Re: DSM: Re: Let's start something big

Date: Sat Feb 09 2002 - 11:59:44 EST


    I found your post to be an interesting one. I think that I can relate (to
a limited extent) to some of the things you mentioned.
    Certainly, I cannot begin to imagine how the revolutionaries of the
educational movement carry on in the face of overwhelming adversity, and
being so outnumbered as they are.
    The founders of the Sudbury Valley School are a perfect example. I wonder
if the concepts such as self-sacrifice, unbelievable strength, and resilience
are still in peoples minds. To highlight the general context of your e-mail,
I will say that if you want an example of some of the strongest, most
resilient people ever associated with any movement, you need look no further
then the founders of the Sudbury Valley School, and indeed all of its staff
    The tremendous social, political, and financial sacrifices they made, and
indeed, the work and effort they have expended for over 30 years and continue
to, keep the school alive and the movement alike. These are the kinds of role
models that students in Sudbury Valley are lucky to have (though they aren't
role models to everyone). It is a debt that can never be repaid. The credit
they deserve will come later, perhaps when the movement is consolidated. If
you are really interested in finding people who keep this movement alive, who
nourish it intellectually, I suggest you look into it right away.
     My mother is involved in the environmental movement. And she tells me,
often, that one of the most important things her professors say to her (she
is getting her masters) is: to make change in a well established institution,
one must refrain from the tendency to criticize others personal beliefs in
such a way as to alienate them. Indeed, the environmental movement is a
perfect example. It is particularly infamous for its extremist activities
(although they are akin to isolated quadrants of the movement).
    But to affect change in, for example, this countries racial tendencies
(as was done in the 50's + 60's), what was considered the best method? I am
sure that this can be argued, but who do you think played a greater role in
the civil rights movement? Dr. King, or Malcolm X?
    I think that one of the most important things to realize is that every
movement considers itself to be the one true movement. Having the realization
that your movement, from the total perspective, is essentially no different
then the environmental movement, for example, can help you. And realizing
that the best way to effect change is not to alienate those who's minds you
wish to broaden, but instead to hammer away on the intellectual level, is
also important.
    I must confess that I too am prone to mass daydreaming, in which I
inspire an educational revolution. In such daydreams, I lead hundreds of
thousands of students in a mass revolution (and I must confess, there is much
rioting). I get to meet the president and wear a suit and tie, once the US
Department of Education implodes, and the president wants to meet the enemy
for suggestions.
    But I speak for myselfwhen I say that if I have to remember one important
thing, I would say that it would be to constantly ask myself: "Are you in
support of this movement for selfish reasons? Is it really about how many
people you can effect, what you can do, and are you sure it isn't about your
ego? Are you sure you really believe?"
    Thankfully, at least up till this point, I believe that my reasons for
support stem from core beliefs more so then from self-centered personal

-Travis W..


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