Re: DSM: moral relativism

Allan Saugstad (
Thu, 21 Dec 2000 11:33:20 -0800

Thank you to Jeane and David for your insightful comments. I will take some time to
digest them!!

One last word from me on this issue (taking a moral stand vs. letting others be).

When I become unsure or confused about an issue such as this, I often find it helpful
to fall back upon this question:

How would I think or act about this around children?

Would I tell a child they are doing something all wrong? If I felt I really needed to
(maybe because the child is hurting another), will my actions help the child learn to
behave in a better way? In other words, if I say , "Hey, stop that!" and the child
stops, why are they stopping?

It seems to me the child will stop only for some external reason, such as fear of
punishment, wish to please the parent, etc. Deep learning does not take place when one
is told how to behave; true learning comes from within and is self-motivated - this is
something I am sure we all agree on.

So how do we affect change? We start from within; becoming comfortable with who we are
and only doing what feels right for us; and then we reach out and build intimate,
supportive connections with others - only then will true revolutions occur.

I have learned a lot about "living in peace" lately, and it has helped me greatly. If
you are interested, check out books by Byron Katie (The Work and,
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now), and Wayne Liquorman (Acceptance of What Is) - very
powerful stuff which has so many application to the sudbury model.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Yours in support,


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