Monday, December 23, 2013

What If This Whole Life Is Just A School?

I am always interested in education, and very unlikely, lately I am fascinated by curriculums. A talk by Sir Ken Robinson in 2009 pretty much opened my mind about individualized curriculum and how creativity should be treated at the same importance as literacy. Another talk that gave me shivers was Marianne Williamson's, in which she talks about "life curriculum".

Instead of thinking about life as crazy old lady who likes to see us suffer, wouldn't it be great to see it as a lifelong school?

To see life as a school is to believe that everything happens for us to learn something, and as Marianne Williamson says, "Everybody has their own highly individualized curriculum, designed exclusively just for us." why not think of it this way?

In life school, Some will have different lessons, and maybe same material in different timings. Somebody might have to learn about patience at the age of 5, waiting for her brother to give her a toy, and somebody else might have to learn at 32, trying to be pregnant but haven't been granted one for years. Somebody might have to learn about perseverance for 15 years of hardwork, while somebody else should learn how to maintain 15 years of marriage.

In lifeschool, we are taught different things in various ways. And as all the classes we are familiar with, there will be tests. Problems. These problems might be solved differently, one might require more time than the other, one might have to work in groups, one might only able to do it alone.

At one specific moment, two friends might go through very different kind of problem. One might think it is unfair, but with highly individualized curriculum, there must be something that someone urgently needs to learn about for that particular moment. Maybe one is 'on holiday' while the other is 'in exam'. Some might face big problems in order to get bonus grades. In life, people go through problems like abuse, addiction, or great loss. But have you ever met those people who went through such things, learned the hard way, became enormously inspiring, and affected more people than they have ever imagined?

So maybe, just maybe, when problems show up, instead of asking, "What have I done to deserve this?" which will usually lead to self-hatred or anger toward life (and the Source of Life), why not asking, "What should I learn from this by the end of this?"

I know, that sounds extremely optimist and really hard to deal with when we are actually in the middle of bitter experiences. I, of all people, am one of those people who cry for days for little problems and used to be so negative toward life that I even saw all good moments as a bridge to another suffering.
But I asked myself, why not try to think of life this way? If we believe that life is much bigger than us and it wants nothing but to teach us something, don't you think we will be able to walk through life with lighter steps?

Good teachers would be happy when the students get good grades, not because the exam is easy, but because the students earn the grades. Why not think that life cannot hardly wait to give you good grades, but it is waiting for us to earn it? It is joyful when we keep showing up and try, it is joyful when we attend class consciously, aware of the information and the process we are going through.

So...don't be a dropout at this lifeschool. Maybe we need holidays. Maybe sometimes we skip classes. But persevere, and believe that in graduation day, we should show up excitedly, knowing the teachers will line up to congratulate us for being a great student.    Sir Ken Robinson; Do schools kill creativity?     Marianne Williamson on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday


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