Last week I had a string of bad luck: I got a nasty letter from my employer, our indoor cat escaped, the stove broke, and the brakes on my grandpa's old car failed on me at a busy intersection. I wanted a reason for why all this bad luck had come to me. I got so desperate to stop any more bad stuff from happening that I made my husband throw away a broken mirror in our basement.
Even though I didn't want to invite any more "bad stuff" to happen, I remained an optimist. The letter from my employer presented an opportunity to make clear my passion and successes about work. While I missed my cat I assumed someone had found her and fallen for her as I had -- plus we didn't see any cats on the street who had been hit. The stove broke before groceries had been bought, so I bought food I could make in the slow cooker or grill. Nobody got hurt when the brakes failed, and it was the perfect time to put air in my bike tires. Over the next few days everything worked itself out. My family got the car towed and fixed for me, the broken stove was really a tripped wire, our cat had been living under our neighbor's porch, and my employers understood why I work the way I do.
It has got me thinking about how important it is to teach people who have enough that they have enough. I don't think depriving people is the way to go, or even encouraging change before they understand why they would want to. I believe the answer is in authentic humane education experiences. If people experience "enough-ness" just by participating in real situations in their own authentic way, they won't need stuff to make them feel good. They won't be put off if their mode of transportation fails; they will adapt and choose a different one. They can cook food different ways and know both the power of being self-reliant and of being part of a community. Friends said to me, "I couldn't survive without my stove!" or "You're really going to bike that far?" and I responded with a smile, "We'll make do, we always do."
The world is changing every single day. Education, teachers and students need to change with it, so that when the unexpected happens, it can be handled positively and with people being comfortable with their own power.
I have less that I did a week ago, but I feel extra rich.
Image courtesy of enough_42 via Creative Commons.
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