The Open-ended Rabbit Holes of YouTube and Gaming Instead of Carefully Crafted Curricula

iu

I was sharing a picture of Giant’s Causeway (above) in Northern Ireland with its naturally formed hexagonal stones. My unschooled son nonchalantly exacts, “Oh, I heard about that place on YouTube.”

School and curricula are no match for the mind of a child freely pursuing his passions day in and day out.

It’s like when MatPat (of Game Theory, Film Theory) was incorporating an in depth discussion about telomeres into his dialogue about Wolverine in Logan (an X-Men film) the other day.

I thought to myself, where are the thought police right now who question whether or not my child will learn what he needs to know by not following curriculum?

Why can’t they be a fly on the wall hundreds of times per day when this happens?

What 9-year-old is sitting in a school classroom engrossed in an adult-level discussion/lesson on telomeres and how our lifestyle choices impact longevity and health because of these chromosomal tips, a concept that I only just learned about in 2011?

How many times a day does a child in school learn something so intense, so useful in every day life… something not dumbed-down or droned into the homogeneous heads of 30 kids who would not otherwise be choosing the content they are force fed?

His mind is like a computer, logging data, forming connections, building a comprehensive reference library, applying advanced sequencing to achieve outcomes (like when he is solving puzzles to hack security systems in Watch Dogs 2).

Exponentially, I am seeing the thread that extends from my own tech-less childhood to his fingertips-knowledge-consumption based on unpremeditated (e.g., not prescribed) rabbit holes that ultimately form a network of neural memory beyond any finite framework school can dish out.

It is a network mirrored in star systems, tree roots, and fractals. His human computer system heralds an evolutionary leap while their grandparents lament “kids today” – oblivious to the gap.

His generation has completely cut the ties to rotary phones and the days of only three major MSM networks. These kids were birthed alongside YouTube and drones. They raced the singularity.

So, why do we still rely on school and the antiquated authoritarian system to raise offspring?

My son follows any of his nearly 240 (and growing) YouTube subscriptions while balancing on his skateboard in our living room, as the Lego body parts he leaves around get slapped to the floor by his cat, Stampy, named after a favorite YouTuber from when he was a bit younger.

I find him flailing Nerf guns as he spins through martial arts moves while gleaning random facts, or bouncing between Xbox and PC gaming, taking short breaks outside that sometimes turn into longer breaks, watching videos, Skyping with friends, stopping to consider whatever catches his attention, without ever being told he’s had enough media or screen time for the day.

And I bring him food. The child eats whenever he’s hungry, and no one is forcing him to sit through lessons with a growling belly.

Even though he’s not in school, he is in the know about the latest popular anything that kids and teens are into, including critical assessment by YouTubers of some of mainstream society’s less intelligent behaviors.

Because he’s not caught up in the fervor to homogenize his tastes with same age peers, he holds critical opinions of the content he absorbs and chooses his own favorites with purpose and relevance as opposed to choosing only what’s trending.

Unschooling is a lifestyle in which a child achieves interdependence and discerning maturity, life coping skills, compassion, integrity, and independence beyond that of many schooled peers.

People see what they want to see, especially if what they see confronts what they know deep down to be inherently wrong with the main stream path.

I connect when I can with the increasing tide of awakening spirits who embrace that we can wait no longer, that we must create the proverbial change we want to see. Some are like-minded radical unschooling families, but many are simply families who embrace the principles of whole life learning in their every day lives. They afford others the same respect and compassion and forgiveness they’d like to receive, themselves, observing no hierarchies in age, economic status, or cultural heritage.

Unschoolers have our icons, such as John Holt. Many of us graduated from the attachment parenting philosophy, so our icons cross psycho-social and biological roots from John Bowlby to the nurturing compassion of neurologist Gabor Mate’.

I’ve read here and there that my child – as a whole life unschooler  – is among about 10% out of approximately 200,000* unschooled kids in the US (probably a low number in 2017) who experience such full freedom as a child needs. 

He doesn’t even realize how significant he is in terms of human growth and development in our society until someone in a position of authority tries to inject him with arbitrary reasoning, which to him isn’t reasoning at all! Imagine his offspring! Imagine our world full of children raised in freedom and compassion.

That makes me look within. It leads me to determine, whether I can escape my conditioning, or deschool enough to accept the scary notion that I am raising a child through very brave parenting, or rather, partnering.

I am using tools of trust, compassion, and respect to risk raising a child without restrictions, limitations, rules, punishment, coercion, or judgment of how he chooses to spend his time. Without concern for what he learns… only that he has the freedom to determine how he learns. And we are almost 10 years in. That is half of his childhood. We are half-way along the path to adulthood.

How simple is this, really? It is a choice. But, for most, it doesn’t feel like a choice. Most are so overtly conditioned that they do not see that they have a choice. Others do not have the support in place to take the jump.

But, people get old and they die. Eventually, the awakening tide – inclusive of all elements of resistance to the homogeneity of human suffering, the breaking free of old paradigms, the rise of compassion, and the dissolving differences that divide us as humans – will guide us to not turn away from the truth that we were born of this earth to live as free beings.

Kids can’t be stifled forever in four walls, waiting to pee and eat. School is an antiquated tool that is writhe with dysfunction.

Parents of unschoolers have exited the system, carefully crafting new paths for our children that start with embracing everything that drives their passions.

In fact, schools are even adopting our principles, incorporating mindfulness and self-directed learning into curricula and into the structure of school days in hopes of turning things around. But, none of these measures will save school, for it is founded upon the greatest flaw in our society that causes any such gains to unravel – the authoritarian paradigm. What eventually transforms and arises in its place will transform society along with it. And that is at least what I’m trying to do with one child.

Quilting on a Quantum Level: A Tribute in Memory of a Mama Bear.

There are so many beautiful things in this world. Yesterday PawPaw was clearing out vines that had taken over some small trees down beside the driveway. I was ‘supervising’ from the Gator. As he got further back into the woods, he discovered a small bush called a ‘Strawberry Basket’ or ‘Hearts-a-Bustin.’ The little baskets of red berries are so pretty. We carefully marked it with a yellow tie and cleared all of the vines out of it. We had those little bushes at the cabin in NC and I remember them from when I was a child. I was so excited to see one down here. ~LWMetcalf, September 16, 2020, Facebook.

