The education of an idler

“How is it that little children are so intelligent and men so stupid? It must be education that does it”

Alexandre Dumas

 

 

I’m always relearning life through the lens of the small child.

In the presence of an imp I am the student not the teacher.

Small children can’t distinguish right from wrong. What is this distinction other than accepted conventions?

They don’t care if your jeans are Levi or Calvin Klein. Only that they need less clothing to be cool or mittens to make their fingers warm.

Children don’t draw a line between work and play.

There are no seasons. No days of the week. No minutes. No hours. No mealtimes.

Children are completely captured by the moment. They play with what is presented and long for nothing that is gone.

A child can sleep anywhere on anything.

Small ones are untroubled by history, culture, economics and politics unless extremism intrudes in their moment to moment experience.

They will run instead of walking. Climb when adults sit.

The most important lesson.

Children are captured by their dreams, and not what they fear.

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Natural animals (you might call them children)

“Fractal geometry’s repeating patterns provide a scientific framework for the principle that mystics call “as above, so below”. We are clearly part of the Universe, not an add-on afterthought whose job it is to ‘conquer’ Nature”.

Bruce Lipton

Have you ever noticed how your child acts chaotically when you take them shopping. You may find yourself constantly disciplining their behavior because normal childhood tendencies are not aligned to expected shopping behavior. The lights, sparkles, music and everything about the environment is set up to excite and of course your little bundle of consciousness reacts to excitement with hyperactive, somewhat aggressive style of play where they run away and generally act like someone else’s kid (or at least you wish they were).

Now take that same kid or a group of kids to the beach and what happens. You discipline less. You play more. Almost any behaviors are acceptable. Unlike the mall or an artificial playground there are enough of everything that there are no ‘sharing’ fights. About the only tanty you see is when you are packing up to bicycle home (or maybe you drove which is a far less empowering travel choice for a child).

What I getting at here is that if you want calm, caring, considerate children give them lots of natural play environments. Shield them from artificial, [wo]man made, over stimulating environments as much as you can. Your child is not a mini consumer in training pants so don’t pattern their behavior to become one. Your child is a natural animal. A biophillac being that needs contentedness to healthy natural environments to thrive. Give the mall a miss. Hit the river bank, a park, a forest, the beach, a mountain or row out to an island. Anywhere natural will do.

The enslavement of children (your children) by you!

“Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery”

Wayne Dyer

 

 

I suspect that most parents would be horrified to learn that they have been unwittingly swindled into a contract where they have passed the ownership of their child’s physical body to a CORPORATION that is listed with the Security and Exchange Commission.

Be horrified though, because if you have registered the birth of your child in any country in the world you have almost certainly turned your little bundle of joy into a commodity and at the same time you consented to that commodity being ‘owned’ by someone other than  you. While you remain the guardian you are no longer the legal owner of the child. The possession of the legal title is now the Government’s and in many countries the Government is simply a corporate entity listed on a stock exchange like Monsanto.

As a parent I’d like to think that my child is sovereign. The thought that he is owned or enslaved is heartbreaking, but this runs against the corporate logic of the world. The child is a thing and a thing must be owned by somebody. This is an inversion of what I wish for my son. I want him to grow up to be an independent, self-governing altruistic man. I’d like to watch him grow, individuate and live his life by common law principles like do onto other as you would have them do to you. I do not see him as a thing, a possession or a commodity to be owned by anyone. He should be free and sovereign. Allowed to live as he pleases so long as it doesn’t cause loss or injury to another living soul.

Of course the Government is having none of this. They bind him in economic slavery from birth to steal his labour (tax), to determine where he can go, what he can say, what he can and can’t ingest, who he may marry, what types of jobs he can have, how he may travel. They turn him from a natural man with unalienable rights into an EMPLOYEE and a CONSUMER and a TAXPAYER who must do what he is told.

As a first time parent I had no clue that we were transferring legal title of our son to the Government. At that point I didn’t even realise the Government was a company like Monsanto. The process by which the Government steals your child is through the creation of what is called a STRAWMAN. The STRAWMAN is a legal fiction set up corporatize the natural child thus making them legally accountable to pay tax and submitting them to be governed by statutes (the law of the corporation).

It is shocking to discover that your child is the chattel of a company, but you are the chattel of a company too like your parents before you. When I say that we are economic slaves I mean exactly that. The clever trick in all of this is that the truth has been systematically kept from us. We are slaves, but we think we are free.

Reset your defaults to dial up the fun

“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child.  There are seven million”

Walt Streightiff

Children have fun everywhere.

Even when they are doing nothing with no-one.

They will still have fun.

Fun is the default setting on every child.

A leaf is wondrous.

Wind or rain is eye poppingly exciting.

Each and every twig a marvel!

Watch a small child.

Next look at the unhappy faces of the suits in the street around them.

