I write about things that stir my soul, and explore many topics on my site: The Sass In My Soul, Journeys of a Creative Misfit: http://sassinmysoul.com. Come and visit me, have a rummage and share your own stories. I hope you connect with my words below, today's soul-stirring subject.
The mind can be a persuasive trickster. We are truly what we think, and our lives become what we believe them to be. It is an impressive thing.
It is this extraordinary power of our minds, and the influence of the global mind, that has, in a round-about way, gotten me thinking this week about a controversial subject Homework.
The question I have is this is: Do we want our young ones to grow up with strong and independent minds... or do we want them to be brainwashed by 'The Regime', ending up lacking control of who they are?
For me it is vitally important to encourage our youth to expand their personal visions and become awesome, explorative, questioning, investigative, broad-minded and uncommon beings.
I struggle to see the good in lengthy homework, which involves ramming maths, spelling, grammar and all of 'that' into the heads of our kids at the end of a tiring, and already academic, day at school. As far as I can see it, it has the potential to do much harm. To name some of this negativity:
Tiredness, boredom, rebellion, stress, discontent, unhappiness, fear, anger and tears, distressing family relationships, failure... Many parents attitude to their kids achievements seems to be one of 'do or die'. The arguments out there every evening, over the subject of homework, is a bit of a global war-zone. Can anyone look into their heart and, with good conscience, say that this is right?
I am not saying that education out of school is wrong. In fact, I believe absolutely the opposite. However, there is a Grand Canyon of difference between education and academia. In fact, education in the broader sense, is the most magnificent gift we can give to our children.
If a kid wishes to be a garden fairy... then they should be allowed to be just that...
We should all be aiming to help kids weave their own, creatively individual and original, set of sails... so that one day we can set them free, out on the oceans of their lives... by themselves... happy in the knowledge that they are equipped to follow the breezes and storms within their hearts and... go a long way
The good stuff in life is fuelled by passion, and everybody on this planet has a passion that is as unique as our fingerprints. How is it possible for every child to find their passion, which can be delicate and subtle, solely within the constraints of academia? Well, it is simple: It is not possible. Human beings are not single dimensional and do not do well being crammed into boxes that would be more appropriate for robots.
So, yes, 'school' is an important part of growing up. Homework? Not so much.
Imagine a child's life squashed down only into academia. The human soul does not do well in this situation. Crushed into a place where there is no light, no space for spreading out, no space for expansion and growth, it soon takes the shape of its prison.
Now imagine a child with a different life, where time away from school is given to exploration, creativity, imagination, passion, play, laughter, fun, joy, adventure... In this example, the soul cannot help to unfold, grow more creative, expansive, curious, learned, bright, empathic, understanding and ultimately wise.
Here is the thing: Human beings are incredible. Given the right circumstances (a subject that deserves its own page), the human soul will gravitate towards greatness and personal achievement.
Here is the other thing: Greatness means different things to different people. If we backed off from prescribing what constitutes excellence, and embraced the idea that there is a whole world's-width of worthy achievements, I believe that we humans as a race in general would be far more successful at living in harmony.
A kids natural state of being is to explore, investigate and create...
I try consistently to spread this freedom of learning through many different ways over our life here at The Hill House. I can think of no better way to foster confidence, happiness and personal greatness.
Our girls have a lot of freedom, albeit laced with a moral code of kindness and gentle direction and encouragement. Wild and free is a natural state for kids, and it is joyful to watch the girls grow strong spirits as they develop their uniqueness within a flexible framework. Happiness also comes from the security of knowing that their own individuality is wonderful.
They are inspired to develop who they are through interactive and individual play. I love nothing more than seeing them learn new, sometimes surprisingly advanced, things, for which they have an endless fascination. As they are given this freedom, they are eager to share their play and revelations with us grown-ups. In fact it is easy to see that this sharing is exciting for them.... proof that they feel passionate about their experiences. I can see a pioneering spirit emerging from within both of them, so vastly different to each other in their approaches to life, but neither one better than the other. It is this individuality that, when encouraged, can make a person glow with their own brilliance.
Who doesn't want their kids to glow with brilliance, whatever that may be!
Finding bugs in the garden is better then homework...
My own parents gave me the gift of freedom, and respect as a unique person, in my own childhood. They also showed me how important it is to be self-reliant and independent, even within the context of a loving framework. I am sure it is this self-belief that has led me to many amazing successes in life. Many of these successes can certainly be perceived in the context of a society driven by achievement, but so many are more indefinable successes on a personal level. These are perhaps the greatest of all.
One thing is sure: I have never had a problem with being an individual, and being 'different'. Added to that, did all the wild and free time when I was young mean that I grew up lazy or lacking in purpose and motivation?
Oh... and PASSION. I cannot forget that shining star. The freedom my parents bestowed upon me, alongside the loving guidance, allowed my own passions, unique to me, to grow HUGE.
Success has come from knowing who I am, gravitating towards what fires me up, what I am GOOD at, and making sure at all times that I am on a path that is right for me. Yes, I have failures, and lose my way sometimes, but with my foundation of self-belief and strong sense of self, it is relatively easy for me to find my way back onto my path.
Homework? Well, you don't necessarily need to erase and abandon it all... BUT.... Let us set our children free. Free to grow and to shine... To light up the world with their own wondrously stunning awesomeness.
My wish for today is that more of us feel free to follow our hearts and live from that.
Please feel free to rant..... I welcome all opinions and heartfelt statements. At the end of the day there is no right, and there is no wrong. All that can be is right for you.