It isn’t difficult to find an analogy for the life of my dear friend, Lynn Warcup Metcalf. She wove a tapestry of connections by being true to herself within, devoted to her loved ones, and attached intimately to her passions all while negotiating artfully the seams with people she might have favored less. Nothing was left to chance. I imagine this is how she went about her quilting process, no doubt negotiating carefully the difficult pieces and parts of the process. She was prone to pointing out that her gifts contained imperfections, which struck me more as fastidious than absurd. I myself am a perfectionist when viewed from many angles.

Where I find it difficult to negotiate the practice of giving because my gifts never feel good enough, Lynn gave as if her generosity kept her very individual breaths flowing. She gave beautiful details, intricate information, and practiced methodical maneuvers from the moment ideas filled her brain until you received a loving card or package in the mail.

She was an ardent defender and supporter of those she loved. She didn’t have enough time to finish everything in her infinite desire to create, appreciate, and describe. She could never have had enough time to express all that she was capable of translating into seams, fabric squares, or as specimens of flora and fauna in written or photographic records of her walks and hikes with Art and Molly. Molly is the dog that found them to promise comfort and company to Art when Lynn’s terminal cancer won the game of solitaire that she had to fight with both hands nearly tied behind her back.

Indeed, Lynn had dreams about Mollie before she ever appeared into the reality of their lives. I wish I could have asked her about her dreams in the last few weeks.

I’ve never really thanked her appropriately for all she did to support me and my ‘Cubbie Bear’ in hard times. I never even managed a thank you note for the last quilt she sent to me as a housewarming gift in what seems like a week ago, but in reality, was maybe more than a month ago. I gushed on Facebook, but I never sent the photos of my new place that I promised. I never felt settled enough to allow myself to write, to express my appreciation, or to describe how amazing her gestures always were – gestures she maintained even as she was battling the depths of a cancer that didn’t provide much insight into how or when she would exit to the greater fabric of space and time.

She relied on her traditions and her faith. She put her whole heart into loving her family to whom she gave unconditional acceptance so that they could be the individuals they needed to be. She held great care for the animals who loved her lap while she paid special attention to her piecing work.

When I met Lynn some odd 27 years ago, I was the baby in a professional team of three people. We were dubbed the three bears, or so we dubbed ourselves, who can remember? Regardless, I became Miss Margaret to her, and she Mama Bear to me. We signed our messages MM and MB over the years. Our dear friend who rounded out our little work family passed away also too soon late last year during an asthma attack while we were all fearing a pandemic. Like Lynn, he left behind a loving family and grand kids. Back in the day, we would sometimes break for coffee and rum cake at a little Greek place across from our offices. Now I suppose those two might enjoy rum cake together in another realm of consciousness, hopefully still watching over me.

As I take in the information that death is inconvenient when lives are cut too short, I realize that I will never not see my dear friend and MB in the details of life, in the quilts and cards she gifted me, and in the generosity of her spirit. Her expressions of generosity connect more than her own being to the greater field of richness, beauty, and the authentic value of all things, no matter how small. She became as a quantum thread, piecing together the entirety of all that touched her life with love and care.

She is in every stitch, every wood-ear, and every tiny mushroom…the sunsets she took time for, appreciative pets, hurting family members, old time recipes and remedies, carefully chosen fabrics, and the deep organization and patterns of nature. She took joy meeting up with, describing, and providing updates about a random but curious yellow cat or lazy cows in pastures along her walking routes. Her photographic journals she posted on Facebook are reminders of this greater field of richness – including the serenity of snow, or the humor in capturing one’s own awkward shadow.

You paid attention to everything, MB. You were like a walking index of information and you knew exactly where to catalogue the next item. You loved babies and nurturing, and you believed women and mothers deserved the greatest care and respect. You cherished. You greeted the sun. You were like a mother Duck ushering your children along, not minding their wandering about but ever keeping them close in your heart and worry no matter how old they got. I don’t think you would have chosen to leave all that is so earthly and intricate, but you seemed brave, realistic about where you were going.

Were you afraid? I pray your bravery kept you clear as you passed through the veil of worlds. It is comforting to know that you have gone there, finally, but only because selfishly, I know that you know me and that you are part of the family of souls who will guide me no matter the level of quantum transformation I encounter in life or death. I imagine everyone by your side has been subconsciously holding their breaths. But I know you would not have chosen this. Your worry, your love for your kids and Art, and your grands and greats was too enormous to let go willingly. This wasn’t fair to you or to them. But here it is.

You painted beautifully in this life in love, creativity, and generosity. Love you MB. Always, MM.

The following are some photos of Lynn’s handiwork, photos of things she loved, and some of the pictures she took of the nature she encountered and her surrounding world. My sincere sympathies to you, Art Metcalf, and to Charlie and Karen and your families.

Photo Credit for final picture: Art Metcalf/Tanya Niles (Facebook post)

Valiant Child

ocean

A mother feels between her breaths
where time stops between heart beats
and memory works like muscle

Here at the edge of intention
where childhood ends
and memory of the final nursing is lost
though she swore she’d never forget

He artfully negotiates the room like John Wick

She amuses herself with thoughts of what could have been had she married Keanu.

Nestled there against her skin
he entangled all that her childhood needed,

but missed…

because Good Housekeeping.

Swollen with nourishment
for his cells and soul
she gave
and she gives
and now
Menopause.

The tears as she types
in the moments she has allowed for self-care
this month
this year
rarely.

The tears are the biological evidence
imprinting upon the air
her sorrow
her pride
her grief
her longing
her knowing
her accepting
her dreaming
her perfection
expressed as ancestral intentions

It is of unknown source carried like a ruck sack
slung over the back carelessly by her offspring
as he moves into a light
transcribed from within his own lenses.

He was five
when his blue eyes transitioned
to the hue of verdant oceanic dreams

She was old enough to be his grandmother then
just as she was kissing the strange light on the day her own mother’s breath closed

The air around her trembled
signaling her fate
the pace quickened
the portal of her vision narrowed

Then, he was twelve.

In the span of only seven years he blossomed from innocent sponge to
friend
leader
martial artist
thespian
gamer
gamer
gamer
gamer
comedic actor

It has been some time since she
as me
his mother
now single
on welfare
disabled
decided
that children come first,
and a paradigm of compassion, empathy, and respect can forge

a valiant child.

~MBennett (c) first published 6-15-2020 @ The Higher Process. All rights reserved.

How Will They Learn? ~Education in Transformation (E.D.I.T.)

E.D.I.T. presents a video featuring unschoolers of all ages discussing how they learn without school, in Unschooling Myths, Episode 1.

