Friday, November 11, 2005
Opting In to Society
My own answer to the question is simple yet has many layers, like an onion; tell the old tales. Give them freely to all our children and the adults who haven't heard them. These stories contain ancient wisdom that operates on many levels, entertaining us, providing the community with common reference points, then hiberating in our psyches until the self is ready to hear the deeper messages. They are like innoculations against losing that self. Most importantly, they provide internal fuel to sustain a person as they step out on their hero's journey, a model and a guide to help them find and use the treasure inside. Then their work and their role will be meaningful, no matter what it is.
The question really arose from reading the myths and stories that so often contain wise characters that are a bit strange and on the fringes of society, like wizards or fairy godmothers. The coach in me relates to these witchy types, because they challenge characters to connect with their own power. These tales from traditional societies usually emphasize the interdependence of all life and the importance of self within the context of a family and a community. A great gift to give anyone this holiday season!
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My family has always been into mythology and both our soons received numerous books of that sort before their tenth birthday. The result was a 10-year-old who wrote an epic poem, based on The Odyssey, which he submitted for a class assignment. The teacher seemed to appreciate his effort much more once the 10-year-old explained to her what an epic poem was :-)
Social skills aren’t given to you from a book. They come from interaction. Alternative suggestion, have them find their favorite (positive) movie character. You seem to like Shreik. What personality traits does he display that causes you to find him appealing? Spend the next ten minutes emulating only those characteristics. (Not the voice or movements just the personality traits.) Put on a persona. Learn what it feels like to be someone else.
Bright people are usually gilded prisoners of their own heads. Letting them experience others through themselves can be an eye opening experience. Teaching them to live through the physical has always been an interesting task.
After stating that I must quote an English writer. (Laughing at my own duality.)
“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” — David Copperfield by Charles Dickens