I came across this article today and thought about the Essays on Childhood project. Dr. Carter writes about the work of “vulnerability researcher” Brene Brown, and her ideas about what activities, priorities, and decisions lead to happiness in a person’s life.
What a thought….might glitter pens and occasional horseback rides trump varsity sports and being valedictorian? In an age when just getting into the right high school is a source of nail-biting anxiety for families, it is valuable to step back and look at what we are really trying to teach our children how to do when we are no longer here to help them.
Brown says, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, love, belonging, creativity, and faith.”
Last time I checked, they weren’t teaching those things in any high school, public or private. Enjoy this thoughtful piece from Dr. Carter, but I strongly encourage you to make it a prelude to the 15 minute TED video of Brown talking about an important and compelling issue, and that is her thesis that we are losing our tolerance for vulnerability. Losing that tolerance is leading to a mindset where joy becomes foreboding and to a host of other very serious problems. This has everything to do with how we raise our children and what we teach them about happiness and how to find it; consequently, it also has everything to do with the kind of world we are developing around us.
I often feel there is never enough time in my day to watch TED. If you read this blog, I believe you will be glad you gave this particular talk 15 minutes. It is exceptional.
Somehow, an ordinary life has become synonymous with a meaningless life. Let’s put that in reverse and hit the gas!
Image credit: Flowing Data