Sean participated and conveys his perspectives on being a lifelong unschooler and going down rabbit holes of self-directed discovery.

Self-Examine, then Let Go to Level Up

silhouette photo of person standing in neon lit hallway
Photo by Naveen Annam on Pexels.com

We are in unparalleled times, connected globally as never before.

In The Common Denominator Is You, Michael Schreiner discusses a tendency to repeat life and relationship patterns that are symptomatic of giving away the power we have over our lives. I am reminded of my own efforts to take responsibility for having allowed my former self to live continuously within trauma and abuse.

Schreiner references Carl Jung’s philosophy that has become a pop psyche tenet:

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

Along my journey, I chose to accept a term that betrays the illusion of security in childhood, codependency. The stigma associated with the powerlessness and victimization inherent in such terms is humbling to the ego.

  • It requires a journey through pain, emotional upheaval, grief, and layers of healing.

  • It requires trusting the space through which we cannot see.

  • It requires remembering to float on our backs when we are accustomed to reacting to life in fear.

When I realized this aspect of Self, I was awakened to a process whereby I was able to  start shedding the impact of complex domestic violence and sexual trauma. This happened layer by layer – digging through more than five decades of trying to see. I’m a bit of a late bloomer.

With intention, I reached levels of lightness that contrasted with where I used to be. That contrast provides enough definition to light the rest of my way.

Many people attribute such a process to trusting in their system of belief. It is very similar, so I won’t bother splitting hairs. Light, Wholeness, Faith, Trust, Hope, Compassion, Forgiveness, Healing, Centering – all of the ingredients are present.

To me, it felt like a gut-wrenching spiritual process of death followed by rebirth.

I integrated trauma that was grounded as emotional memory into what I perceive as Eckhart Tolle’s pain body. Integrating in this sense means that I took what I was made of, put it through the grinder, and recreated my very being. I thought the process was scary. What I know now is that the process isn’t singular. It is like peeling an onion. It is like sewing a quilt.

At one point in my early 20s, I slept on cardboard on the floor of an open graduate studio for days and semi-showered in the building’s restroom. I found myself secretly stuffing cellophane-wrapped giant cookies into my apron during my opening shift at Stefano’s Pizza where I earned below minimum wage – just so that I could eat something that day. My parents were married for 60 years before the first one died. I went to parochial school and private college. I won scholarships. So, this trajectory made no sense without examining deeper aspects of my life experiences.

I was too ashamed to ask for help. I also feared asking for help. My self-esteem characterized me as easy for the plucking. Indeed, I was targeted by a university professor twice my age. That is just a minor sampling of my early adulthood as a deflated young woman. When I look back, I am grateful to be in my present skin. But even in this skin I journey continuously towards elusive wholeness. This wholeness seems so unattainable and absolute that it is often hard to keep focus with an anxious world pulsating freely. Increasingly, I return to center to reposition.

We seek to control our spaces when a free-form nature defines our existence.

I find myself having to practice yielding to the flow of circumstances as opposed to reacting from a source of complex stress-responsiveness. This is one simple aspect of how choosing to raise my son in connection converges with the healing of my own inner child.

I could not deny my role in the process of allowing abuse. It is very difficult and extremely uncomfortable to live any way but authentically after that realization. It is an humbling life pass that becomes etched into being and soul.

Taking this responsibility does not equate absolving perpetrators of their insidious and hideous actions and intentions. Instead, it removes me from the circumstances of the crime so that I may regain what I’ve lost. It brings me back to center.

Truly, when enmeshed within trauma and abuse patterns, this process of stepping outside of the abuse feels literally like pulling apart the very threads of one’s own being.

Imagine that an afterimage of Self is left behind, an imprint of sorts that enables the healing person to glance back at where she’s been. This becomes a source of information for understanding parts of herself she’s released in order to escape – in order to grow.

She has the choice to fall back into the dysfunctional normal, or to fall forward in trust without foresight of who she is about to become. I must admit, when I got to this point, I felt I’d leveled up and could afford to breathe.

There is a space for wandering where fear is integrated as we search for light within an unlit tunnel. The afterimage of the fractured former self gives reference to reassure us that we are indeed walking away from hurt. In this process, I was carrying myself for perhaps the first time.

My child was witness to this process, a model for drafting inner strength from deeply within. As he stresses about what he perceives as the narcissistic behavior of a friend, I draw upon my tool box and remind him not to give away his power. Connections are everything, but we have to know how, why, and when to sever nodes in the grid. The kill switch might just begin with us. Reaction must be tempered before it can be mastered.

I found it precarious to wear my identity on social media during my period of transformation. So much of who I am now is not who I was before. But I’m still me. That part is reassuring. I feared I’d lost my essence, expended during prolonged epochs of fight or flight, or misplaced during bouts of intermittent depression.

Even as I shift and resume sharing opinions and beliefs, I try to take responsibility for how my thoughts differ from others’ instead of carrying the expectation that they see what I want them to see. I had to practice this. I had to sit on my hands and zip my lips when I desired to speak out against declarations that offended my own moral sensibilities. Next, I found myself wishing others would likewise calm the fuck down. Still a slight edge. I’m still me. I still want to express hard-earned opinions, but strive to use objectivity instead of passion to establish narratives.

So much of what I see argued seems sourced from fear – and fear is a liar. Fear projection is inherently a refusal of faith, another lesson I’ve learned raising a child in connection.

Some people have the wisdom of ages, but deny their fear. Others have integrated extreme pain, loss, and misfortune, yet sometimes glitch in fear projection when the idea of letting go challenges the very foundation of their beliefs. Fear is first gear on the stick shift. None of us is wholly exempt. I have to continuously operate the clutch. This blog provides me a space to spit myself out for self-examination. That alone can be nerve-wracking.

Fear projection is inherently a refusal of faith.

Sometimes I feel like I still don’t have all the necessary tools needed to stand against the grain. But I cannot control anyone’s hate. Authenticity requires that we accept before we judge. This also ensures that hate does not become a mirror.

This is where I was when I bailed in large part from social media in late 2016.

I felt pessimistic. I didn’t vote. It felt futile. I refused complicity. I had enough going on beneath my own skin. The story played out. Society experienced great upheaval. And now, society is collectively seeking remedy for Covid19, erasing so much of that ugliness and disarray. Society is Global. For better or worse, we are in this together.

As this story unfolds, I feel like there might be something worth voting for.

