Sunday, July 8, 2012

Soul Power

Steve Olson's blog has an entry entitled "How the Public School System Crushes Soul." An excerpt that I found particularly powerful:
When we have children, we don’t want to tell them about our experiences, because if we told them the truth – the horror stories and the wasted time – we’re afraid they’ll use it as an excuse to fail. Besides, if you admitted the truth about your experiences, how could you justify putting them on the yellow bus every morning.
Admitting the truth about one's experiences is tough work. When I make time to reflect on my past, my actions, the actions of others, I realize how flawed I am as a human being. It is an insight that enables me to empathize with others who find themselves in similar situations. What happened in school--or anywhere--happens with people.Yet, I fundamentally believe that public schools are the saving place, it's where we come together as a community, face to face, as learners, as leaders, as followers, as parents, and there can be a reverence instilled for learning enshrined in who we are when we're at school or elsewhere.

The question is, are these places that unleash our soul power, or do they heap chains on us? I like the idea of soul, of spirits in our classrooms and the transparency blogging brings...if you're transparent, people know what to expect, can see whether you chained up, and your vulnerability isn't something to be hidden at all costs. The courage of sharing your story, of being transparent, of taking the chains others put on you when you're young, or you allow to be put on later, is powerful stuff.

Read this excerpt below from Josh Shaine:
Don't despair. The stories you were told about the need to go through college, or particular sorts of college, have merit, but there is more to the whole picture than that. 50% of all prominent Americans were successful in school. What does that tell you about the other 50%?

Your ideas are valuable. Your feelings are worthwhile. Normality is overrated and misapplied. You are more important than the sum of your grades. You are not to blame for a poor fit with the schools. You are not to blame for learning the lessons the schools worked so hard to teach you - of your own inadequacy and failure. You are not a bad person now, and you were not then. You did not ever intend to cause pain through your non-performance of their work.
All this reminds of how high stakes tests are failing everyone who doesn't conform to the system. We're so busy telling everyone that this is the one road to success, we've shut down the the very engines of creativity that are now needed.

It's as if the very quest to realize our humanity, to unleash the power of the soul, is being played out in our battle for schools and their purpose in our lives. We are immersed in a spiritual battle, waging war against ideas and worldviews that threaten to enslave us, to hold us back from fully achieving our humanity. "Don't despair," writes Josh Shaine. My goodness, how many others console themselves with those words besides Scott?
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12.

Get Blog Updates via Email!
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

1 comment:

Josh Shaine said...

Thank you for your piece, including the quote from me.

I'll just note that the link you used is no longer live and you might want to replace it with one of these:

Genuine Leadership #4: Gratitude