A Nudge to Boost Creativity/ Consciousness/ Mindfulness/ Awareness in Education
I am committed to teaching, living and learning the paradigm shift where love trumps fear, abundance trumps scarcity, and creativity trumps conformity.
Do you ever wonder why humans need to wait until they have a mid-life crisis or some form of brutal impact with life, which is beyond their control, in order for them to wake up, re-adjust and continue living in a better way, or in some cases -to begin Living at all?
It is a fascinating pattern to see, time and time again, how truly successful leaders (by successful I loosely mean having achieved abundance and fulfillment in their lifetime, while creating a massively positive impact on the world) have something in common- in their various ways they are usually reported to have “done a lot of work on themselves”, or experienced a profound shift in their meaning-making of the world through some form of brutal impact with life. Where they were forced to get real. Whether it was from losing millions of dollars, their business going up in flames, down in floods, breakdown, death, divorce, severe injustice. In countless cases, it has taken a level of pain or complete loss of control for them to shift out of the comfort and safety that their former ‘conditioned selves’ had spent a lifetime trying to avoid.
(If you need some examples at this point; ones that immediately come to mind are the likes of Mandela’s 26 years in jail, Arianna Huffington ‘coming to in a pool of blood’, the flood of John Mackey’s whole foods store…)
But, why do we need to do so much ‘work on ourselves’, when we are born as ‘clean slates’? (I do not feel like going into a nature/nurture or spiritual debate, for the purpose of what I intend here, I am asserting we are born as relatively clean slates)
We are missing a huge trick if we don’t ask this question to some degree.
It’s time to dip our brushes in the turps, and start on a clean canvas with fresh water. And I (and many others) propose education is a good place to begin. A stream that everybody flows through in some form to function and add value to society. The malfunction is, that the system is not supporting people in a manner fit for for 2015 living. One example of this malfunction I have seen recently is through conversations with 20 people in their twenties, where 9 out of 20 are on anti-anxieties/ depressants, just to be able to function in a day.
I hold a view that if pain were to have a purpose; it would be that it is an in-built mechanism of life to force people to get real (and pain is necessary for evolution). And, that it is the job of those who have experienced pain, to share their learnings via their work in the world. So that people could get on with life and living and progress in a fuller manner. It is ironic (well, not really- it actually just is what it is) that we have perfected so much to this point: the tremendous advances in science, technology, engineering etc. , yet there are still such archaic things happening all around the world (war, hunger, unnecessary destruction of the planet…). And, I am not promoting that we could achieve some sort of utopic state and never need to ‘work on ourselves’ again- pain is of course part of our living experience. It’s just that we are at a point when we are not just enduring the growing pains and inherent bumps that come with life. But that we are causing pain, and actively living in pain, and doing things to alleviate the pain that are in themselves causing us to suffer. We are enabling ourselves and each other to live painfully, or at least not with as much ease and joy as we optimally could be.
The world is made up of people (duh, but you know people forget this sometimes as they get lost in all the systems, processes, protocols and goals of the daily grind), and people are perpetuating these problems based on the current world-view and way of thinking about solving problems. This is partly rooted in an educational system based on conformity, fear and scarcity.
I do not mean to be dismissive in this sweeping statement, as I am aware of many progressive schools, universities and institutions that are radically recalibrating to rise up to the current times, and have been doing so for decades. (I will share these examples in another article if you are interested to hear about them)
Also, to note here- that it is not the sole responsibility of schools, Universities etc. to correct this challenge, it will take every person who contributes to shaping the way a child deals with life. I am only suggesting that educational systems are a good place to start, as they are a ‘relatively controllable variable’ in the mix.
In working with people, you get to see that behind their various agendas, are their deep-rooted driving motives. Such as Happiness, Freedom and Belonging. Whatever people are doing (however they are doing it), it is usually to attain these ‘divine states of being’ for themselves /families/ communities.
It is becoming blatantly apparent to me, that the current state of the world could go down as the greatest Act of “Much Ado About Nothing”. I believe that many years down the line (if we have not destroyed our man-made ‘timeline as we know it’ by then), the future humans will be astonished at our hamster-on-the-wheel-like behaviour. They will laugh in the same way we laugh about ‘how they once thought the earth was flat’. They will view our world-view as the epoch of mental slavery and imprisonment. The era where “Most Men Lead Lives of Quiet Desperation”, the era of Insanity.
People working so hard and sacrificing so much of themselves to attain these high ideals, but really going about it from an awfully obscure angle, and by default, teaching their children and students to do the same.
I have written this in haste, and certainly much context will be missing. I’m happy to engage in conversations and share examples on this topic so please do leave your comments below…