How Do We Cultivate Strong Individuals Who Enjoy Each Other?

Watch children before they get trained to win, to triumph over others and worship symbols of power.

The seduction of our Spirit is so subtle in our education system that we do not notice it slowly slipping into submission until an emptiness shows up, perhaps known later as a mid-life crisis.  Usually covered up, rationalized away, separated out and recatagorized as religious beliefs, it is difficult to reconnect authentically with this life force that ignites our ambition, inviting us to explore unknown territories.  The rational mind defines life and then debates the limitations inside that limitation, inventing language along the way that serves to reinforce those limitations.  Conflicts arise because we want others to join us when they have their own beliefs.  The separate mind self has a need to be right so it separates itself even moreso by identifying the other as the enemy, something to subdue, triumph over and kill and then celebrate the victory.  This is taught as history.

Without an identity forged in separation, a perception of wholeness is able to manuever around obstacles, allowing differences.  One is able to dance with perceptions, change if desired, with no risk of “loosing.”  In fact, there is no gain or loss when we dance with information, individuals being themselves.  Isolated individuals are dangerous.  Our isolation causes us to fear one another.  The only reason people worship power is because we have lost our sense of connection, at a feeling level in the body, of that which we are and adapted to an image, created at a young age where we are alone against the world.  Note the highest rate of suicide is teens.

We are taught to worship things outside ourselves, symbols of success.  Having these things that lack true substance only further isolates us from ourselves.  These attachments are destined to dissappoint.  Yet school systems train us early on to get good grades by simply following directions, earning degrees for the sake of a piece of paper and outer approval, only to end up in soul-less jobs.  No time for inner connection, contemplation and joy of learning something we set out to discover by simply following our curiosity instead.  Oh, what we could be learning!

If we truly respect children, then we listen to them and their perspective.  They in turn listen to ours.  You listen to the things that interest them and provide opportunities to explore them further, rather than reach for the remote, ipod or cell phone to abate the boredom, entertainment rather than connection.  As teens, they do not have to go out and find themselves because they never lost this innate connection with themselves.  They also learn that nothing happens unless they do something to bring it about.  This is called being responsible,  not responsive to your expectations as parents or teachers, but responsible for meeting their own. 

Confidence stems from responsibility.  Creativity is when you do things with the ideas you have instead of being stuffed with ideas presented in a book, then tested.  You read for information, to satisfy a need providing a connection to understanding.  Understanding starts to happen, its not drill and paperwork.  Something innate is brought forward and develops quite naturally as well; respect for others.  We are all walking this path together.  No one is alone.  People in young bodies, some in old, many inbetween, all with stories, desires, loves, and disappointments.  All are walking this path with you.  You relate as equals.  You empower each other; equal input, equal listening, equal struggle= comradery, holding positions within a whole, teachers as students, students as teachers.  When you hold your own power, no one dare trespass. 

To regain this innate power and exercise our wisdom from there is why I write.  Its not about them trespassing, its about us re-membering ourselves and being in charge.


2 comments to How Do We Cultivate Strong Individuals Who Enjoy Each Other?

  • Mustafa Cohen

    Education is the key. I mean real education, not brainwashing. Imagine what would happen to the rat race if the following passage were taught in schools:

    Now, there was a certain Cineas, a man of Thessaly, with a reputation for great wisdom […] It was this Cineas, then, who, seeing that Pyrrhus was eagerly preparing an expedition at this time to Italy, and finding him at leisure for the moment, drew him into the following discourse. “The Romans, O Pyrrhus, are said to be good fighters, and to be rulers of many warlike nations; if, then, Heaven should permit us to conquer these men, how should we use our victory?”

    And Pyrrhus said: “Thy question, O Cineas, really needs no answer; the Romans once conquered, there is neither barbarian nor Greek city there which is a match for us, but we shall at once possess all Italy, the great size and richness and importance of which no man should know better than thyself.” After a little pause, then, Cineas said: “And after taking Italy, O King, what are we to do?”

    And Pyrrhus, not yet perceiving his intention, replied: “Sicily is near, and holds out her hands to us, an island abounding in wealth and men, and very easy to capture, for all is faction there, her cities have no government, and demagogues are rampant now that Agathocles is gone.” “What thou sayest,” replied Cineas, “is probably true; but will our expedition stop with the taking of Sicily?”

    “Heaven grant us,” said Pyrrhus, “victory and success so far; and we will make these contests but the preliminaries of great enterprises. For who could keep his hands off Libya, or Carthage, when that city got within his reach, a city which Agathocles, slipping stealthily out of Syracuse and crossing the sea with a few ships, narrowly missed taking? And when we have become masters here, no one of the enemies who now treat us with scorn will offer further resistance; there is no need of saying that.”

    “None whatever,” said Cineas, “for it is plain that with so great a power we shall be able to recover Macedonia and rule Greece securely. But when we have got everything subject to us, what are we going to do?”

    Then Pyrrhus smiled upon him and said: “We shall be much at ease, and we’ll drink bumpers, my good man, every day, and we’ll gladden one another’s hearts with confidential talks.”

    And now that Cineas had brought Pyrrhus to this point in the argument, he said: “Then what stands in our way now if we want to drink bumpers and while away the time with one another? Surely this privilege is ours already, and we have at hand, without taking any trouble, those things to which we hope to attain by bloodshed and great toils and perils, after doing much harm to others and suffering much ourselves.”

    By this reasoning of Cineas Pyrrhus was more troubled than he was converted; he saw plainly what great happiness he was leaving behind him, but was unable to renounce his hopes of what he eagerly desired.

    – Plutarch, Life of Pyrrhus

  • Thanks for sharing the “Life of Pyrrhus”, Mustafa — great point!

    Thanks for this post, Chante. One of the most important reasons that I homeschool my children is so that I can guide them in thinking outside of the box, in thinking creatively, in problem solving, etc. Even if I had the money to send them to the “best” private school, I wouldn’t. My children are my most precious treasures and no school can offer them what I, as their hand-picked parent, can offer them — a loving and secure environment in which they can flourish into the unique persons that God created them to be.

    In our family, we truly enjoy each other :)

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