When did these neck-tied deadheads lose the joy of their childhood? Why did they allow this to happen?

All so serious, formal and overly self important. For what benefit I wonder?

People tell me that I am childish.

I thank them.

Greatest compliment ever in my opinion.

How poor people live

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” 
Audrey Hepburn



Some time ago there lived a boy whose family was very wealthy. One day the boy’s father decided he would teach his son an important lesson about poverty.

The father decided that the best way to teach about poverty would be to travel several days out into the country and stay with a poor family.

This he decided would be the best way to teach such a valuable lesson.

The father and son travelled several days on foot until they reached the large rural barn that sheltered the poor family. They spent a full week with the family in their over crowed barn. On the morning of the eighth day the father decided that his son had the aim of the lesson and so they prepared their belongings for the long journey back to their expensive family home.

To impress the lesson upon his son the father asked the boy to tell him what he had learnt about how poor people live during their journey home.

Eager to please his father the boy excitedly recounted what he had observed:

  • “They have four dogs. We have but one”
  • “We live in a small house with many neigbours close by. They live in a very large house with no neighbours”
  • “We own a very small piece of land, but their land spans as far as the eye can see”
  • “Our family is mama, me and you, but they live with their grandparents, their brothers, their sisters, their cousins, their aunts and their uncles”
  • “We have a high fence to protect us from robbers, but they have nothing to steal and friends, neighbours and family that protect each other”
  • “We have a small concrete pool at the front of our house, but they have an endless river all to themselves”
  • “We must buy our food at the market, but they can eat all that they want from the fields where they grow their own food”
  • “We must buy fuel for our lanterns, but their light is the stars in the heaven”

…and on and on he went.

The father was stunned. His mouth hung open as his son recounted his many lessons..

Before he could respond the boy finished, and thanked his father for teaching him how poor they were.

He promised his father he would never forget such an important lesson.

Shearing the sheep

“Shared joy is double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow”

Swedish Proverb

My son was playing with another child. I asked him to share his toy sheep.
‘Buzz, buzz, buzz’ he said.

We will work on that.

I am learning how to share too.

My friend (who is a neighbour) and I have come to an arrangement that instead of buying something we will borrow from each other whenever we can. We are even coordinating our purchases and funding the new stuff from the sale of underutilized things that neither of us use enough to continue to own. Renting is the new black for that once in 10 year waterblast of the house prior to repainting.

We’d like to get to the point where we can forget ownership completely. We shall simply know that we have a juicer that is available whenever we choose to make fresh juice. It’s stupid for us both to have an angle grinder, a chainsaw, a wheelbarrow and a water-blaster languishing in our sheds. If you opened every kitchen, attic and shed in the street and laid the contents bare there would be so much redundant stuff!

We talked about how we both feel very awkward or inadequate if ask to borrow compared to how good we feel when we get to give and share. The irony is that we both teach our kids to share – that sharing is good, but our TV box works even harder to tell us that buying stuff is the only way. Sharing after all is defying consumer culture.

But, just imagine the benefits if we all shared and helped each the way we tell our kids to.

As I said to the boy ‘if you have a sheep to shear shear it then share your clippers with your silly Dad’. He’ll get that language joke in about 7 years.

Together with my friend, his daughters and my son we are learning that sharing is a balm for the ills of the world. You should feel good when you share and borrow not inadequate, self conscious or guilty. Those feelings should be reserved solely for people compensating for inadequacy by wasting all their money on status symbols or greedy guts businessmen wasting all the resources that mother earth offers us.

Borrow, share, rent, lend, swap and trade. Drive the second-hand economy and feel damn proud of yourself doing it. You are a straight up, stone cold, undercover hero!

Family Philosophy: Our code for living

 

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”

Confucius

As of January our family has been trying to follow our updated philosophy of living. These principles guide our behaviour and inform our decisions.

12 Principles

  1. The purpose of life is to be happy.
  2. We actively form routines (and habits) that facilitate happiness.
  3. Sharing happiness multiplies it.
  4. Practice compassion and kindness. Most people are good and don’t mean to cause harm.
  5. Our freedom grows as our spending slows: Financial wealth is created by maximising the gap between what we earn and what we spend.
  6. The simplest solution is often best: Small is beautiful.
  7. We create or adapt to solve problems. Buying ready-made solutions from the marketplace is a cop out!
  8. From silence and stillness comes wisdom.
  9. We buy low harm goods (environment, people, and animals).
  10. You receive from life what you focus on most so focus your thought and energy on whatever you wish for. Focusing on what you wish to avoid only speeds it’s arrival to your door.
  11. Living in the past creates guilt. Living in the future anxiety. Enjoy mindfulness of the moment. Notice that the world is beautiful right now.
  12. If it isn’t working just let it go. Letting go is easier than clinging.