Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Success Trap

We tell children that their inborn enthusiasm and joy are wrong. Stop goofing off, we say. Study harder! Excel! Don't make a fool of yourself! We teach them these things because we want them to succeed. We think that success requires striving, and if you're happy, you must be slacking off.

But a lot of what we teach isn't true, and those of us who are still following those rules as adults, still living our lives in fear of judgment and striving, striving, are dead inside.

We should teach children what we know in our hearts is true: It's impossible to be perfect, so give yourself a break. Do what excites you. Laughter is good. And some people will hate you no matter what.

That way, they won't have to live in fear until they're forty, like we did before we finally realized what's important.

Hard work is good. So are accomplishment and belonging. But what is not important is living up to someone else's standards.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Stories that Heal

"We can change the body and the world by telling a better story. And as every child knows, the animals can help us find and make the stories that heal."

-Robert Moss, The Boy Who Died and Came Back

Friday, September 12, 2014

Synchronicity is Coincidence You Can't Ignore

Synchronicity is coincidence that you can't ignore. It is like discovering evidence of a long-ago life: a tooth, a shard of pottery, a falling-down wall. And from those scraps, those ruins, you assemble a story. The story may be meaningful only to you, but it may be the answer to an important question you never knew to ask.