But it has less to do with babies being born or bootstraps being pulled up. It has little to do with rainbow flags. Netflix and Amazon already evidenced in chummy comic exchange that society is indeed in favor of the individual. Society has already accepted the predictions in 1984, but the latest Apple commercial makes it seem more bent towards discovery and creation. There is always a flip side to the coin. We might all end up in one big space-cruise-ship (like the one in The Fifth Element). It has less to do with universal income or health care or guns. It isn’t about coal or renewable energy or climate. It isn’t based on taxes or benefits. It isn’t about religious belief. It isn’t about white-haired old men. None of us should be surprised by our societal makeup. Even Mulder and Scully predicted this pandemic (X Files, Season 11, Episode 5).

This time, it comes down to unity. My motivation comes from seeing humans self-illuminate as we practice social isolation and conduct grids in support of one another across the entire world. We are leveling up as a species. So, let us honor our differences with respect for the higher process as we continue tunneling through the Twilight Zone of 2020. This is an election year, after all. On social media, we’ve never needed an election to divide us.

For example, when we use terms like anti-vaxer or pro-vaxer, we are mistaken and limit the scope of the conversation we can have. If we blame all of religious belief for one thing or another, we are demonstrating inflexible natures and a refusal to accept that the space between opposite poles contains anything of value. The more I listen, the more I learn. If we throw the baby out with the bathwater and overgeneralize, we miss the entire point of everything. We must re-frame our narratives if we truly desire connection. That is not to say that religious belief does not or cannot harm. My story is evidence of the nuanced trickery, and for others – the outright social injustice we allow by not thinking for ourselves.

If all we are after is to shame people into our perspectives, we need to go all the way back up to the journey in the dark tunnel and dwell there awhile longer (do not pass Go, do not collect $200).

Imagine all the people, living for today. As John Lennon sang, It’s easy if you try. Schools are adapting in this pandemic in ways we didn’t anticipate. My father had his tonsils removed in a school gymnasium in the 1930s during frugal times. School today has suddenly become capable of transforming to mirror community-wide response. Homeschoolers are opening narratives to help calm the nerves of frazzled parents. The system is not discriminating when it comes to feeding all of our children. We share common ground, at least for now.

Until we live the life of another, we really cannot know. If we push our personal and moral agendas in judgment without retaining objective narrative, we kill the chance for connection. I love Sy-Fy and shows like The X-Files and Dr. Who not because the conspiracies seem so relevant to our world, but because the light, passion, and imaginatively positive energies come together for the greater good, every single time. Perhaps such fantasy is my certain level of privilege because I am moving away from pain, but pain is still right where we leave it. This is what those who do not embrace fundamental campaigns for equality fail to perceive. Pain is like a virus, able to replicate itself into new dimensions and generations of hurt. Which is why I love The Doctor – he/she always sets things right while showing as much compassion to the villain as the villain’s own self recognizance will allow. If the villain refuses to self-examine, then The Doctor’s conscience can only go so far before turning back to shoulder humanity. This is how the villain bears responsibility for their self-demise; they force The Doctor to side with his/her absolute values. The arc is always poetic.

I went away from and came back to social media to dust off some of the us vs. them mentality and for personal healing. I couldn’t do them both at the same time. I don’t sweat the occasional rant – in fact – I deliciously indulge certain content of that nature when it aligns to my beliefs – or better – makes me laugh.

Taking responsibility for the common denominator means self-regulating back to center. Individuals who have survived and even thrived outside of the myriad forms of abuse and trauma learn that it doesn’t matter what you believe. It only matters where you show up and what you do when you get there – or how much objectivity you maintain when you argue. Courage comes from traversing the parts of your soul you can’t discern and the parts of the tunnel you can’t see through.

Maybe we should start sharing our judgements as the fears they really are.

A friend on social media posted a prayer for these exponential times to assuage anxiety that stated, “Do the next thing.”

Let it be, just keep swimming, go with the flow, let go or be dragged. Listen more. Ask questions. Authenticity rules. Let’s be mindful of our impact and the nature, strength, and purpose of the nodes of connection we create and what they mean for others.

Level up in connection. Hold on for the rest of 2020 because the shift isn’t over yet. Imprint this into the DNA of your offspring. This part of the journey is worth keeping.

Faeries and Flowers

Screenshot (45)
 

Guest Post by Lynn Warcup Metcalf

I always put numbing cream on my port site about 30 minutes before going up to Oncology because inserting the infusion needle is painful. Today I had a new tube of numbing cream with a “safety” top and couldn’t get it open. I was in the downstairs ladies room and there was no one else around. I can’t come out and get Art because I am somewhat uncovered by then. I tried and tried to open it. Finally gave up and used the tiny amount left in an old tube. It works better if you “blob” it on but I’m not sure what was left qualified as a “blob”. Used it anyway. We haven’t been out shopping so I didn’t have a small tag-a-derm to hold the “blob” in place and used my one large one instead. Things are not starting off well. We head up to Oncology on the fifth floor.

We are ushered in, I am poked, stuck, prodded, and weighed. Hmm, down nine pounds today. I haven’t eaten a lot. Food doesn’t taste good anymore. No problem, I could stand to lose a few more pounds. I head for a chair with the infusion machine on the right since my port is on my right upper chest. The Infusion Center is a large area with half-walls. It’s a beige room…beige walls, beige floors, beige chairs, nothing but beige. There are large windows on one side but we are five floors up and I can’t see much from where I sit, except sky and billboards. At least the sky is sometimes blue. Someone must have thought beige would be calming. Actually it’s a little depressing. I’m pleased to see my nurse has on pretty purple scrubs with flowers in the front. I have worn bright red. A red button front silky shirt and my favorite pair of red earrings. The earrings are like bell-shaped flowers with little black beads hanging from the center. I think of them as faerie flowers and, in fact, I purchased them from a website dedicated to faeries. They make me smile. I need them today.

By the time my blood tests came back, the numbing cream is wearing off. My nurse peels the tag-a-derm off and pokes the needle in, apologizing for hurting me. She starts the steroid first and then the infusions. It takes about an hour each and I have two after the steroid. As soon as one of the infusions starts I get a headache. It also makes me feel weak and dizzy. Some of it is worse than others. The nurse wears a mask and gloves and occasionally an over-gown while handling the infusions. Once some spilled out onto the floor. A man in a hazmat suit came to clean it up…that’s what is going inside my body. Surely the cancer doesn’t stand a chance, lol.

