Success

Good Grades vs. Inner Joy

“Every so often, I panic a bit about whether or not my husband and I are providing a healthy learning environment for our children. Since we don’t send them to school, feeling fear about this can creep in every so often. It happened a lot more often when they were younger, when we were new to unschooling. Whenever I get nervous and question myself, I have learned to ask myself the question, “do they feel joy?” Most of the time I am able to answer “yes.” Asking this question is my measure of whether or not things are going well. Of course there are days when the answer is no, but they are far and few between. We all have our ups and downs. Living in a society that measures success by grading children based upon their academic skills can make anyone feel nervous at times. For the most part, this is not part of our lives.

I am a person whose goal is to live in joy as much as possible. This doesn’t mean I try to avoid the realities of life, such as disappointment, sadness, grief, death, etc. We have had our share and then some. It just means I want to be alive with joy. I want to follow my heart. I also want my children to stay connected with their own hearts. I want them to be joyful. I want joy to be their “normal.” I don’t want them to be graded based on something that in reality does not have much meaning. Sure, they can learn how to take a test and score a good grade. They can learn how to follow the rules and do what is expected of them so they are deemed “good.” They can be graded based on someone else’s random ideas on what they feel is “above average, just average, or below average.” However, being who you are has nothing to do with some random grading system.

What is more important? How will a child find what brings them joy if they don’t have the time to ponder, to discover on their own what makes their heart sing? If they are buried in what someone else deems “important,” how will they learn what they love? Well, I guess when they are old enough to do what they want they might have time to discover what makes them come alive. How are people supposed to have a career they enjoy if they don’t have time and space to explore when they are young? So many adults have “jobs” they hate. I wonder if things would be different for them had they had time to discover what brings them joy? I wonder if things would be different for them if the focus would have been to follow their hearts? I wonder what if things would be different now had they focused on joy rather than on getting good grades.

I like to imagine a world in which people listen to their hearts. I imagine children staying connected to their joy instead of losing the connection and having to rediscover that joy as adults. What would our world look like? I envision peace. Parents can begin this process by allowing their children freedom; freedom to listen to their joy; freedom to be who they are. In my opinion, if children are given the freedom to stay connected to their joy, the process of finding their purpose will be less complicated. Maybe they won’t have to go through all of the hard work many adults have to go through in order to find out what they love to do. Maybe by giving children the freedom to just be who they are without being graded on someone else’s scale, they will stay connected to their inner peace. Imagine the world with the majority of people feeling inner peace. As one of my favorite authors, Cheri Huber says, “Inner Peace, World Peace.” I agree. It all begins with our children.

Please visit me at my website www.benurtured.com where I blog about personal growth and spirituality, my journey of healing depression with self-love, meditation, mindfulness, homeopathy, and more. I also have a new resource guide available on my website called “Healing Depression with Self-love.” I will be offering a healing depression kit soon as well. I hope you will stop by and say hello.” – Ode

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