Re: DSM: We like minded people

Robert Swanson (
Sat, 04 Nov 2000 21:29:00 -0800

I get a strong sense of great power behind what you say. Yes, I so admire
the speaking ability of Sudbury students, such ease of sincerity. To trust
and stand back -- I have to let that sink in. The aloof nature of my
parent's relationship with me perhaps does not aford comparison with what
may be happening at Sudbury. I don't understand how youth can role model the
advantages (the development) that youth seek for. And maybe there is
something inherent in youth that does not need a model to develop, just lack
of opression. I hope to understand better.

One thing I do claim from my experience - being around children who still
appreciate authenticity, they become animated with joy and interact with me
with such enthusiasm seemingly just because I am honored to be in their
presence and willing to play. Not Einstein, I think it is Peter Pan who
comes forth. It is such a delight for me to be with children role modeling
joy of living. They are my mentors.


on 11/4/00 8:13 PM, at wrote:

> Robert,
> I once spent 40 minutes speaking with someone who grew up going to Sudbury
> Valley. I was left disoriented for some time by the communication pattern.
> Then it hit me, never once did he invade. There was tremendous energy, lots
> of description and interest and never once the imposition, the suggestion,
> the slight advice giving. It was a virtuoso performance, and I even recognize
> that it was not a performance. He was at the level of being automatically
> competent. The boundaries were flawlessly respected.
> Sudbury Valley offers a deep and profound regard for the student; and a deep
> trust in what the student will make of that offering. But that is where it
> ends. It is operationally the very finest Carl Rogers non-directive therapy.
> And it does not move on to consider if Poe or Einstein may arrise. We
> (parents and staff) must give up all hope of fruition. It is simply and only
> process. Jung wrote that the therapist must not want the client to get well.
> The greatest staff must not want the child to learn. We must work this stuff,
> till we know in our bones, deep in our bones, that the child supplies the
> want. And it is best not to evaluate or even characterize the social and
> cultural production of free children.
> Now, this client-centered therapy is extremely powerful. The child will take
> this opening to become free, to become a person. The communities' only
> responsibility in this is to realize what it is doing. It must understand the
> profound nature of the child's work. Given that it does understand this, it
> is surely within its' rights to enforce collectively and democratically norms
> that may be labeled as "adaptable citizen" or "lowest common denominator".
> As allways, if these ideas are not useful, please just forget them.
> Bill Richardson

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