matter for you. No parents are without emotion when their children pass away. When any parents experience having to bury their children, or when they witness their children in an unfortunate situation, they will spend the rest of their lives thinking about and worrying over them, trapped in pain. No one can escape from it: It is a scar and an indelible mark on the soul. It is not easy for people to let go of this emotional attachment while living in the flesh, so they suffer for it. However, if you can see through this emotional attachment with your children, it will become much less intense. Of course, you will suffer to a much lesser extent; it is impossible not to suffer at all, but your suffering will be greatly reduced. If you can’t see through it, this matter will go cruelly with you. If you can, it will have been a special experience that caused severe emotional trauma, giving you a deeper appreciation and understanding of life, familial ties, and humanity, and enriching your life experience. Of course, this specific kind of enrichment is something that no one wants to possess or encounter. Nobody wants to face it, but if this matter arises, you have to deal with it correctly. To prevent cruelty to yourself, you should let go of your previously held traditional, rotten, and mistaken thoughts and viewpoints. You should face your emotional and blood ties in the right way, and view the passing of your children correctly. Once you truly comprehend this, you’ll be able to let go of it completely, and this matter will no longer torment you. You understand Me, don’t you? (Yes, I understand.)

Some people say, “Children are assets given to parents by God, so they amount to parents’ private property.” Is this statement correct? (No, it isn’t.) Some parents, upon hearing this, say, “This is a correct statement. Nothing else belongs to us, only our children, who are our own flesh and blood. They are what is dearest to us.” Is this statement correct? (No.) What is incorrect about it? Please explain your reasoning. Is it appropriate to treat children as one’s private property? (No, it is not appropriate.) Why is it not appropriate? (Because private property belongs to oneself and not to others. However, the relationship between children and parents is actually nothing more than a fleshly relationship. Human life comes from God, it is the breath given by God. If someone believes that they have given life to their children, their perspective and position are incorrect, and they also do not believe at all in God’s sovereignty and arrangement.) Isn’t this the case? Aside from a physical relationship, in God’s eyes, the lives of children and parents are independent. They do not belong to each other, nor do they have a hierarchical relationship. Of course, they certainly do not have a relationship of owning or being owned. Their lives come from God, and God is sovereign over their destinies. It’s simply that children are born from their parents, parents are older than their children, and children younger than their parents; yet, based on this relationship, this superficial phenomenon, people believe that children are the accessories and private property of their parents. This isn’t looking at the matter from its roots, but only considering it based on the surface-level, the flesh, and one’s affections. Therefore, this manner of consideration is itself wrong, and this perspective is wrong. Isn’t that so? (Yes.) Since children are not the accessories or private property of their parents, but independent people, regardless of what manner of expectations parents have for their children after they grow up, these expectations must remain as ideas in their minds—they cannot be turned into reality. Naturally, even if parents have expectations for their adult children, they should not try to realize them, nor should they use them to make good on their own promises or make any sacrifices or pay any prices for them. So, what should parents do? They should choose to let go after their adult children have acquired independent lives and the ability to survive. Letting go is the only true way to show them respect and take responsibility for them. Always dominating their children, controlling them, or wanting to interfere and participate in their lives and survival is an ignorant and senseless behavior on the part of parents, and it is a childish way of doing things. No matter how high the expectations parents have for their children may be, they cannot change anything and will not possibly become reality. Therefore, if parents are wise, they should let go of all these realistic or unrealistic expectations, adopt a correct perspective and stance from which to handle their relationship with their children and approach every action taken by their adult children or event that happens to them. That is the principle. Is it appropriate? (Yes, it’s appropriate.) If you can accomplish it, this proves that you accept these truths. If you can’t, and you insist on doing things your own way, thinking that family affection is the greatest and most important thing, and the most significant thing in the world, as if you can oversee the fate of your children and hold their destiny in your hands, then go ahead and try it—see what the final result will be. It goes without saying that it can only end in miserable defeat, with no good outcome.

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