(from a subjective
A critical look at most
families would reveal a successful and energetic younger child over the eldest
child. Many people tend to attribute this to the effect of witchcraft or as a
result of the work of an enemy who does not want the progress of the first son/child
in the family. Going beyond this idea, we can approach this issue from the
biblical and psychological standpoint.
From the scriptural
perspective, this can be termed as “the younger child motif.” We
discover that in stories that have to do with two brothers or two sisters, it
is almost invariably the younger one who emerges as the hero, the good guy, the
one who laughs last. Starting from the story of Cain and Abel, through those of
Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, Joseph and his brothers, David and his
brothers, Adonijah and Solomon, Leah and Rachel, the prodigal son and his elder
brother, to that of Mary and Martha, we find it is usually the younger sibling
who ends up more at peace with God and people.
Going beyond the
biblical view and delving into the realm of psychology, considering a theory
put forward by Carl Jung, we tend to have a better glimpse of the issue.
According to Carl Jung, the human personality is driven by two energies, which
he calls by the Latin words of senex, meaning old man or senior,
and puer
– the eternal boy or child. The senior energy is more wise,
prudent and calculating, always looking before leaping and so ends up often not
leaping at all. The child energy (the eternal boy), on the other hand, is more
venturesome, more prone to making mistakes, and takes more chances. The senior
energy is more preserving and security conscious, the eternal boy energy is
more like easy-come-easy-go, more prepared to change and to let go. The senior energy
is more geared towards cooperation, while the eternal child energy is attuned
towards competition, power and success, celebration. etc. The senior energy is
more responsible while the eternal child energy is more lighthearted, and later
becomes responsible. Consequently, in large families, it often happens that the
parents transfer their senior energies to their first children and the latter
children end up conserving more of their eternal child energies. To be fully
human, these two energies must find a balance, a harmony in the personality.
Therefore, in families
where the younger child is striving successfully than the eldest/elderly
sibling, we should not render it on superstitious grounds or having to do with
diabolic issues, but interpret it within this backdrop and search within ourselves,
perhaps, we might have trained the elderly child with the senior (senex)
energy, resulting to his difficulties in not being able to leap properly. Hence, we have combine both energies (senior and eternal child) in raising our children If we
are not contended with the psychological interpretation, then we may resign to
the scriptural examples and accept the will of God in our lives.


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