There are about eight people in my nurse’s two sections and she efficiently moves around taking care of each of us. Art is a trooper. He comes and sits with me. He reads or plays with his tablet or brings me a cookie, water, or a warm blanket. I so appreciate him being there. I could do it without him but I feel so vulnerable alone, it comforts me to have him near. When I’m done, my nurse says, “See you in three weeks.” I smile and we leave, carefully peeling off the little green stickers that we received to show we were “safe” as we came in.

Lynn Warcup Metcalf is a decades-deep connection and dear friend living with cancer. She is a prolific quilter with a gift for descriptive prose. She is an early riser, keeper of valuable ancestral knowledge, and gives appreciation to the details of life. I requested permission to share this post. It gives me rare understanding about the vulnerable, moment-to-moment experience of her journey. 

Update: Rest in Peace MB. You remain connected in my heart, always. April 24, 2021.

Interdependent Shifting

Birds Murmuring – the entire flock appears to move as one, but actually individual birds are responding to the movement of the birds immediately around them. In this way, they connect as in an organic whole, a sort of flowing grid bound by  an interdependent system.

external-content.duckduckgo.com

It seems a common, global concern enables us to mirror our best conscientious selves to one another. As a society bound to social media, we are generally fighting about which side of us and them we align to and in the process, forgetting our best human attributes.

I imagine it is vastly different when schools close and events are cancelled in a small, isolated town like ours in comparison to metro areas. Here, everyone connects online, offering each other help. Tired of Fortnite, Sean’s schooled and unschooled friends are playing UNO on Roblox together from their own homes.

What a weird exponential twist all of this is as we shift the dynamic of society and economics across the world. Not quite like a disaster, we have power and WiFi. 12 is probably about the best age to be through all of this.

I am grateful for the social isolation and that so many people see the value in flattening the curve. Maybe we are all sheep blindly falling in line. But, as far as the flow goes, this seems like the best wave to ride in the current situation.

Change is inevitable. Shifting together as birds in mumuration seems like a sound plan. I read recently in Quanta about how systems level up until the dynamic becomes so centralized and sizable that the leveling up creates a shift into a new paradigm. Analogies were drawn with power grids as well as viruses and other cellular systems.

In some cases, it is prudent to control the shape of what develops by dismantling individual grids or smaller segments of the operational system to keep the larger system from overpowering the paradigm too soon – like controlling the boil in a soup stock. But it can also be advantageous to allow the collapse of lower level systems, allowing them to be replaced by entirely different and newer operational organisms. It can be both complex and simple at either scale.

We are a social system, and we are individual humans leveling up. None of us wants to be compromised in any way, but if we are (for any reason), let us hope it is for the sake of a greater good.

Comparatively, immigration controls like ICE exemplify antiquated, malfunctioning, overzealous components of rogue systemic activity gone unchecked to the point of existing not for the greater good. It has spiraled into an ideological dysfunction. US penal systems are another example of corroded segments allowed to grow to the point of being grossly unprepared for pandemic effects (not to mention how inhumane and unjust they have become).

That we as a society can mostly experience consensus about social isolation during a pandemic proves that we have the capacity to use intention and (at least in the case of my small town) draw upon our collective human spirit to create change that helps us level up as we accept certain impacts alongside the emergent paradigm. If we survive such transformation, surely the process was meaningful and the new landscape freer for the benefit of the greater good.

Can we start to shape ourselves apart from the old paradigm of ideological division, reaching arms and hearts across the grid of social isolation to focus how much common ground we truly share?

Can we take this beyond Covid-19 and not forget how closely we resemble one reflection when essential moments dictate our intrinsic desire for connection?

What this means for us v. them may be as simple as letting go and leveling up to factors that shift us into the action of better being.  What falls away, my good humans, no longer serves the whole of who we are.

As for that handful of 12 year-olds who have now moved on to playing Anime’ Tycoon in Roblox, the worries of the world are no match for Naruto running.

Happy… Day of Connection

The energy of the full moon this late November has promised to trip more than a few of us up, maybe even cause technological hiccups. I decided this day to embrace patience and compassion as the flow of choice riding into this strong energy. I embraced the thought, and the reality followed in small, but palpable ways.

proxy.duckduckgo.com

I’m a little awkward entering a new phase of my life, but fading are the self-imposed shackles and perceived clouds of restriction. Stepping out in one’s new-found freedom is refreshing, and opportune.

I made reservations for Sean and me at a local establishment, using the last name given me at birth, newly divorced. When I didn’t see what I most looked forward to in the spread of sliced pies on the buffet table, I asked the server slicing the prime rib if I could request a serving of cheese cake, a signature dessert at the restaurant, and the main attraction in their lineup as far as I am concerned.

There was no one present to tell me that I couldn’t make a special request for myself. No thought police telling me how to think or act. No guilt telling me that I should not make such extra ordinary requests. 

The server obliged, generously. The meal was relaxed, and even sharing the slice with Sean, I had to leave some behind. The staff had been so busy that I had to find someone to refill my coffee, and when they finally did, they wondered how I managed to get the cheese cake. “I made a special request,” I said with a genuine smile.

Should this really be questionable? Are we really so fearful that we can’t ask for what we want for fear of disapproval? Unfortunately, it is a lifelong reality for many. It has far too long been the reality for me.

I didn’t feel entitled to it, but I politely asked if it would be possible, because I contracted a special price for a lovely meal and had been looking forward to the cheesecake.

This tiny thing felt like a memory of so many pin-sized stabs into my psyche throughout decades – feeling guilty for asking for what I want or need, as if I don’t deserve to do so.

After our meal, Sean and I found ourselves wandering the aisles of the only store open this holiday, confronted with undeniable bargains and sporting content spirits. Once back home, we planted the meager substitutes we found for our lighted deer in front of the house, because the deer bit the dust after four seasons of nestling in snow under our 100-year-old silver maple. We had already decorated our Christmas tree the week before. The season lay unencumbered before us, promising joy and abundance.

I tried sneaking a stocking-stuffer past Sean at the checkout, saying it was for his niece, but once home my scheme unfolded and the plan was thwarted when he asked to see it. I gave in. Moments are fleeting.

With all the texts and phone calls of the day behind us, I find myself right were I planned to be when I decided to write my own reality months and months ago.

I pause to give guilt good circumspect, tilt my head for a thorough examination of the path I’ve just traversed and conclude: There is no space for guilt in gratitude. There is only room in my heart space for compassion, light, and love. The gratitude I desire to convey to those souls who lit my path and helped me wrap my head around this choice that I have – to remember who I am – is too intense and joyful for guilt.

