March 22-8pm (at the computer)
I’ve felt more and more as if I’m walking around inside The Matrix. I hear people talking, I read people’s posts, and I feel how panicked and worried people are. Then I wonder if it’s all real. The school thing comes up a lot and I’m having a very hard time putting it into words. The construct of school is not real. This idea that your children will lose in life if they don’t do well in school is not real. We’ve been living outside the matrix for a long time now. I’ve become good at using the words people inside use that make us look like we are doing what they are doing but I want so badly to just tell them we aren’t. I want to scream it sometimes! You don’t have to get your kid to use whole sentences by the time they are 3. They don’t need to read fluently by 5. You don’t have to force them to take music lessons or finish a dance class they signed up for. They don’t need to take algebra. You don’t need to be mean and harsh to teach them discipline. You can just live happily and joyfully together, trying new things, discovering the world, working and playing together. The matrix isn’t real! There is no spoon!
When I do have these moments, when I actually say, no my son doesn’t go to school at all, we’ve never taken a class. They repeat back to me, oh you homeschool. Well, sort of. How do you get them to…? That’s what I mean. I don’t. I don’t demand their attention. I don’t force them to read. I don’t enforce strict rules. I treat them as fully formed and functioning people. I help them as I would anyone else. I am kind and generous as much as I can be and they return the favor.
This isn’t coming out right.
So I sat down to write in my journal this morning, still struggling with the Matrix idea. I feel like I’m walking around in this world with the key to happiness in my pocket. I keep trying to offer it to others and they don’t want it. I want to yell at them, “I have the answer! Listen to me!” As I wrote that down I started to see something. Do I have the answer? For everyone? Or just for me? The odds are that I don’t have the whole answer, only the key to my own personal happiness. Maybe it’s just arrogance that makes me walk around thinking I can solve other people’s problems, I can “wake them up”.
When Neo took the pill and was released from the matrix, he walked through the fantasy world wanting to start a revolution that woke people up, right now and all at once. He was advised that it wouldn’t be wise. Maybe it would be too painful. It may cause more problems than it solved. Maybe people need to wake up on their own terms, at their own time, for their own reasons. What can I do? I can be here with love and patience, waiting for them to show signs of awakening. I can support them and encourage them as they find themselves and make better lives for themselves. I can say, “Yes. That cat did just walk by again. It wasn’t just in your mind. I wonder what it means?” And I can leave them alone to find their own happiness for themselves.