I was watching (well, listening really, while I was doing other things) a Ted Talk by Sir Ken Robinson about escaping the death valley of education, and he dropped in this quote from Benjamin Franklin:
“All mankind is divided into three classes:
those that are immovable, (never ever going to change)
those that are movable, (theoretically they might change)
and those that move.”
In my adult life, which started after I graduated from college (which is when I became pregnant with my son, certainly my adult life wouldn’t have started so soon if I hadn’t had that profoundly life changing experience), I never even considered being immovable. I wanted to learn and think about things in a different way. I read books by people with odd and revolutionary ideas. I thought about how I could live the life I wanted to live without falling into the standard paths.
But most of all, I didn’t want to be movable–you know, the kind of person that always talks about doing things, but never does them. Like the way the American “Education” system (and certain US presidents) always TALK about changing, but you find out that the “new” way is more of the same.
I wanted (WANT) to MOVE. Quite literally, I talked about moving to a cheaper location where I could afford to be a mother and pay the rent/mortgage. And then I did move.
I don’t just want to talk about giving children freedom and treating them unconditionally. I want to LIVE it. I don’t want to believe in things in theory, and not have the guts to live it out.
Because it’s hard moving when it seems like you are the only one doing things differently. Some people probably won’t like it. Some people will draw conclusions about you that are unfair: that you are reckless and thoughtless and neglectful (or on the other hand, that you are hamstringing your kids by not pushing them into the real world (of school, their own beds, weaning at an early age, etc.).
But you aren’t really alone. You’ll face opposition, but everyone does. And if you take off your martyrdom glasses you will see other people moving too. Other people that are doing what they believe in too.
Be courageous. Act on your beliefs. Because you will never know if you really believe in something until it becomes an action.