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Unchool: Joy, Love, and Unschooling... - Page 4

post #61 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
I'm aiming for something richer-- fulfillment--
ZM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I guess I think of joy as a more superficial and less thoughtful emotion, where as happiness is deeper and fuller, and more considered. I'm joyful when someone surprises me with an unexpected gift, but I'm happy when I contemplate my life and my friends and my community.
I think I was having an issue of semantics... these definitions of fulfillment and happiness ARE my definitions of joy. You have probably noted the irony of my username in this thread but the "seeker" part is as important as the "joy" part; it's not something that just happens in my life as I blissfully float along, I actively seek it through fulfillment, strong family ties and friendships, sense of community, etc. Glad I decided to pop back in because that clarified a lot for me.
post #62 of 91
Quote:
The idea I get seems to be that everyone with enough economic and social privilege to do so should just opt out of the system
I'm not sure what you mean here.


I think that most of us pursue many different things in our own lives, not just one thing. I believe that to enjoy the life we've been given is to live is the best way to fully appreciate that life, making the most of it.

~Tracy
post #63 of 91
Thread Starter 
I was referring to the educational system... school and school-think.

And your last statement really exemplies the sort of hedonistic mindset that I just can't understand...
post #64 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
...A lot of unschoolers I've run across seem to write and talk a lot about Joy and Love and Freedom (and they always seem capitalized) and Dreaming and Manifesting and that sort of thing... and there's a lot of discussion about how wonderful all of this is, and how happy and joyful the families have become.... and there's nothing wrong with that, of course, and it sounds like it's working for them...
Thoughts?
I think this thread has become a bit divided - with shiny happy painted on one side - and non-shiny on the other. I am not sure it is that simple.

IRL I am quite positive and quite happy - and yes, I cultivate it and want it for myself and family (if I insert a happy smiley ill the non -shinies boo and hiss, lol?)

It is not that I am unhappy - it is just that I do not want to read or write about it online. There just isn't much to say. Yes, I am happy - so??? Sometimes it almost seems like a conversation ender. What is there to discuss with someone who is happy and at peace with everything? Not much.

I come to MDC to discuss ideas, to vent, to problem solve etc. I do not want shiney-happiness inserted into my vent. I am not opposed to celebratory or joy filled threads (bring em - I will probably even particiapte!). I just do not want it everywhere. To be fair, the inappropriate (IMHO) insertion of shiney-happiness is not pervasive on MDC - but it does happen.

Kathy
post #65 of 91
When I was talking about the "work ethic" earlier I didn't quite capture what I was referring to. I think in our culture it comes from the whole Puritan background of this country, the feelings that to enjoy ones self is wrong. The term hedonistic has very negative connotations. It means the pursuit of happiness as the most important thing in life. I think our culture goes too far in the other direction (think Europeans). Guilt is prevalent. So often we are made to feel guilty for enjoying ourselves, hence the coined phrase "guilty pleasures". It is sad. It is emotionally healthy to be happy. Do you want your children to grow up to be happy, joyful adults? I do. And so I try to model that.

I don't think that being happy is mutually exclusive with working toward social justice. Obviously it isn't since you are happy and also work toward social justice! :

I think it is splitting hairs to say that you'd rather have your family be "fulfilled" than happy. I mean really think about it, can you be fulfilled if you aren't happy? And can you be happy if you aren't fulfilled?

Dar, it sounds like working toward social justice and what not really resonates w/you and your family. Perhaps you expect to find more of that in the unschooling circles, and just don't? You mention that you have many good friends that do not unschool. Hopefully you find enough folks that you do connect with. Perhaps you should seek out others who put forth the kind of energy, time and resources that you and your family do on working towards bettering the world. It sounds like maybe this thread has helped you focus really on what the issue is with why you don't feel like you really connect w/unschoolers. Or at least it helped ME to understand what you really meant (I think).


~Tracy the hedonist
post #66 of 91
Quote:
The idea I get seems to be that everyone with enough economic and social privilege to do so should just opt out of the system
Quote:
I was referring to the educational system... school and school-think.
It isn't accurate to say only those w/economic and social privilege can opt out of school.

~Tracy
post #67 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wugmama View Post
It isn't accurate to say only those w/economic and social privilege can opt out of school.

~Tracy
I think it is.

And I say that as a single mother living below the poverty level.
post #68 of 91
Are you saying that even though you are a single mother living below the poverty level that you still have enough social and economic privilege? Does that mean relative to others in the world, in other countrys?
post #69 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wugmama View Post
It isn't accurate to say only those w/economic and social privilege can opt out of school.

~Tracy
That's 100% false.

