Thursday, March 15, 2012

Has unschooling interfered with your passion or does unschooling support your passion?

The other night I listened to Larry Smith's TED talk, Why you will fail to have a great career.
I rather enjoyed it. Larry talked about the key ingredient to having a great career which is no surprise- passion. He talked about people making excuses not to look for their passion; 
"Great careers are for people who are lucky, special, geniuses...
I would do this but, I am not weird. I am nice, normal and nice normal people don't have passion." 

He talked about people who hide behind excuses. Even when they find their passion, they still don't go after it:
 "I would pursue a great career but I value human relationships more than careers- I want to be a great friend, spouse, parent."

I thought about the passion we talk about in connection to unschooling. Does everyone who unschools have a passion? I don't know.
As to unschooling parents, mums, I have wondered about what happens to our own passions when we unschool.

Do we forget our dreams or does unschooling keep mummy's dream alive?

In my case, I was going to be a famous painter. I studied art. Then I had a baby. I didn't give up; I kept making art. But somewhere along the way, I stopped making art.
It wasn't  'human relations' that stopped me from pursuing my passion. It was simply that I lost interest. I lost the passion for art making. It just--fizzled away. I don't know why.

I found other interests as my daughter grew and I had 2 more babies. Interests you say? Larry answers, interest is not passion. "You come to me and say, "I have an interest.""
Larry responds, "I say, do you have a passion?"
"Passion is your greatest love, passion is the thing that will help you create the highest expression of your talent."
Larry continues, "Are you really going to go to your sweetheart and say, "Marry me. You are interesting." Passion is beyond interest. You need 20 interests and one of them might grab you and that's what passion is."

I found unschooling and I became passionate about that. Unschooling for the next 12 years became my life's interest.
My views on education, learning, child rearing, the world of employment, the way we run this world, the environment all came together with unschooling. My world-view was impacted because of unschooling.

I developed an interest in writing that has evolved into a passion. I can't do as much as I want to (or the kind I want to do) but that doesn't stop me. I am not saying what I am working on right now- that's my secret- but I'll say that my passion for writing has only grown.
I am also not sure if that will get me a 'great career.' Or even a good career. I am sure of my feeling fulfilled in my pursuit of doing what I want to do.
I've never been more certain.
My goal for my children is a great career- I encourage them to follow their passions.

What about you? Has unschooling interfered with your passion or does unschooling support your passion?
Do tell!


Arijah said...

We just had this discussion with our 14 year old. You have to "be in love" with what you do. When you are, it shows in the work. It pulls you forward, makes you want it more. We are a family of artists, each with their own thing. A seamstress, an aspiring film maker, and 2 digital and multi-media artists and musicians. Being my children's education assistant and partner has not and does not interfere with life, passions or interests because they all intermingle. That's what life learning does; It's like a takes what you are, who you are, interests, passions and everything else, and from those things, the education process takes root. It stems from those things, branches out and blooms. What is strongest within bears fruit. What isn't fades into it, but all has been experiences of merit, whether they were pleasant or unpleasant.

As an artist, you see the subtle little things that most people miss. Many things are magnified, analyzed and broken down into bite sized pieces, and then expression through the media of choice takes place.

Everything we do is based within art. There is no margin, or border, or limitation in it's creative regard or capacity. I consider art to be of utmost importance in every endeavor because creativity is necessary. One must have the ability to analyze, connect, understand and apply their passions in a healthy, constructive way.

Solve et coagula.

I think a lot of people think of art as pencil, paints and canvas, but in's way more than that.

Interior design is an art form, so is baking. Architects and builders are artists...they have vision and the means to put ideas into livable reality. Gardeners are artists.
Writers are artists.
When you break it down, any career, interest, or passion that inspires you to put your heart and spirit into it's foundation or creation IS art.

Passion is learning.
Learning is passion.
They go hand in hand, and to see it any other way is an illusion.

Just my thoughts.
Great article.

Anonymous said...

Unschooling IS my passion! My kids are my passion.

rfs said...

@Arijah-'In love with what you do." That's it. My daughter describes herself as a nerd -"A nerd is someone who is crazy about something." I appreciate the way you describe your life as artists. Thanks for your thoughts!

Shady Lady said...

Same here! Unschooling and my daughter are my passions!!

Anonymous said...

It is really difficult to keep sight of your own passions (other than unschooling) when you are unschooling kids because it seems that their interests always take precedence. At least that's my experience. I work hard to get even a few moments to myself.

rfs said...

@Anon- I hear your frustration. It really is hard to get time to yourself to pursue your passion when you are 24/7 with kids. I think the important thing is to not lose sight of your passion by doing a little bit a day- even if it's just being near whatever it is your passionate about.

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