So the other day I came across an article called “The Perils of Sharenting“.
It talks about all those photos of children on the Internet posted by their parents. What is responsibility of parents in terms of children’s privacy in modern society? Is it up to parents, or should a child’s right to privacy be protected no matter what?
Well, not being a parent myself yet, I cannot really dig into the question of “sharenting” – parents’ freedom vs. children’s privacy – , but there was this part that got me thinking…
Parents often tell their kids what to believe about God, and which football team to root for. Even infants are outfitted in tiny rompers that declare partisan political affiliations. There is no “bright line,” Steinberg says, that dictates when and how it’s appropriate for parents to express themselves through their children. That’s part of why, especially in the United States, there’s enormous cultural deference to parents to do what they believe is right.
The sentence, …parents to express themselves through their children, sounded quite intriguing.
It is true and funny at the same time to reflect on how parents “use” their children to express themselves. Here, “use” does not mean anything negative, it is a responsibility for parents to teach their children and help them become full-grown. However, as defenseless as they are, children will be exposed to parents’ own values, morals and ways of seeing the world.
In other words, children become a part of the identity of parents. Without your parents, you would not be who you are today, not just for biological reasons but also for the reason of forming of your personality. (Actually it is not only your parents ; it is everything that surrounds you that built who you are. Nevertheless, I focus solely on parents for today’s theme.) No matter how much you hate the idea, you are still a product of your parents…
This reflexion leads me to regard our society as a chain of identities. I am a part of my parents’ identity, my parents are a part of my grandparents’ identity, my grandparents are a part of my great-grandparents’ identity… and so on. Isn’t it pretty fascinating?
It is not only genes that we inherit from our parents, but also our identities. Just like when even one single gene were different, you wouldn’t be here biologically, if one single element in your great-great-great-grandmother’s identity were different, your personality would have been completely different. Why? Because parents express their identities through their children, and this chain of identities will never cease as long as the family tree continues to expand.
Humanity may well be much more beautiful and mysterious than you imagine…