Stupid Rules Don’t Apply…

At the risk of sounding like an anarchist – I thought it was time to tell you about the way Nick and I view “Rules” (in general).

I know lots of people who don’t like to break-the-rules.  Any rules.  Rules-are-Rules according to them.  Rules must be obeyed.

Because I’m a Questioner (so is Nick)…  I’ve always been the person who asks:

WHY must we obey the rules?”  or  “Who invented these rules in the first place?”  and  “Why did they invent these rules?”  and “What hidden motives are behind these rules?”  and also “What if the rules are stupid?”…. or  “What if the rules just don’t make any sense to me?”.

You can imagine how frustrated my school teachers were with me!  Especially in an education system that teaches children to Answer-the-Questions… NOT Question-the-Answers!  I was always a Questioner (nothing has changed) – and specifically – I wanted to question the stuff that everybody else seemed to blindly accept.

Don’t get me wrong.  There’s lots of rules that I “obey”.  But, I abide by these rules – simply because they make sense to me.  They’re not stupid.

Like Traffic Rules.  Those makes sense.  If everyone obeys the laws of the road, we can fit thousands of cars on one stretch of highway and everyone can get to their destination without hurting or killing anyone else.  People who ignore traffic rules are, in my view, inconsiderate of other commuters.

Laws of the Land – like how we shouldn’t be stealing from one another… or killing / hurting / raping / committing fraud, etc – those laws / rules also make sense (although – I’m pretty convinced that those of us who “obey” those types of laws and rules don’t do it ‘because’ there’s a Rule out there somewhere that says we mustn’t.  We don’t rape, kill and steal because that’s not how we were raised and it goes against our core values and against our sensibilities and against our moral judgement).

There are so many “rules” out there.  Government Rules.  Religious Rules.  Company Rules.  Society Rules.  School Rules.  Social Rules.  Family Rules… and sooo much more.

But – as always – I’m the annoying person who questions every rule.

Like…

Who invented the concept of breakfast / lunch / supper?  And who decided that you can’t eat pudding for breakfast or cornflakes for supper?

And who decided that little girls need to be dressed in all-pink… and little boys need to be dressed in all-blue?  Is pink a girl’s colour? – Why?  Is blue a boy’s colour?  Why?

What’s with all the “rules” that go with weddings?  And what’s the difference between “traditions” and “rules” – why do people freak out when you do things differently – and don’t want to abide by the traditions / rules… whether that means donning a black wedding dress (a friend of mine did this)… or having the groom come down the aisle instead of the bride (another friend of mine did this)… or having a chocolate fountain instead of a tiered wedding cake…?  Really… what’s the big deal about doing things differently?

And – more on weddings… Why do people feel the need to sing that awful Jolly-Good-Fellow song after toasts?  Why do so many brides choose not to speak (during the speeches) at their own wedding?  I get it if you’re shy and don’t like public speaking.  I don’t get it – if you’re slotting in with a wedding tradition / rule that insinuates that bride’s mustn’t speak.

Why are Baby Showers only attended by women?  Is “baby stuff” the sole domain of the mother?

Why (at school) was it so important for us to look exactly the same?  Why were Dress Codes considered so vitally important?

Why (at school) were we not allowed to question the rules?  Surely it’s better to teach children to think for themselves – instead of teaching them to blindly obey every rule that is thrust in front of them…?

(I won’t even start on Religious Rules – too many to count….)

Anyway – you get the point.  I could easily rant on for days on this particular post.

STUPID RULES DON’T APPLY

I am now, in my 40th year – comfortable about adopting this mantra.  I’m not going to do something because somebody ELSE has decided that I must.  Because *gasp!* — it’s A Rule… and we *must* obey rules!!

No – I live my life according to the rules / laws that make sense to me.

Obey the laws of the road?  Sure!  It makes sense to do that.

Pay our taxes?  Yes – we do that too.  It makes sense.  The country still needs our money (in spite of the fraudulent politicians who steal much of it).

Do not steal / kill / rape / hurt / de-fraud people?  Obviously!!

