Saturday, January 31, 2009

When do we learn the most?

This is the start of our 5th day without power resulting from the ice storm. Experts say we haven't had a storm like this with such widespread damages in over 35 years, but that doesn't mean we are out of the hot seat on global warming. In years past, in a storm of this kind we would have had heavy snow with less destructive effect on the forests. Over 900 utility poles in the region were broken by the storm and it will take some time to put things back. During the storm we saw blue flashes from the transformers burning out. Between poles and transformers the work facing our utility providers is daunting. Power is supposed to be restored to the city of Eureka Springs by Sunday night, but here in the woods outside the city limits, we know things may take longer.

We missed 4 days of school last week, but with the knowledge that we learn the most from difficulties, not when things are made easy for us. Going without power and making do with a simpler life is a challenge. We learn so much more about ourselves when we can no longer hide in the latest attention grabbing gizmo, when the shop, too is without power, and when the simple things of keeping clean, warm and fed require much greater effort.

To make things easy for our children is a natural parental inclination that must be fought in order to raise healthy and competent children. Lately I've been reading about "Will", an educational concept that was more commonly used in the late 19th century and is still used today in Waldorf education. I will try to offer some suggestions on the concept of will later when I have a more reliable internet connection. But for now, I can tell you that will is the thing that suffers when things are made easy and children are led to believe that taking the easy way out is acceptable for them. In order to build a meaningful life, will is the thing that drives effort, and meaning is what arises when we have worked hard for something. It is tragic when children due to laziness and lack of vision and challenge fail to deliver meaningful service to the lives of others and harvest its wealth for themselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment