Cream Always Compensates

June 27, 2014 § 16 Comments

Chicks are fun(ny)

Chicks are fun(ny)

Penny heard this talk on the radio whilst driving somewhere a while back. She’s been pestering me to listen, too, which I have finally done. For those of you who cannot spare the quarter-hour it would take to listen for your ownbadselves, the talk is by a fellow who spent years working with NGO’s to cultivate economic development in developing nations. Yeah, I know: A slippery slope if ever there was one.

But to this fellow’s enduring credit, he soon realized that the standard method of aid – of coming in with suitcases of money and lots of ideas and a particular notion of how things should unfold – was doomed to failure because it was not of the people and region they were trying to help. So he started doing something different.

“You never initiate anything. You never motivate anybody, but you become a servant of the local passion… What you do: You shut up.  You can give somebody an idea (but) if that person doesn’t want to do it, what are you going to do? The passion a person has for their own growth is the most important thing.”

It’s a great talk, and you should hear it. But you know what’s sort of frustrating to me? I just spent an entire friggin’ year writing a 60,000-word book that is in large part about our decision to allow Fin and Rye to self-direct their learning and what that process looks like. And here’s this dude summing it all up in about three sentences.

Ah, well. In other news, the pigs are so fat I’m starting to wonder if I ought feel obligated to leave Weight Watchers brochures lying around in conspicuous places. And Apple freshened, so we have milk. And cream. So while I may have written something like 59,950 more words than strictly needed, at least I’ve got that.

It’s true: Cream always compensates.





§ 16 Responses to Cream Always Compensates

  • Eumaeus says:

    yes, or you can just say ‘all you need is love’ but that it is a slippery slope to hippie speak, ringo. Best to stick w/59,950 words…

  • Kath says:

    Oh, don’t feel bad about the 59,950 words – remember you’re trying to convince adults that their kids are smart enough to learn on their own. And most of these adults have been “schooled” – we need a big lengthy book to “believe”.

    • Julianna @My Watering Can says:

      It’s true. It’s not the kids that need educating, but the parents re-educated. Can’t do that in three sentences. =)

  • Val says:

    I can’t wait to read the extra words, we adults do indeed need the message 50 different ways to get the point across…

    Funny question to ponder in relation to kids and self-directed learning. I have 2 girls about your boys’ ages and while we live on a smaller scale homestead I’m wondering if you think the paths taken when left to their own learning are inherently different for young boys vs girls? Probably a bigger society question but one maybe worth pondering while doing something like weeding carrots (my least favorite garden task…).

  • Stef Maitri says:

    Ahh, belly laughs. Thanks for the smile.

  • CassieOz says:

    EVERYTHING is better with cream (or cheese, or bacon…). Do you share milk with Apple’s calf or separate them? I have two house cows myself and they are my obsession so feel free to redirect me to previous posts if you have them because EVERYTHING is also a little better with the addition of your favourite cow. :-)

  • We must not doubt the power of many voices making the same point in a wide variety of ways. It’s just a reflection of how our collective consciousness is expressed. In the world of Pilates, the fact that the work has more and more facets as more and more people integrate the work into their bodies and lives only serves to fortify the overall strength of the method.

  • ncfarmchick says:

    You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Not the most eloquent expression of this idea but Ben could write that phrase 59,000 times and I’d read it.

  • NeoNoah says:

    Reading “$aved” for the third time and wishing all the while it had even more words. Hurry “Home Grown”!!!

  • reneeliamrhys says:

    Exactly…hence the quiet but strong power of example, being it’s not what you say but what or how you do that people and children observe.

    …and as for cream….mmmmm

    Alexa from Sydney, Australia

  • 3 sentences don’t make a large enough book with which to belt the thick ones around the head. 60,000 words gives good reading and a solid thunk to the head if the words don’t get the message through. ;) Enjoy that cream. I’m hoping we will see some goat milk in about 2 weeks now.

  • Ann says:

    Before I open my mouth, I try to think, “Did they ask?” If not, shut up. Anyone who picks up one of your books has asked.

  • NeoNoah says:

    Heard someone say, “it is not help if not asked for”.

  • Eumaeus says:

    I just pre-ordered Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World.

    Did you ever decide on a title for the other one?

  • Jennifer Jo says:

    There’s not much of a story in three sentences. I’ll take the book.

  • BeeHappee says:

    Great speech, Ben, thanks to you and Penny for sharing. Mr. Sirolli has his books as well. . And one day you will be on Ted (soon???) and can sum it up in 3 sentences also. :) Everyone I talked to, loved Homegrown and found it inspirational.
    So true about patronizing and not listening to the “community”. True when working with economic development, true in personal life, and true in business world. I see time and time again the annoying IT vendors coming in to pitch what they have, not having any interest to listen to what our company really needs. . .
    Great picture. Looks like that fresh cream is making you awfully happy. :)

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