I deserve to be who I am. I rescue the inner child from life’s gift of trauma and tell her, baby girl, I’ve got this. I’ve got you. I’m not going to let anyone or anything hurt you.

The past becomes the past, immutable. Self-acceptance is the boundary that protects.

I am so grateful to you, my friends and family, for being lights upon my path.

Connections are everything.

10399-Candles-In-The-Snow

 

Res Me

1

QB, QB! Res me! Wait, I’m med-ing!

There are these kids in California and Colorado who play Fortnite regularly with Sean, they are between 13-14. They formed a Fortnite Clan. I am frequently laughing out loud in the background in response to their antics, so they address me as Ms. BearSean (because Sean’s gamer tag is cubbiebearsean) and they sometimes compete to make me laugh. I feel like a favorite middle school teacher. They call Sean Q-B as a twist on Cubbie. He holds his own well with them, so even though he’s younger, they frequently invite him to play.

They call each other by their gamer tags, though we know most of their real names. But, gamer tags, it is.

Today, these kids from California didn’t have school due to smoke from the fires. They are all camping out in one of the kid’s basement with several computers and TVs connected and are planning to marathon-play on Sean’s Minecraft Realm, after warming up with Fortnite. Minecraft is nostalgia for the lot of them, including Sean.

They talk on Discord and have a virtual party. They tease Sean about being homeschooled and about being 11, and he dishes back to them without missing a beat. It gets loud. Who am I fooling, it is always loud.

They share memes. I’m a fly on the wall, getting first-hand exposure to the pulse of these kids and their interests, angst, and endless humor. Their sense of humor is off the charts. They’re sharp, they have to be to perform well. Sean tells me that maybe I drank beer for the first time when I was only 13 because there was nothing fun to do in 1978.

They self-deprecate. Insult each other. Rarely, they talk about girls. They joke and exaggerate and include wise crack references to popular culture. Mostly, they are creating fun. Once in a while their voices crack. Sometimes they rage. Sometimes they are crabby. They expose society’s stupidity and fear-based over-protection with their jokes. Same thing with society’s overly sensitive programming. They meme political correctness, exposing its inherent fault line. They are like that one person you want around in the event of an emergency. They are totally on their game, but they are spinning their wheels because of adult control. Their minds are already way beyond the broken record admonishment of adults.

Sometimes, they are on while admitting they had to sneak due to being grounded. I chuckle at their inventiveness. Sean has never been grounded. It makes absolutely no sense to me because punishment does not reinforce intrinsic values. I’d want these kids in charge during the Zombie Apocalypse.

Occasionally, they say they wish I would adopt them. I wish their parents understood how restrictions and punishment create chasms of disconnection.

Sean is using hair cream to style back his bangs. He brought a shirt over to me in Shopko and asked if we could get it, said it’s OK if we can’t. He told me how much it was on sale, and he grabbed the right size. How could I say no after that effort? Then, he saw a jacket he likes. Showed me how it was 50% off (like the shirt). Boom. Kid scored. He tells me every time he wears the shirt that he is so glad he got the shirt. I tell him I am proud of his decisiveness and choices.

Checks his hair in the mirror. Asks if his hair is OK.

Sean waits patiently all day to eat because we are going to get our favorite, Papa Bino’s. He eats pumpkin pie for breakfast, gummy bears, and waits. We can do this because we only have ourselves to answer to. He turns down intermediate food (filler food in the pantry) to hold out for the good stuff.

We run out to get some more cold meds for me while the snow arrives. He stays in the car because Imagine Dragons is on the radio. Tells me Imagine Dragons and Fallout Boys are dangerously similar. One of his first favorite songs was Centuries by Fallout Boys. I agree that they are very similar.

He tells me, Thanks for the food Mom, I love you.

A Cage and a Legacy of Light

bird

I.

That was some cage.

I crawled through the dark spaces of my soul and followed a light someone had left for me along a path.

All it took was that single flame. It became exponential.

As I awoke, suddenly I experienced literal starlight, with women I knew showing up as light beings at every turn.

These women connected me to a greater source for understanding that I always held the key to unlocking my captivity.

These women lit the circuitry of my motherboard, because light begets Light. And the more of their light that I received with intention, the more women I met who expanded the dimensions of my freedom.

My body has not yet mastered how to process this knowledge without the constantly high levels of cortisol pulsating throughout my cells, electrifying the crises tapes in my subconscious programming.

When I first constructed my cage, I had scarcely had more than three decades under my belt. We imagine our 30s and 40s and all we will do and be and accomplish in our lives, barely able to comprehend 50 and beyond.

I had been empowered, emptied out of my twenties into my third decade.

I managed a respectable pace with my strong foothold.

Nonetheless, I was slipping. I was losing pieces of me here and there, I was trading them in for an extrinsic sense of security that the child within thought that she needed. Snapshots of her wanderings alone in the woods before puberty filled my head as if I might forget. And I did forget.

Those two short decades in my self-constructed cage focused a life time, one that encircled responsibility and liability for impacting the spirits of a little girl and her older sister from another Mother, my bonus daughters. None of us knew that their baby brother would become the profound central theme of my existence.

My son. The soul contract that whispered to me that I am alive, and I matter. Their baby brother’s very blood informed his sisters that they would forever be bound together with me. None of us knew that our souls had been riding the same waves for lifetimes before we met in this one. My son lit the star that synchronized many paths into one. That’s a lot to put upon a child, but we are all connected. You, and me, reflections of each other.

The love and adoration I bestow upon my son is the measure of love that I desire for myself. Er…Our son, as the legal system demanded I state.

Divorce is a lot like parochial school, I’ve decided. The structure of the courts and the measures of performance wound up by opposing forces whose behavior determines the language that determines the fate of a child sure puts me back in a wooden pew, or in a desk chained in place by a stern taskmaster in a habit.

It has left me weary.

And shedding old skin has been painful.

And frailty threatens my skeleton, while fear fights for property rights in my soul.

Who looks back in the mirror is someone new that I see but do not recognize, yet.

How complex is a story that enslaves a woman to the point where she is unrecognizable to herself, yet at the same time gifts her every essence of who she truly is in 39 weeks wrapped in eight-ounces-shy of nine pounds?

How is it that the child who instantly fed my soul became the source of every motivation for every deciding factor over every choice I would make, ever again?

How did every choice before he took root in my womb add up and combine to where I stand right now?

