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Radically Change

I am currently at the annual Live and Learn Conference in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Live and Learn is a conference my family and I have attended for the past four years. Through it we have made many valuable connections and gained vital validation for the direction we have chosen to  build our family. In case you were wondering, Live and Learn is a conference for families who adhere to a philosophy called “radical un-schooling.”

Without going into an entire explanation of radical un-schooling, which would be very subjective anyway, I am going to share a synopsis of my experiences at these conferences from an emotional and awareness based perspective. 

Wendy, my wife, and I discussed our philosophies in regard to child rearing long before our daughter was born. Neither one of us bought into the classically accepted educational practices that are common in our society and we wanted our daughter to know that she is an equal member of our family from day one. I combined both of these thoughts into one sentence for a reason. Our society has an obsession with catergorizing people, children in particular. A large part of this catergorization begins the first day a child steps into a classroom. From standardized tests to standardized lessons, people are taught to seek the status quo and “rise” to the level of normal. While this phenomenon is taking place children are also reminded daily that they are less important than the adults in their lives on all levels. Their thoughts, feelings, ideas, and desires are dismissed as childish whims or as a waste of valuable time. These messages are reinforced every time a child is reprimanded and told to be quiet or to leave adults alone.

It is unbelievable to me that people act confused as to how we have the societal problems we have. The values of creativity, compassion, and communication are sold out to the gods of compliance, status quo, and secret keeping. By the way, if you disagree with the secret keeping part ask yourself if you believe in the limiting, yet popular, belief of “it’s nobody’s business.” There are some simple solutions that begin at home. These solutions are simple to understand but hard to do. For many people it means challenging some belief systems that have existed for generations. However if your life is filled with acrimony and you are having a difficult time making connections with people, children in particular, keep reading.

  1. Love is a much more powerful influence than societal pressure. Simply stop and realize that no matter how badly you may desire the acceptance of society as a whole, you are surrounded by people who want what is best for you all of the time. If you truly believe this you will continue to attract more people to you who share this belief
  2. Life is not a race. It is neither a 50 yard dash or a marathon. Don’t you love hackneyed cliches? Although I understand what people are trying to explain with this statement, it is still a limiting belief. Life, as an experience, is not a competition of any variety. Live through love. Love through understanding. Understand through connecting. Catch my drift?
  3. Your mind is yours. Experience your life. Control, judgement, criticism, and complaining create jaded and lonely people. I have been all of these things before. It sucks. Joy and happiness are free to anyone who seeks them. If you are a negative person you have the power to change right now. It doesn’t matter what your process may be, you can change right now. What does it take? A decision. Decide that you want a life filled with laughter and love and it is yours. 

Radically un-learn. Many people have developed entire belief systems on lack and negativity. Always know that this is a choice. There is always someone who understands. There is always a way to change. There is always someone who loves you, even those who are convinced that they are unloveable.

Until next time…..

One Comment

  1. Kerry Lyman says:

    It has always mystified me why our educational system assumes that children don’t want to learn but must be made to learn; it assumes children are lazy, don’t want to succeed and must be forced to excel. Everyone wants to learn, be successful and productive, and enjoy what they are doing everyday, regardless of age. I’m glad to know that there is a “school” of thought that starts with the child as a human being with full privileges instead of a creature who has to earn the right to be respected — as if book learning automatically confers respect. Too bad this approach to education is considered radical. I have a feeling as more parents seek alternatives to our educational system it will be less and less radical. Let’s hope so! Love you,

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