I can give you just *one* example: I volunteer in a family homeless shelter, and folks with children past infancy are not allowed to recieve benefits without working or putting their kids in school or childcare.
post #70 of 91
Quote:
I can give you just *one* example: I volunteer in a family homeless shelter, and folks with children past infancy are not allowed to recieve benefits without working or putting their kids in school or childcare.
Oh, I see. Yeah, I guess for a lot of folks school is free child care. It would be great if all parents could be subsidized to be home with their clildren. I know I sure wish I could afford to quit my job.
post #71 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wugmama View Post
Oh, I see. Yeah, I guess for a lot of folks school is free child care. It would be great if all parents could be subsidized to be home with their clildren. I know I sure wish I could afford to quit my job.
A homeless shelter is not a home.
post #72 of 91
Quote:
A homeless shelter is not a home.
I'm not quite sure exactly the point you are trying to make. What should one do who had chosen to have children yet is not able to put a roof over their heads?
post #73 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wugmama View Post
I'm not quite sure exactly the point you are trying to make. What should one do who had chosen to have children yet is not able to put a roof over their heads?
That makes us even, as I have *no idea* what your point is.
post #74 of 91
I work three days per week and my children are in child care (a babysitter comes to our house). Yet my children are not in school. My oldest is 7.

~Tracy
post #75 of 91
My point was that even people without a lot of social or economic "privilege" can unschool their children. It isn't just the rich and powerful who can opt out of "the system". That's all.
post #76 of 91
I guess I consider it a privilege to work to support my children, but that isn't the privilege you are referring to.

But I don't consider myself privileged that my husband and I came from, by most standards in this country, nothing, got ourselves through school, worked our butts off to have good jobs, carry no credit card debt, got help from no one, pay for everything ourselves, are owed money by both sets of our parents, have NO ONE else to fall back on for anything, not even babysitting, much less finances and give to charity on top of it. Everyone should be so "privileged".
post #77 of 91
One of my favorite people, authors, really, who is a real-life example of an upbeat, contemplative person who really does things to make this world a better, more peaceful place is David Albert. Oh, yes, and I believe he would be thought of as an unschooler.

His daughter Meera has a CD and has performed benefit concerts for causes she dearly believes in. David is a Quaker and is constantly working for the benefit of all humankind. He inspires me! Check out his updated site, his "good works" page to see a little of what I am talking about.

As for being bothered by eternally sunny unschoolers, I do know I have come across a few people online who seem to gravitate to "always feeling good" or seeing unschooling as the path to "Nirvana", even to the point of stuffing feelings and problems; I choose to respect them in their journey towards finding meaning in their lives and I just enjoy the ups (and downs!) of the reality of my own life and my children's lives. IME, if I didn't have and fully experience the downs, the ups wouldn't feel so good! I also know that I only see a very small part of who someone is and what they believe in snatches, so I keep that in mind before dismissing them altogether (including the too-optimistic anyone's). I take from them what I feel rings true with me and leave the rest.

It's taken me a long emotional road to come to my own place of peace, and it saps my energy to think about whether or not I like or agree with someone else's viewpoint, especially when it's something as personal as an interpretation of unschooling for one's family. Don't know how clear that was...getting ready for bed. Yawn!
post #78 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wugmama View Post
I think there is a real "work ethic" in this country and in the mainstream, the ethic that makes people work 60 hour per week, the idea of "no pain, no gain", the idea that you must.work.hard.for.everything. My feel is that some folks have gotten over the mechanics of that, but haven't gotten it out of their systems entirely.
I know an unschooling family in which the mother doesn't exactly "gush" about joy and happiness, but talks about it quite a bit. All of their kids are teenagers. The family lives in a house owned by a grandparent, and I'm not even sure if they pay anything to live there.

The father has a job. I'm not sure what he does but he doesn't make great money. The mother is able-bodied but not employed. They qualify for state health care, which they receive. I know they work the system, as I've overheard the mother talking about it at group events.

I don't think you need to work.hard.for.everything, but I don't believe that others should foot the bill for my happiness. I don't work 60 hours a week, but as long as I'm able, I'll pay my own way and teach my kids to do the same.
post #79 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wugmama View Post
I guess I consider it a privilege to work to support my children, but that isn't the privilege you are referring to.
No, that is exactly the privilege that was being referred to, but not in the abstract sense you are thinking. There are real-world advantages that allow you do what you do. Being born white, American, heterosexual, able-bodied, etc. grants one certain immunities.
post #80 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaStarbird View Post
I'd love to read an unschooling blog that talked about this kind of thing and as a very very beginning unschooler I'd love to see what activism looks like in unschooling families. Surely there must be families out there who volunteer and go to protests and enjoy learning about/discussing/combating inequality and injustice? What if you start a thread here encouraging people to share what activism looks like in their unschooling household?
Ooh! That's us! My kids are young yet, but see us at a peace rally, voting, volunteering (or talking about it in this case) for our local Food Co-op which strives to serve the low-income community and promote sustainable food choices, volunteering for City Fresh, an organization which brings local, sustainably grown foods to urban areas to provide excellent food choices to low income families, and at the Mother's Day Peace Picnic. It'll get more prevalent as they grow, but just in the last year my volunteer efforts have increased exponentially. They don't do a whole lot of actual work yet, but they're there for it, which is important.
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