I’m holding his hand, observing the world at the cage door, flung aside with no one standing in our way, telling us how to fly. Yet here I am, unsure just how to spread my wings, or if they will even keep me aloft…much more, him.

And here he is, not letting go like his padre thinks he should because his padre never had a human savior, not like this child, not like my child, “our” child. This child knows that he can hold my hand until he is ready to let go. This child isn’t tethered by proverbial apron strings. He gets to choose who, and when he IS, as long as no one rushes him from my side before he feels ready.

His world has been turned around every which way imaginable, with little to predict for him the story that time will tell of his life. His final years as a preadolescent were a roller coaster ride that took my big boy and threw him onto the ledge of his prepubescence.

He’s managed to negotiate certain terms of visitation with his father, as compromise in divorce is a negotiated parlay that isn’t necessarily over when the ink is dry as far as the child is concerned.

The child gives. The child loses. My fingers fall from his, pulled apart not by choice but by the patriarchy of the courts.

The child is called resilient, but is he really? The DNA engrave a record.

And the days are exponential and fleeting in the time that turns childhood into a teenager.

Faith. Trust. Respect.

I cannot deny. This child belonged to me, to my body, to my breath.

He suckled my bosom, he clung to my sweet song and asked me a million questions with his eyes, which I answered.

When the time came for him to seek connection with his other parent, the conflict was enormous, overwhelming, and he clung to the soothing voice that accompanied the milk. The arms that went with that voice vowed to protect him to no ends known by earth.

II.

That was some cage.

The arrows along the path point two directions. One points to sorrow, but I’m voluntarily looking to the one that points to Light. Irritated, I shake off complex post-trauma triggers like uninvited guests accosting me with obsessive agendas and return my search to positive energies.

Ultimately, I learned that I came here without the need to question my mission. I came here to expand the Light. I don’t have to choose this knowledge. I am filled with it, but only after making room for it by releasing attachment to deeply rooted trauma.

All the agnosticism of my 20s and 30s that led me to the atheism I embraced by my 40s defined a journey of truth-seeking. But, no matter how much truth I found and exclaimed in that decade, the veil concealed the greatest truth of all.

Lifting this veil is a simple but profound act that no one can define for any other. But, once done, one becomes connected to all. Ego does not survive. That is too scary for some people to imagine.

And so, we return time and again to look behind the veil once more, decade after decade, life after life.

Love and Light are not bound to any history, human or otherwise. These absolutes have no latitude and longitude, no measure of beginning or ending.

I came here because my soul is a warrior of Light, willing to endure great pain and growth to achieve transformation over darkness for the sake of a greater good.

Divorce is humbling.

Energies are positive or negative.

Early in this journey, I learned that my very cells are listening to every thought I have.

Before that, I’d phoned one of my sisters a few times over a year or more, including in some wee hours of the morning, bound up in emotional pain and potential peril from domestic violence.

I learned that Divine love exists as connection, and I expand it by receiving it.

Friends gave, encouraged, and otherwise guided me to know my inner strength, to fight for my rights, and to steady my course. Soon, literal human angels started appearing when I needed their help, their gifts, both tangible and non tangible. Some were lifelong friends and family. Others were long time fans of who I am, inherently. They gave me encouragement. They let me know that I was not alone, that I was not crazy. By this point, I was beyond fighting my reality, I was fighting for a new me. Human angels came to my side, saw my needs, and injected their imperfect light to help me flow forward.

The stories that I could tell of the years spent hurdling through the pain of being discarded by my partner in marriage could fill pages, and perhaps they will at some point.

But, in that journey, I came face to face with the shame that shrouds  a woman who has allowed her life to be mired in abuse, with the many forms it takes.

Denial and persistence in the face of abusive control are dangerous qualities.

Bodies suffer and decay without inner light. Light is at the core of every cellular function, relationship, and energy.

Greater are the stories of those who restored my faith, my desire for community, and my understanding of the richness of gratitude.

Greater than shame is the strength it takes to open one’s heart to one’s self, without apology.

As we evolve in this way, we start to intuit higher consciousness messages that reveal the negative auras we should repel with our light. I began to shed harmful, toxic relationships and opened myself to nurturing.

This was the path to my freedom. With each painful step, other women from my past and new women I met as I reached out, they came. They accumulated. They gave, they encouraged. The more I embraced my own healing, the more frequently they appeared right when I needed them.

Freedom is a mind free from construct, seeking joy and abundance, forgiving anxiety, and projecting gratitude.

And so it is that I stand at the door of the cage, door flung wide open, unsure how I will take flight but knowing that this child of my womb came here to provide definition to my own path of redemption and renewal. Perhaps the light he bears within is the key to a never-ending thread of positive energy that I fostered forward. Perhaps in another life or dimension he and I agreed to live this path for the sake of the greater good.

Maybe my job is to stand here, with the door open, watching him take his first fledgling flights out of childhood, a tad too early, but hearts quantum connected.

Maybe I am the light that he will find later in his heart to remind him of who he is, gifting me a legacy as profound as any I can fathom for myself or my ever-spiraling soul.

Kids and Money in Whole Life Evolution Without School

iugg

Sean and I were running an errand this afternoon. He’s 10. He was lamenting from the back seat that his friend, Levi can’t play GTA because his older brother is not game sharing with him on Xbox, anymore.

Sean and Levi play Overwatch, and other PC and Xbox games while Skyping long distance across time zones. But GTA5 is a game Sean got for his birthday, and they’ve had a few marathon gaming sessions already. Sean suggested that maybe he could use some of his birthday money to buy Levi the game so that they could play it together, again. He had no thoughts of, “that’s MY money and I am not going to share it because it’s all I have.”

I told him that I was really glad that I’d been able to impart to him that money is just a tool, that it comes and goes. He chimed in, “and yeah… you can spend it how you want.”

He has had plenty of practice spending it on what we need. Still, I try my best to not make him pay for things as a child if I can find a way to do so, myself. I know that he appreciates that – it doesn’t result in a spoiled child as myth and mainstream society might assert. It results in a conscientious child.

For a long time, he wasn’t really conscious of how much money he had at a given time. We’d spend it here or there, which often entailed me spending the money and paying myself back. But, sometimes I didn’t pay myself back. I tried not to if I could help it. Then, when $5 was really the difference between ordering pizza or some other immediate want, it was still there for the using. As he has matured, he now updates the check register that he keeps in his head and remembers the amount.

