The Wonder Of It All

>Having just celebrated Independence Day, I got to thinking about…you guessed it…independence!  The typical way we tend to think about it is in a political or societal context. But what I’ve been thinking about is independence of thought.
      We are so quick to take on the perceptions and definitions of those who came before us even though doing so stifles our own creative thinking. From our earliest childhood all the way through adulthood, we take on the “shoulds” and “coulds” and “possibles” and “impossibles” of our parents, our friends, and our leaders.  These automatic acceptances of other people’s perceptions and values become fixed in our minds and cause us to live a reality not of our own making.
      Where is that more obvious than in our systems of education…be they public or private?  Our 14 year old daughter is a very bright child academically. More importantly, she is a remarkably creative individual. She has attended both private and public schools. She frequently “sees” issues differently than most and sometimes tends to apply the English language with what I see as a “twist” of her own. When this happens I tend to correct her.  
      But where is it written that I’m correct? After all, isn’t her vision and her use of language just as valid as mine?  And where did mine come from anyway?  It’s likely I inherited them from those who came before me since it was only in adulthood that I really gained the confidence to begin to see and express things my own unique way in my own authentic voice.
      I’m not just talking about concrete matters like writing a book report or solving a math problem.  Even when it comes to spirituality and religion…don’t we humble ourselves before the dogma we’re taught or the mystic who came before us? 
   I heard a great line the other day. It went like this. “We’re each supposed to be creators, not regurgitators!”
   Think about that.
   Each of us is “created in the image and likeness of God.” What is God’s greatest and most profound act? Creation! If we each have but a smidgen of that capability, and I believe we do, then isn’t it incumbent upon us to use it by thinking and acting creatively?  What does that mean if not to see the world with fresh eyes, hear it’s sounds with new ears, and speak it’s words in ways that uplift and bring new meaning to our existence.
   I’m not much of an advocate of “No Child Left Behind” because it’s no different than trying to get everyone universal health care in a system that’s already broken instead of changing the system…and the approach…from treating sickness to fostering wellness.  
   An educational system that perpetuates the regurgitation of someone else’s definitions and perceptions is a system lacking creativity. The absence of creativity, in my view, is the absence of all that is at the core of this life.
   But this is just my way of seeing things. 
   If you disagree and see them differently…Hooray!
   Now there’s a reason to celebrate Independence Day.    

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