*This is my family’s 4th day staying in a house near the gorgeous Acadia National Park in Maine. We’ve had an amazing time hiking near the ocean, kayaking, and eating some lobster! Today we’re going on a boat ride with Diver Ed. Ed takes out small groups of people to get up close to some incredible marine life.
So, today I’m so happy to share with you a guest post written by Elizabeth Bradley from Sattvic Family. I met Elizabeth online about a year ago now. She has a warm heart, a passion for justice and lives a ridiculously, amazing travel lifestyle with her husband and daughter. Enjoy!
Our world desperately needs people to think and inquire more, to ask questions and to yearn to learn about life. On top of this, they need to have a drive to stand up for justice and a fierce strength to stand up for what they believe in.
I call this type of person a Renaissance Activist.
One of the many problems that institutional education has is that it creates repeaters: children who regurgitate what they have been told to say, do, and believe. They are told what is true and false, despite children not knowing the writers of their textbooks.
This causes children to grow into adults who do not know how to think and act for themselves, and who frequently put aside their dreams for a career path they were told was best for them. They also tend to ‘fall in line’ when in is comes to questioning authority and potential sources of injustice and corruption.
For example, sometimes I will email friends and family about some corruption that comes to light in their town or country, and that if the situation doesn’t change quickly, it will affect them sooner than later.
Even if I provide facts and urge them to research for themselves, they ignore me.
Yes, I could be completely wrong…but what if once in a while I was right? And what if what I was warning about did in fact cause them serious problems in the future? For that very reason, is it not worth looking into?
Jamie Oliver is a British chef who lately has become famous for trying to change the poor quality foods fed to children in schools throughout the US and UK. He launched the Food Revolution as an attempt to rally together food activists, gourmands, parents, chefs, and teachers who had enough of children being served fast food- type items in cafeterias.
Initially, he was faced with nonstop skepticism. What right did he have to challenge the school system? People ‘like what they are eating’ despite the statistics that childhood obesity and diabetes are soaring. But after some time, parents started to look, to inquire as to what their kids were eating and why their diets needed to be drastically changed.
Our children need to be inquisitive, it’s in their nature. Inquisitive children grow up into conscious adults who are willing to take the time out of their day to ask pivotal questions.
One of the reasons I unschool my daughter is because I want her to be a Renaissance Activist, eager to learn and help in a world full of possibility. I try to talk with her about our diet and what we eat, where it comes from and how important it is for us to support organic and natural farms.
Sure, she’s four, but you would be surprised to know how much she understands. I ask her how she feels when she eats something unhealthy, and she tells me her honest opinion. We have talked with her about overdevelopment because, here in Thailand, we see it on a daily basis; people have their land taken and their tin houses replaced with condos that never get rented.
You may think this might create a pessimistic attitude in children, but I have observed otherwise. Kaya sees possibility and looks for how she can help, whether it is donating money to a homeless person or choosing to buy from a small vegetables farmer instead of a hypermarket.
None of us is perfect; we all make errors. This is inevitable. But I firmly believe that if we can keep our children’s curiosity burning, we can, and will, have a better world.
Elizabeth Kelsey Bradley is a writer and travel blogger, currently living in Thailand. She and her husband raise their daughter by ‘world schooling’ her, combining unschooling principles with travel. She blogs at Sattvic Family and The Bradley’s. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Photo Credit: ecastro
How have your children embraced the power of curiosity?
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