Anyway, we talked about the alternative perspective where money is viewed more as a security blanket, where scarcity becomes a mindset.

We all have that fear-based attachment to money to some degree.

I’m not averse to perspectives for abolishing money altogether, but I see where other systems have their limitations. I do use Simbi and practice local trading of goods and services where possible. But in general, my mother instilled in me that money is a useful tool.

My Dad grew up dirt poor, and my mother grew up with the proverbial silver spoon. Somehow, my father was inherently generous and never preached about money, so I don’t know that economic class dictates seeing money as a security blanket. His own father was extremely abusive and squandered the family’s resources on gambling. I’m not quite sure how my Dad escaped attachment to money, but, I’m glad that he did.

Sometimes you have money. Sometimes you don’t. Happiness is not dependent upon either of those things. And really, this perspective makes it easier to declutter and let go of things at garage sales, or to accept change when it occurs. Having attachment to money is something my son has evidently escaped as well.

As we were returning from our errand, Sean wondered how long it would take a person to make a million dollars at a certain salary if they didn’t spend anything they earned. We figured a rough estimate based on his Dad’s gross income in our heads over a decade, but before I could add in the arbitrary percentage that would bring the total to one hundred grand per year during that decade, I had become too pedantic, and he was ready to move on to another consideration, “I understand all that, but…”

He switched to wondering about the value of money over time.

As we walked across the yard from the garage, I was telling him (probably not for the first time) that his Poppa used to tell a story about how he would get a quarter on a Saturday and pay for bus fare both ways to and from town, a movie, snacks, and ice cream or a burger afterwards and still have five cents left over. This was in the 1930s.

Sean asked what a penny could buy then as to now, and I fumbled trying to guesstimate an answer, which led to us talking about what people lived off of back then, and how much a car would cost.

Then Sean wanted to know specifically why the value in money changes like that over time. I offered to Google (having spent only one high school semester on economics study my entire academic career), but he interrupted by saying, “… I mean, I know what inflation is, but why does the value of the dollar change?”

Uh… EXCUSE me? You know what inflation is? I don’t even truly understand how to explain what it is, how do YOU know what it is?

He replied, “Well, I can give you an example. It’s when they produce too many things. Like, if you have a horse and you want to lead it with a carrot and a stick. But, due to inflation, you have too many carrots and not enough sticks.”

WHAT the? How the? Where did you learn that?! “From Gaigin Goombah, and some other YouTubers.”

That’s a gaming YouTuber, BTW. Think your kids aren’t learning when they are gaming or just watching videos? Think again! This is one tiny example of what I see happening again and again throughout any given day.

This is one example of whole life evolution without school.

I embrace what he chooses to do with his time, with his things, and his money belongs to him. Whether it comes from selling toys, gifts, or otherwise, he is in control. Often, he offers to use his money to chip in on things. We were saving it for a trip to Yellowstone, but this idea for Levi and the GTA game seems more like a common sense solution to an immediate problem. We’re going to Yellowstone either way since the day for free entrance to National Parks is coming up soon – barring a blizzard that would keep us from passing through the mountains to get there.

Living in the now in this way hurts no one. It is useful because it helps them as children (for such a short time!!) to do what they want to do, which is to play and interact over a game… to have fun. Childhood is for having fun. For playing. For learning to navigate personal autonomy and sovereignty. For practicing at real life.

My role is to facilitate this process, to be present and mindful to promote connection, and to ensure his safety without cramping his style.

His job is to be and to learn discernment from making choices that some kids aren’t allowed to make until adulthood, when their unpracticed mistakes are costly and often harm themselves and others.

We looked at Amazon and found that the game has gone up $6 since I got it for his birthday. He has talked about trading in Just Dance that he got last year for credit, which will reduce the cost of GTA5. He wants to ask Levi if he would be Ok with him buying the game for him. That’s a just another small example of how discerning he is at a tender age, wanting to make sure it’s a choice that will be amenable to all involved.

It is living and interacting in this self-directed way that Sean has learned and taught himself what he needs to know to live his particular life with self-awareness.

The point is, all of this freedom hasn’t corrupted or spoiled my child. It has helped him create his own happiness by making his own choices, and it has ensured intrinsic motivation to make his choices count.

When he isn’t feeling the best, he seeks out wholesome foods and rest. When he craves interacting with main stream friends, he seeks out opportunities like going to the Y after-school program, but he is glad he doesn’t have to go if he’s having fun gaming with long distance friends online, or if he wants to veg in front of YouTube.

When we run errands, he learns. When we relax in front of Netflix together, he learns. When we take trips or pursue regular activities like shopping or martial arts, he learns. Learning is never a separate part of his life. It is inherent.

Besides, sitting together watching Netflix gives me the perfect opportunity to reach over and tickle him, which he loves. I personally hate being tickled. But the cackle he emits when being tickled is second to none! It satisfies his need for physical affection at an age when he’s less inclined to want kisses from his Mom.

I am so thankful that I know all about my child’s life, his interests, and anything that has triggered him throughout his day. We are friends, and we have always been friends.

Since I know when and where to ebb and flow so that he has the degree of space or connection he needs as a unique being, I can ensure that his needs are met. If I can’t meet his wants, I set out to help him figure out how to achieve the ends necessary.

One reason I find it so easy to trust him at 10 is because I stepped outside of my comfort zone to trust him at 5. I saw that he is fully capable of making choices with both self-awareness and consideration. I am so certain of his inherent motivations that I have absolutely no fear of what choices he might make at 15. We’ve developed understanding for each other’s dislikes and likes, and I don’t demand that he see the world as I do.

Kids are far more capable at life than many adults who themselves weren’t raised within conscious paradigms. It’s what we take away from kids in institutional settings and patriarchal environments or by coercing them into arbitrary standards that sets them up for costly mistakes in their adulthood.

What is important to recognize from Sean’s questions about money is that he consumed information of his own choosing that then led to additional questions about what he had learned from his self-driven pursuits. He then sought out a resource – in this instance, me, to help him further understand the concepts he was learning about.

Kids do not need to be taught. They simply need to be trusted and provided the freedom to teach themselves.

In searching for images for this blog post, I came across many extant articles about kids and money. Some involved teaching kids to give from their resources. I don’t think it models respect for others to coerce or manipulate kids into giving to charity in any way. I think that giving is individual, and that modeling compassion and generosity is the best way to impart the same traits to kids, without conditions. You know the old adage about actions and words, right?

If you enjoyed this post, please share.