Saturday, July 2, 2011

Becoming More Creative and Finding Happiness

I like the movie 'Dune' and watched it again this past week. I've seen it so many times before that I can put it on for background noise while I'm working on something else and just listen to it. It's not as good at expanding the imagination as listening to a book on tape or a radio play, but it works ok. Anyways, back on the subject of the movie...there is a line I really like and it says this...

"I'll miss the Sea. But a person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing them to grow. Without change something sleeps inside us and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken."

I know that new experiences change our perspective and our empathy for others. It's is right that we keep expanding our horizons and do not become narrowly focused on our own sphere of influence. There are so many opportunities for joy out there if we only stretch ourselves a little. We can discover more about ourselves and our strengths and talents. For me though, I get a bit nervous doing new things sometimes so I'm taking along Stephen on this trip for a measure of comfort. Having a friend is wonderful. Just ask Deanna, she was with me when I first met Stephen for a date, but that's another story.

I just had an epiphany! I'm speaking in Church on the 10th, and this is what I'll talk about...embracing new experiences while remaining true to yourself and your core beliefs.

We've has some comments and queries about why we are doing this "crazy" move of ours and don't we know that we'll be miserable in Nova Scotia. I want you to know that we've considered the options available to us and the best interests of our children. We've prayed about it. And we know that we're meant to go. This move will serve a couple of different purposes, not the least of which is to give our kids some new opportunities and experiences.

We have always accepted the differences in our children but it's a lot harder to plan for their futures in a changing world. We no longer live in a world where you do well in school, go to University, get a job, work there for 40 years and retire with a good pension. People change jobs and careers more frequently than ever. Economies around the world are collapsing and changing. Meeting our obligations to provide food and shelter can take away from other things like leisure and entertainment. Many people are really struggling and of course they have to provide food above all else. That doesn't leave a lot of time for the pursuit of happiness, does it? In the US Declaration of Independence the founding fathers, reflecting the thoughts of many of their contemporaries, wrote this:

We hold these truths to be self–evident,
That all men are created equal,
That they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Rights,
That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–

Doesn't that mean that the pursuit of happiness is accepted as a basic human right? How do we then prepare our children for the uncertainties of life while at the same time respecting their differences, interests and talents? How do we teach them the balance needed for a happy life between work and play? I guess when it comes down to it they are going to have to figure that our for themselves but we as parents can help guide them in the following ways:
-teach them that it's good to be happy and find happiness yourself so that you set an example by your own life.
-teach them morals and values
-the difference between real happiness and temporary satiation
-to respect themselves and do their best
-to be kind to others
-the satisfaction that comes from a job well done.
-problem solving skills
-to love reading and learning
I'm sure I could go on and on but you get the point.

We're biased of course. We have a blend of highly intellectual, creative, lazy, hardworking, fun, serious and curious characteristics in our children. Chris is the perfect example of what society wants in a child, hardworking, studious, intelligent. Whereas Kate is creative, overly sensitive, has a hard time being understood due to her speech impediment but happy. They're very different and so we are blessed to have a home, church and school system that makes adjustments where needed to provide them both with opportunities that cater to what they need to grow. And they are happy.

Here's a video that I like. I hope you'll enjoy it and find it thought provoking. Not just the ADHD argument but the ability of children to creatively think and problem solve. It's not learning to be more creative, it's about not losing what we already had back when we were playing in the dirt with sticks, string and marbles.

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