This book is the sum of what I have learned, over many years as a teacher and parent about how individuals, especially children, function best and achieve their potential most effectively.
A Guiding Principle: As parents and teachers, we need to listen, but also we must heed or pay attention. The messages we receive must register in our consciousness. These messages show us what our children and students need, and those needs must guide our work. As parents and teachers, it is easy to succumb to the wish to be protective or to save time by simply sharing our “vast knowledge” of life. There is so little time, and we are all far too busy, but these reasons are counter-productive; they ignore the reality that each human is unique and thus uniquely different from both a parent and a teacher. In my story, the grandparents and cousin Ethan epitomize this philosophy as a guide for learning.
Young people need to be listened to and to be heard. Ultimately, they need to make choices, and those choices need to be theirs, not choices that are imposed and often forced upon them by those who think they know best.
Neither parenting nor teaching is about filling minds; both are about opening them. Teaching is not about expounding at the front of the room or over the dinner table but about inspiring minds to ask their own questions and to seek their own answers.
Truth is a “pathless land”, and each person must find his or her own path to awareness. Awareness means the perception of truth as it really is and not some exaggerated form found on Facebook or Twitter.
There is no “one path” or “one way.” Each of us must arrive at truth uniquely because each of us is unique. It is not enough to be told the truth; one must find it.
An aside: Perhaps you are asking what is this “truth” of which he speaks? Simply put, it is how I or we fit into this big picture of everything? In The Summer of the Ennead, I define it as having three parts. First to survive; second to bring and protect new life; and the third to maintain the Balance. I believe that this is the purpose of all living things, and that only by carrying it out can we maintain the health of our planet which I refer to as Our Mother Earth.
Education should be about celebrating our uniqueness and not about forcing conformity on those who are most vulnerable which has been, and often still is, what both organized education and parenting tend to be about.
The Summer of the Ennead tells a different tale, a tale of awakening – awakening to one’s potential, awakening to responsibility and to taking leadership, and awakening to the importance of kindness and respect as necessary components of that path.
My story tells how true understanding or awareness must always come from within, as the voice of independence. It can never be imposed because then it becomes one’s prison, from which breaking out becomes a life’s focus. Even if the imposed truths may have some element of truth, they can never be yours if they are imposed.
Humans, especially the young, have great potential to become wise and caring people if they are encouraged and allowed to find their paths. If they are not, they will find themselves at odds with themselves over imposed rules and truths which they will likely never truly understand.
Only if the former occurs, can we hope to save Mother Earth. We need to grasp the truth that continuing down the road of greed and power over things will never save anything, even ourselves. As we destroy our planet, we destroy our potential and we destroy everything good that we might become.
I am the author of The Summer of the Ennead and I want to use this blog to engage readers in a dialogue about what this book means to me and what I think it has to say to others.