Thursday, October 12, 2017

whittling in camp...

Yesterday I took knives and whittling supplies to Withrow Springs State Park to give Clear Spring School students on the fall campout some instruction in whittling. I also took a set of spoon carving knives even though the task of carving a spoon requires greater strength in hand and more skill than most small children have. Some wanted to try, and while intelligence and strength are not the same thing, both are complimentary powers in the whole child.

The Clear Spring School camping experience is one of learning to take care of each other, as individual children are testing themselves in an experience beyond the school walls and in nature.

How do we help members of our society to understand the value of taking care of and for each other while also taking pride in themselves? I was thinking last night about how it is important that we frame our debates over such things as guns and healthcare in terms that help us to understand our responsibilities and interconnectedness. For instance, I think it is a mistake when the Democrats claim that health care should be a right. Good health is a gift, not a right. We give it to ourselves to some degree. We may be lucky enough to find it sustained in our communities, in our environment or in our family genetics. Some may not be so lucky. We may claim a greater share of it through attention to regular healthcare, good exercise and diet.

The care we give to each other is also a gift and not a right. But then, what does it say of us (and who we are) if we fail to give that gift to those among us who are in need? If we choose not to use the government (our most powerful instrument of collective strength) to be of service to others, what kind of nation have we chosen for ourselves, and what kind of people are we?

I guess our nation has not decided about that.

When will we begin to understand that a large part of schooling is about caring for each other, about working out the small problems that may come up, and beginning to feel as though we each and all are a part of much larger things? And that we have responsibilities to care for each other!

If you look at politics in the US right this minute, you may find that many of those lessons were not learned. And the shame is on us. We do not give to each other only because there are needs, but because we also have a need to serve, and we will never be whole without having made a sincere and unrestrained effort to be of service to others.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning lifewise.

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