Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: the Seacoast of Bohemia
Mentioned: 259 Post(s)
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There are two different things here. One is the idea that struggling with something can be an opportunity to grow and develop. This applies as much to those of us with totally normal capacities as to people with challenges of any sort. I was watching my grandson today, struggling with trying to get himself into the right position on a chair. His foot was stuck. I almost started to help him, then I stepped back and let him keep on struggling. After another two or three tries he got it. There are times when help is appropriate and times when it isn't and it can be a tricky call to read it right. His mother is very strong on letting him figure it out for himself, and boy does this kid have a strong will. He will keep trying and trying and trying until he gets the hang of something. If he falls down and hurts himself he cries for a few seconds and then he is back up on his feet and trying to do it again without falling down.
The other concept is the idea that karma always lies behind physical and mental challenges. That isn't actually what I believe Steiner said. I'm not an expert on this, so if anyone has some actual quotes I'd be glad to see them. What I've heard is that children who incarnate with physical or mental difficulties are not doing so as a result of any sort of past problems. On the contrary, an incarnation involving this sort of problems is building future capacities for a later incarnation. Steiner actually said something like: "every genius has an incarnation in their past with some sort of severe problem." The curative education approach is therefore to try to help children get the most out of the opportunity, rather than trying to simply normalize them in some way. Oliver Sacks, in some of his books, talks about the various ways that people transform their problems into opportunities. He is talking about single lifetimes, but the concept is the same.
Finally, a problem may not have anything to do with future incarnations. Children may be part of a large population problem, such as toxicity due to pollutants. In such a case it is unlikely that every individual child "chose" their situation. They may have incarnated with quite different intentions and gotten screwed by the failures of the society they are joining. Anthropops who are blinded by "what Steiner said" could misunderstand such a situation and respond inappropriately.
Just a quick note on bullying. It can be helpful to let children work out conflicts for themselves, but grownups need to keep an eye on a situation and intervene if it gets out of hand. I think there is a danger of going to far in the other direction and turning every bit of childish conflict into "bullying." I remember a parallel situation in which a 2nd or 3rd grade boy was accused of sexual harassment because he was roughhousing with a girl. A definite stretch and one that made a lot of unnecessary trouble over something that could have been handled with a "playing rough is not okay." statement.
I am running on and on and on today. Sorry,
vaccine injury is preventable
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(if the government still allows you to say no...)