Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] organize sudbury

From: <>
Date: Thu May 6 21:20:01 2004

Hi William,

     In the literature of Sudbury there is reference to some folks visiting
and seeing it and being disoriented. The statement has also been made that "if
they get it, they get it and if they don't, they don't." Now the ''it" that is
Sudbury is probably most elegantly described in "The Art of Doing Nothing".
Or one could also visit Sudbury to possibly get an operational definition of
the "it". And, I think one can also organize this stuff and as one does this,
and watches and experiences folks actually grappling with this "it", one sees
yet another, rather direct view, of the "it".
     So what is the "it"? Well, it is pretty straightforward. "It" is a
direct, open, simple, offer to the child to be themselves, to be who they are. "It"
is an allowance and an acceptance, as far as is possible, of the child as
they are. The deal is that it is OK for the child to be who they are.
     Now when I read "The Art of Doing Nothing", and when I visit Sudbury and
when I organize this stuff, it does occur to me that there is a quality that
uderlies this simple deal, this simple notion that a child is a person. To me
it is a tremendously kind thing to do to offer to accept a person as they are.
To me, the deal that is offered is a profound kindness.
     And sadly, it has occurred to me, that if someone (either child or
parent) has never in their life had someone make such and offer, it may very well
be that it is this profound kindness that is disorienting. In the whole of
their experience they may not have ever seen or heard of such a deal. And as they
contemplate and grapple with and consider this simple deal, the deal thay they
could be themselves and that they could organize this stuff, or the deal that
they could trust their child and let their child be who they are, it may very
well be, in the end, the simple kindness that confuses them.
     And in their confusion it is simply the most precious of responses, as
they face their own stark questions of "is this deal real?", "can I trust my
child?", "did anyone ever trust or accept me?", that they finally, finally say
"I need to speak with my mother".

Warm Regards,
Bill Richardson
Received on Thu May 06 2004 - 21:19:46 EDT

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