Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Order versus Freedom

I feel psychology bruised this morning.  Back and forth, back and forth in so many areas of my life do I bounce.  Yesterday, in an attempt to help my daughter understand the question of order versus freedom for an essay I found a thread that has been marching its way through the fabric of my life.

Glorious, wonderful FREEDOM -- isn't that why I ask so many questions of everything, and isn't that why I chose to home-school?  Isn't that why the United States of America came into being?  No one can tell US what to do!!!  But, down deep there is a lot of responsibility that goes with that glorious, wonderful, freedom.  And, sometimes there is a small, hidden wish that PLEASE WON'T SOMEONE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!

Then there is steady, solid ORDER.  No matter what happens it will be done according to a template that everyone knows about -- no surprises here.  I don't get things done unless there is some sort of list or template running underneath it.  It is the value of order that led me to read How Self-Expression Damaged My Students by Robert Poniscio, a former South Bronx teacher who recalls how his own idealism kept his class from learning how to write.  This is an article I found much value in when I surprised myself by reading it.

That, perhaps, is the real kernel I've gained today.  Yes, I am really one of the Freedom-lovers.  I like to ask questions and mix it up.  On some level I know that discomfort born of being in a place that is unfamiliar leads to growth.  And, that growth, if used properly, can be the source of small changes whose ripple effects can shake whole systems.  But, my freedom-loving steps don't get taken unless there is something beneath them, for them to stand on.

I am blessed because I am married to an order person who tolerates freedom, and our children have some of both and are using those talents really well.  And, I am finding that I have to speak up (exhausting) if I don't want to be pigeon-holed in one of the many roles I have carved out for myself.  But, isn't that what my freedom-loving self is asking for?

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