Many blogs and articles have already been written about different aspects of the human tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, and I have been tuned in and trying my best to listen to all sides without judgment. After some quiet time with myself, I am moved to write about what is closest to my heart in regard to this devastating unfolding—education.
It is my great hope that we can eliminate the root cause beneath the alarming depression, anger, disempowerment, despair and rage that underlies such tragedies by unearthing what remains hidden in the shadows of many individual human hearts. Our shadow—the deeply hidden aspects of ourselves around which we feel shame, fear, guilt and anger—is the psychic debris in our subconscious that is having dire effects on our society and world today.
For adults and older children, there is much back-end, inner work to be done to excavate and heal this psychic debris. But for our young, we must consider carefully the front-end work of parenting, spiritual development and education to lessen the shadow effect, and education is the primary focus of my offering today.
From my quiet stillness, the absolute, unequivocal belief that we must change the way in which we educate our beloved children by literally FLIPPING our current model of education has come to the forefront of my thinking, once again.
First of all, we must shift the financial resources for education from top-down to bottom-up. It is time that we recognize that the earliest years of a child’s life and education are THE MOST IMPORTANT. Study after study has shown us this. All parents intuitively understand this truth on some level. And yet, as a nation, we have refused to implement change. Teaching parents how to effectively parent and providing early education for our young must become the top-priority of our education monies. This doesn’t necessarily mean MORE money flowing into the system, but rather allotting less at the top (university and high school levels) and more at the bottom (pre-school/elementary levels and early parenting programs).
Second, and the crux of what I offer here today, we must revamp completely what we teach and how we teach in our schools; and therefore, re-evaluate what it means to be an “educated” world citizen. We must create an educational system that stresses AWARENESS and KNOWLEDGE. It will not be enough to continue teaching mere facts in the 21st Century. We must offer a path to wisdom.
Third, we must acknowledge that we are educating souls, not simply linear humans beings. We are teaching spiritual beings how to navigate a physical reality in the form of a human being. Schools must acknowledge this, too, through a curriculum based on this understanding. This “new” paradigm is not religious dogma that needs to be separated from public education. Our schools must be the place for a curriculum based on this truth or we have lost our primary vehicle for evolution—our schools, our young. YES, schools must become the place for a whole new type of teaching!
A new educational model would emphasize totally different things than our current one. The knowledge-base would not disappear, but rather would become secondary to the larger core pillars of wisdom that would underlie all teachings. Knowledge would be infused into these pillars and no longer be the near singular focus that it is today.
If we were to create an Awareness-based curriculum, pillars at all levels would invite both harmony with the collective whole AND encourage the emergence of unique, individual gifts. The following are simply ideas that could form the basis of a discussion on a new educational focus. I have many more, as do so many others. Due to blog space, there is limited room for explanation of each. That can come later, one by one. But for right now, TODAY, in the midst of a heart-wrenching tragedy, I am calling out for change. This is enough—HOPE—that there is a different way. It’s time…
The Pillars of a NEW Educational Model:
1) Oneness and Individuation
2) Soul to Soul vs. Role to Role
3) Self-Awareness and Self-Love
4) Accountability and Responsibility
5) Connectedness and Boundaries
6) Honesty and Transparency
7) Diversity and Sameness
8) Authenticity and JOY
9) The Shadow and Illumination
10) Perspective and Truth
11) The Intelligent Physical Body and Healing
12) Energy Is Everything
13) Emotions As Guideposts
14) True Power and Presence
15) Inner World and Outer World
16) Grow Is Me Rather Than Woe Is Me
17) And/Both and Either/Or Realities
18) Intuition via Red Light/Green Light Vibes
19) Conscious Relationships
20) Giving and Receiving
21) Gratitude as a Creative Force
22) Mother Earth and Grounding
23) Creating Reality and the Mind
24) Peace within the Paradoxes
We must awaken. Our institutions must awaken. We are all one. There is only one of us here. There is only one law to focus upon. It is Uni-versal. It is ONENESS…
Bless you all. I LOVE each and every one of you, even those who are lost in the shadows. On this day, this is all that I know to offer.
# # #
A modern bridge between the mainstream and the mystical, Annie Burnside, M.Ed. is a soul nurturer, award-winning author, and teacher specializing in parenting, conscious relationships, authentic living and spiritual development. Her book “Soul to Soul Parenting” won the 2011 Nautilus Silver Book Award.