There are seven stages of self-liberation on the road from birth to death. Each stage represents a change in freedom available to people. Simultaneously, there is an invisible change in acquired responsibilities.
1st stage. At birth a new born liberates himself, with pain and a cry, from his mother’s womb to the world. What freedom! Yet, no responsibility whatsoever. Mother and other caregivers around are fully responsible for baby. It is freedom with full supervision.
2nd stage. Baby starts walking. Struggling with gravity and learning to maneuver a little body he liberates himself for freedom to move. His mother is still responsible for his life and safety. But from now on if he falls to the ground he would know that he did it himself, not that the ground jumped up and hit him. With the first steps comes the first realisation that he needs to rely on himself.
3rd stage. A child goes outside. The yard and street have so much to offer! Yet, there are also dangers. The child is learning to recognise what is what, with supervision of mother. With age and experience supervision lessens, and responsibility of the child increases. It is a stage of half freedom and half supervision.
4th stage. A child goes to school! There is less and less supervision from mother, more and more responsibility is put on the child. Perhaps it takes a decade for the child to become fully prepared for independence.
5th stage. It is an invisible stage happening in the mind of the growing child. Nature offers the ability to give birth to another human being. It is a higher level of freedom, which one didn’t have before. Yet it is a great responsibility. The efforts of the growing child in realising this responsibility is self-liberation from ignorance to knowledge. If this process doesn’t happen internally (in the mind), the lesson of responsibility may be very painful.
6th stage. A child is grown up and starts his own life. No supervision, full external freedom. Everything now depends on how much the grown up has developed internal freedom. Ideally, the grown up child must be completely financially independent from parents; and hopefully continue fully attached to the parents by his soul.
7th stage. Death. Full freedom from responsibility.
There are different stages of human development. We described Simon Soloveychik’s unique view on this process, which he calls self-liberation. In fact, people are doing this every day. They liberate themselves from problems by solving them. So do children in their lives. They are going about their day to day routines overcoming their helplessness, to become empowered, moving from dependence to independence. In this way they are learning to be responsible.