Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Radical Thoughts for Radical Unschoolers

For all who did not get to travel to San Diego to the Good Vibrations Unschooling conference, I offer my speech here. Below is the intro to get you started:

When Flo asked me to speak, I asked her what she would want me to talk about. She does not remember it this way, but I am pretty sure she said that getting me to do a talk was her way of “getting inside that big brain of yours”. Compliments aside, I took that to mean that she wanted to know what I was thinking about. Because she knew that I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about many important subjects. And she wanted me to share them with you! I am not sure some of what I have to say fits in with what you would expect to hear at an unschooling conference, although considering how everything tends to be connected, it does end up fitting in somehow. So, think of this as one unschoolers view of the universe. I thank Flo for the soapbox! May she not regret giving it to me!

I ran across this great quote. A Chinese proverb: Add humility to intelligence, it becomes wisdom. Add passion or fire to wisdom, it becomes enlightenment.

I love it! The way I see it, all us unschoolers are on our way to enlightenment.

Seriously, I’d like to think that what I have to share today has some wisdom to it, because there is a lot of humility in my sense that the more I learn, the more I realize I know nothing! I see myself as a truth seeker. You know, the truth with a capital T.

The fact that I am willing to be here today, talking to you, shows the passion I have for sharing what I have learned. You are my tribe. Some of what I have to say is very important and I would not feel right if I kept it to myself and did not share it with my tribe.

Now, I am going to caveat my talk with this: what I tell you today is MY truth. I know that some of what I will say is controversial, unproven, and idealistic. I’m not here to convert anyone, and I am sure not intending to offend. Feel free to disagree, think I am crazy, and/or tell me your take on it during the chat that follows this talk. I want to refine my thinking and discussing it with people who see it differently is a great way to do that. So, please stick around for the chat.

In the description of this talk, I said we were going to talk about the taboo topics of religion, sex and politics. And we will. We are also going to cover what I call “the big picture” or the “state of the world” and our prospects for the future. In some ways, this is the biggest taboo topic of them all. So we will save the best for last.

You might ask why I want to stick my neck out here and declare my thinking on all these taboo topics in this public forum. I say, why do we not talk about the important stuff? Why don’t we share our deepest beliefs except with those we know who share them? Preaching to the choir. I say, why don’t we help each other grow? Couldn’t we use conversation and debate about this important stuff to further our understanding of each other? Maybe I am speaking for myself, but isn’t being known one of our deepest desires? I know I have a deep desire to be known and to know I am loved for who I really am. I mean if your family and friends love you, but don’t really know you, do they really love you? The real you?Are our egos so delicate that we must always be so careful not to offend? Maybe. But we are not our egos. There is nothing to offend, when you no longer identify with ego. We are stronger than that. And we are all connected, I believe. So why not act like it? Let’s toss aside our fears of being truly known, tell our egos to simmer down, and explore some important ideas together.

What I am going to do is get to the root of things. The word radical means that which is proceeding from a root or relating to the origin. So my radical ideas are my attempt to get to the root of the matter. The root of something is basically the foundation upon which it stands.

When we think about unschooling, we see that living by principles is the foundation of an unschooling life. The principles may vary from family to family, but we all define what is important to us and then try to live true to that. What I am trying to do in my life, with my kids, my husband, and the greater world is approach life from my chosen principles. Seeing life through unschooling eyes, so to speak. This is the filter by which I see life now. When exploring the topics of religion, sex and politics, I asked myself, what would an unschooler do or think about this? In other words, what are my principles and how can I apply them to this topic?

Before we get into the taboo topics, I guess I should define my principles, so you can see where I am coming from.
1. Love
2. Freedom/Liberty
3. Trust/Faith

Continued here.


TheOrganicSister said...

I'm so glad you posted this!

cherapple said...

Gutsy speech, Miranda! Thanks for sharing it here. ~Cheryl