Do you have weeks or days when you have a conversation with someone, are reminded of a quote or concept, then before you know it another interesting conversation happens, a theme starts to be created right in front of your eyes? That’s my week so far.
I had a conversation with friends of ours; we were discussing our kids and how much we noticed that in the current education model children need to “fit” to a certain type, in a box. They need to be a certain way, accomplish in particular ways, etc. etc. Differences do not seem to be celebrated, they seem to be an unspoken hindrance. I’m not sure if you have ever seen examples of this, but we certainly have. Trying to encourage your child not to be a sheep, for their quirk to be an awesome individual footprint that is different to everyone else and that is ok- is really bloody hard. I want my kids to be well behaved, treat others with kindness and contribute, but I also want them to be individuals who think for themselves, are allowed to be them, the “them-ness” needs to be celebrated. Too loud, too funny, too fidgety, too this too that, too anxious, too enthusiastic (yes its true, this has been said) According to who? Is this all Cretin-Norse for “TOO ALIVE?” Mixed signals get delivered, BE YOURSELF< JUST BE YOURSELF, NOT EVERYONE HAS TO LIKE YOU. Really? Because we tell them this but society responds differently. It really does. Suddenly we need to be educated on how to ‘be’ because so many people have stopped thinking for themselves and start thinking en masse. Why does everything have to be a level playing field? Because it isn’t. It really isn’t, and pretending it is takes away good differences, the differences that SHOULD be celebrated.
To annoy you with another quote from my favourite book The Little Prince-
“Then this little seed will stretch itself and begin- timidly at first- to push a charming little sprig inoffensively upward toward the sun. If it is only a sprout of radish or the sprig of a rosebush, one would let it grow wherever it might wish.”
So our philosophy reflects this, how poetry, but what about our lives, conversations, education, social gatherings? Inoffensively stretching, finding its way towards the sun, then bang, its stomped on because it isn’t a rosebush. Let us all be rosebushes, let us all be similar. If you cant change it, outsource it. You mustn’t be pink darling, you need to be blue. Pink is a trifle too hard to handle. Third Reich on the rocks anyone?
I love creativity, good writing and poetry as you may have gathered from my far from poetic or very good writing on our little pondering journey here. There was a famous advertising campaign back in the awesome 90s that I have always admired. What I really want to say that it was written by Ghandi or the Dalai, but no, it was written as ad fodder to sell computers. Regardless it was genius and you would no doubt have heard it before. The hipster within doesn’t want to admit to commercialism being the significant influence of wisdom but there it is.
“ Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Apple Inc
It makes me think about how processed our lives are. How planned and defined by society and perceptions gathered together by whom? Which group? Which power? What determines the course we take and how we do it? What ever happened to pure unadulterated Heuristic thinking? Too scared to make a mistake, too keen to make the world completely level for our kids- no more awards or prizes for winners or losers. Only travelling a certain direction, because this is what “society” tells us we should. Creativity and opportunity are the playmates of expression, freedom and open minds not PC mind maps that demand we colour within the lines.
I get terrifically impressed with people that are brave enough to take a good idea or concept and act on it. Pure bravery. It’s a little step toward their own truth, no one else’s, just theirs. Conceived in their creative heart and mind not conceived “of the world”. Just like the little radish sprig. It doesn’t have to be a rose bush. But this has to be nurtured with gusto- The radish as well as the rose bush. ( I don’t mean handled with kid gloves, nurturing doesn’t equal enabling).
How do we deal with disappointment? When things don’t go to plan, or don’t turn out the way we pictured them, take a big breath, try and relax, try to gently reflect. Why do I use the word gentle? Punishing the self or anyone else with expectation, blame and harsh criticism only perpetuates more hurt, an ingredient that is very stunting to the whole recipe, your cake will sink in the middle and it really will taste like shit. You don’t want that, its no good for anyone then, it will just make the whole tribe sick. Disappointment is hard, but what it is what you do with it that makes the difference. If you take away the disappointment all together sometimes you can be robbed of an opportunity too.
Sometimes we just don’t have the bigger picture at our finger tips, all we see is failure or a mistake, lack of outcomes. Hang on Sir; it looks like a square; this was meant to look like a bloody circle! BUT…if you tilt that square sideways put a tail on it, add some string suddenly you’ve got yourself a kite.
Again this is where the alchemy concept comes in and it’s sometimes really hard to remember this when there is deep pain in your chest. Try and take what you have, gently reflect on it. Ask for a hug if you need one, or a listening ear, don’t underestimate the power of communication, it’s an evolutionary tool we developed because we needed it, please use it. What can be changed? What have we learned from it? What fragments; even the sharpest shards can be taken, polished and used in a new way? The greatest achievement is to take pain, a perceived mistake, problem or negative and turn it into something new useful.
Take a look around you; I am sure you can think of someone in our society that has done this. Do they still experience pain and suffering? Absolutely. But do they achieve something else? Yup. Do they refuse to succumb to the darkness of the room, the dross of it? Do they find the stamina within to drag their arses over to the drapes and rip them down letting in some light?
This leads me to another area; back to our kids again. When you take loss away from a child you are actually depriving them of an amazing opportunity to learn. I really do believe this. I’m not talking about inducing pain; I am talking about preparing children for adult life. Because life can be very tricky and damn right hard, it can be. Anyone that tells you it isn’t is telling you a big fat porky pie.
Life is a contrast of light and shade, but we want more of the light, therefore I believe if you teach kids young enough how to create that transformation they become light bearers, very capable and very resilient humans with a freedom and confidence in thinking.
When I first became unwell 4 years ago, my first reaction was that I had 100% dedicated the last 14 years of my life to raising well adjusted, happy and pretty positive kids, so far so good (phew, sweat on the brow) and this illness that could kill me was about to cause catastrophe and screw all that work up, screw them up, screw us all up. My inner perfectionist was reeling, I had failed my offspring. If I died would they be ok? The grown up is supposed to PROTECT not Hurt. My perception was that an illness could hurt little kids by making them insecure, scared and damaged, no hurt thank you very much. We dont want that here.
But then a thought occurred; all of this had come to be. Why? I had a whole inner pantry of ingredients to make a good cake. Was it still a sucky situation? Yes. But it was an opportunity for resilience training, growth, and communication. A chance for us as a family to connect on a new level, a depth we hadn’t before. If my kids could get through this, they could learn a whole new skill set and faith that was going to set them up for life. Your muscles only get stronger when you use them to lift a heavier weight, I reckon emotions are the same, just make sure you have the right people spotting you in case the load gets too heavy. Here’s to the misfits.
Just a thought…x
PS- This is a conversation starter, ponder with me if you please to in the comments below. xx