With being just one day away from our “big dinner event” and with all the fuss that’s been made over us in the last week or so, I have realized a couple of things.
1. And this is so not even important but came as a little bit of shock to me: I’m not all that comfortable with all the attention and compliments, are not something I readily embrace. Anyone who knows me would tend to think otherwise but nope, not liking it as much as I thought I would. (LOL)
2. Though it feels good to bring our lifestyle out into the open, hit the mainstream, so to speak, and even better to have our choice of lifestyle (as unschoolers and all that comes from it) be one of the main reasons for which we are being honored, I’ve come to realize that in the midst of our supporters there still exist some of those individuals in our lives who don’t quite understand why it is we do what we do.
In this process of realization, there are many thought and feelings that come to the fore. What follows may carry a heavier tone than is usually found in my posts but I can’t help but feel impelled to express them. What follows is written in a complete stream of consciousness (think James Joyce in Portrait of an Artist . . .). I will not apologize in advance for improper pronunciation or grammar and earnestly hope that the words themselves convey the message despite.
Something that has been made obvious to me is that people are afraid of “different”. And even if the term afraid should be too strong a term, it can be rightfully said that there are many who are at least uncomfortable with that which differs from their chosen pattern of thought and way of life. Some are traditionalists and to them, there really only seems one way; the same way it’s been for years. It works for them because it’s seems so clear to them that “that” is the way it’s always been and always will be but it also makes it difficult for them to see anything any other way. I get the impression that they’re thinking: This is the way it is, it’s what everyone’s doing, so it must be the way it’s supposed to be.
But what if it’s not? Is there really only one way? And what if doing it like everyone else just doesn’t work for you? Isn’t that the beauty of being a human being? Free will? Take that away and we cease being free-thinking humans and rather become like robots controlled by the system. That’s fine for some, I suppose, and it is their choice. They have every right to choose it but I, personally, am not one who wishes to relinquish my control to anyone. Neither is it my (nor my partner’s) wish to have our children’s entire lives mapped out, “programmed” for them in advance even if it means that they will choose “different” over what is “the norm”. Isn’t that their right? We think it is and we want them to have that opportunity. We think it’s one of the finest gifts we can give them.
Our intentions are quite rightly the same, I imagine, as the parents who choose to follow the traditions of today’s society. The popular choice and the common rule of thought as it stands today seems to be this:
Parents are seen fit to educate their children until they reach the age of six years (some even earlier) at which time, they are to be handed over to government institution of public school where they will stay (most are unaware they have a choice in the matter) for a period of twelve collective years. This is in order to ensure that they receive all the information they need to pass the test to then go on to “higher education”. This higher education (generally lasting anywhere from 3 to 12 years) is seen as necessary in order to ensure that they then go onto a “proper” career chosen by themselves but only with the adequate support and acceptance of their family behind them.
And so with anywhere from 15 to 24 years having been devoted to their “education”; having endured all that, they are ready to begin their life with the guarantee that they have acquired all they need to be “successful”; (along with a debt of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars) I’m sure that’s what their parents are hoping for, right? Isn’t that what we, as parents (and by extension aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends. etc.), all want; our kids to be prosperous and happy in their lives as adults?
It’s what WE want. It’s what matters most to us. I think we all want the same thing for our children. My husband and I simply see it a different way. We feel that WE are the ones most fit to teach our children the ways of the world. We honestly believe that we know them better. Keeping them close, we are able to decipher where their gifts are, just what sort of people they are becoming, where their passions and dreams lie and we feel it our extreme pleasure to support them on their way. We see no need to wait all those years for them to start “living” their lives. After all it is their life, not ours. It belongs to them. Their choices are their choices and we are simply here to love, nurture and support them on their path. They are encouraged to live their lives NOW, no need to wait. And to us, the term Success is relative. Success in life is measured in different ways by different people (interpretation: another form of free will). What it will take for our children to see themselves as successful is specific to them. To us, as parents, we see ourselves as being successful with our children not with their accumulation of certificates or degrees nor wealth and fame but in living a life that brings fulfillment, authenticity, acceptance and love.
Even after all these years and what we feel is strong evidence of our prospering in our lives, the happiness of our children, the strength of our family bond, there are those we come into contact with and those even with whom we share an intimate bond who convey sincere worry over our insistence to be different. With the expressions of this post, it is our wish for them to understand our belief that in breaking free from the institutions that we feel bind us, only then are we free to grow and blossom.
Only then . . .
Is the “sky’s the limit” (and why stop there. Why not strive for even beyond?)
Just something a little extra to think on:
When it really comes down to it, if all there is behind every thought, emotion and action is LOVE and FEAR, let us stop living in FEAR of our differences and instead learn to LOVE and embrace them. At first with toleration and respect and then with total acceptance and gratitude.