Re: DSM: Sudbury Schools in an Urban setting
Wed, 7 Feb 2001 22:36:18 EST

Dear Joe,

I will give you the best I've got.

You write:
"I find the concept that there's something wrong with attacking and defending
ideas tiresome."

There is not something wrong with attacking and defending.
There is something else.

There is a paradigm, where one choose's not to attack and defend. I am
insisting on seeing Sudbury Valley from this new paradigm. Well, if there is
no attack and defense, where are we? We are smack dab in the middle of Hanna
Greenburg's essay, "The Art of Doing Nothing". This is precisely the nothing
we are to do. Let's use the example of the student who comes and wants to
fish. He wants to come and fish all day, every day, for years. Notice the
response every day, all day, for years is the same. There is no argument, no
analysis, no critique, no fine and finer points, no debate. Sudbury Valley
says "You want to fish, fish". And while you are fishing you have our deep
respect and profound regard.

If the finest we have to give, we give to the children, why would we not give
that same to each other, to ourselves? And, in my opinion, the finest we have
to give is not argument, it is deep respect and profound regard.

I once had the opportunity to hang with 4 or 5 folks around a computer. They
were playing the game where the little dune buggies race around. For about 45
minutes nearly every utterance had F or FU. They addressed the game the
computer and each other. None of them ever crossed the line, no invasion, no
attack, no defense. They had taken the biggest attack word in the usual and
prevailing paradigm, and turned it into pure explosive expression. And their
creation was an ongoing social and cultural production of exquisite grace.
They were deep in a new paradigm.

So, now, of course I am mistaken, if at its core, Sudbury Valley is argument.
And I do agree, that given the usual paradigm, it is brilliant argument. But
folks can find a lot of debating groups, they don't need to find the best one.
But, if at its core it is deep respect and profound regard, and it has
institutionalized that notion, then there's not too much of that around.
That's a new paradigm.

While this new paradigm doesn't have much in the way of argument, it does
have a discourse and a literature.

The writings of:
Rollo May
Jess Lair
Carl Rogers
Virginia Axiline
Eugene Gendlin
Ann Cornell Wieser
Hiam Genot
Megda Gerber
Virgian Satir
Alice Miller
Robert Firestone
Sydney Jourard
R.D. Laing
Roger Blanton
Stephen Levine
John Wellwood
Pema Chodron
John Hart
Michel Foucault
Hanna Greenburg

Deep Regard,
Bill Richardson

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