Thursday, March 25, 2010

MAC Week #4 Reading – Creating Frameworks for Possibility

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous – Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us: it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

- Marianne Williamson

I appreciate Rosamund and Benjamin Zander’s discussion on creating frameworks for possibility in their book, The Art of Possibility. Frameworks for possibility are vision statements that center our perspective on what is important while remaining open to possibilities. The vision statements are not like mission statements with goals penned in a competitive we will be number one directive.

Dress code comes to mind. I’ve tried but was not always successful in avoiding the dress code wars. I’ve heard the argument that dress codes must be specific and tight with no wiggle room for exceptions in order to be enforceable. And they were always worded as negative directives. Boys cannot wear shorts. Certain colors are not allowed. Girls may wear shorts but not shorter than the tip of their fingers when palms pressed to their thighs. Plus more.

Through it all I just kept wondering why couldn’t we express that the goal is for our students to be well groomed and modestly attired in clothes that are clean and in good condition. Instead we seem to envision the worst and seek to limit freedom. Wouldn’t it be more educational to discuss the health value, social value, and cultural value of being clean and well dressed?

I also reflected on how creating frameworks for possibility applied in my own life. My personal vision statement influenced many of my decisions and choices. I am a teacher. I am a teacher with a calling to seek new alternative ways of schooling.

An old pen pal (excuse me – a long time pen pal from my youth), found me through Facebook. It was great to catch up! She was not surprised to hear that I had become a teacher. It was a goal I set for myself long ago. All the decisions, choices, detours, and set backs have always been viewed as a learning process toward my personal vision statement. And I’m still open to the possibilities it will bring to me.

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