And so on…

But if it’s a stupid rule?  If it doesn’t make any sense?  If it’s sole aim is for manipulation or control?  If it’s a greed tactic rule?

Sorry – I’m not obeying.

Case in Point:

Nick and I enjoy watching movies.  Movie theatres, apart from charging for the movie, like to make lots of money from their obscenely overpriced popcorn and coke that they sell at their concession stands.  They’ve invented a Stupid Rule to force all movie goers to buy their stuff – and their stuff only.  A big sign at the entrance declares that movie goers are forbidden to bring any of their own food or drinks into the movie house – and can only buy food and drinks at the theatre concession stand.

Umm.

No.

Stupid Rule.

Stupid Greed Tactic Rule – what’s more!

Nick and I continue to take our own snacks into the movie theatres.  I casually carry them in my big bag , casually slung over my shoulder.  We once managed to smuggle in a large pizza.

And then – there’s the most insidious set of Stupid-Rules of them all... and that’s the way we “ought to” live our lives.  This is one of those unspoken societal stupid rules – by the way.  And it goes like this:

  1. You’re born.
  2. At the age of 6, you start attending school in order to receive an “Education”.
  3. You attend school for 12 years of your life.  Usually, you attend an institution where you sit in neat rows and where you’re told to keep quiet, obey and behave.  You’re taught to parrot-fashion facts… and retain those facts long enough to pass a couple of standardised tests.  These tests will determine your level of intelligence – and will tell you whether you’re clever… or stupid.  One day, after the final set of standardised tests – you leave the institution of school – and you either attend another institution (college or university) – or you enter “The Real World”.
  4. Once you’re in The Real World – you get a full-time, 9-5 job.
  5. You earn a salary, you move out of your parent’s house, you start acquiring “stuff”.
  6. You buy a car.
  7. You get married.
  8. You buy a house.
  9. You fill the house with more and more stuff.
  10. You get a promotion at work… and buy more stuff.
  11. You have children (they come packaged with LOTS of stuff).
  12. Your children grow up.
  13. You send them to school.
  14. You work, come home, make supper, watch TV, go to bed… (repeat, repeat, repeat).
  15. Occasionally, you go away on a holiday which you’ve saved extra-hard for.
  16. Or you buy more stuff.
  17. Your kids finish their education.
  18. They move out the home.
  19. You fill the gap with more stuff.
  20. Eventually, at the age of around 65, you retire.
  21. You spend your days gardening, watching TV, knitting or other hobbies that interest you.  If you have enough money – you may even travel a bit (lucky you!).
  22. Then you die.
  23. And then you’re buried in the ground… with a tombstone… and a gathering of sad family members who will miss you – until they die too.  Which is what they eventually will – and we all, eventually do.

And this is what we are told is a “Normal Life” – additionally, a life we’re all supposed to aspire to.  A life we’re all supposed to WANT.  A life of routine, duty, expectation, predictability… a ‘normal’ life.

Yawn – yawn- yawnsome – yawn!

And if you rebel against these societal… rules…  these… expectations… people get all panicky and offended.

“What’s wrong with you?”  they want to know… although, the unasked question (hence the offence) is:  “What are you saying is wrong with me?”

For the record – I’m not saying anything is wrong with “you”.  My decision to live life differently is not a direct affront on your decision not to.  You have your own choices to make.  Everyone has their own choices to make – about how they want to live their lives.  And each of us are where we are – because of decisions that we have made (even if that ‘decision’ was simply to drift along on the sea of Status Quo).

If you don’t like your life?  CHANGE IT!

If you DO like your life – carry on doing what you’re doing!

It’s actually very simple.

Nick and I haven’t liked our life for the past – say – 18 months.  This Season-of-Suburbia is over and we’ve overstayed our welcome.  I don’t regret the past 7 years – we’ve had many lovely times – and have grown and established our little family.  However, the season is over now – and it’s time to move on.  It’s time for Travel & Adventure Season!  Hence… selling the house… getting rid of all our stuff… road schooling… and going on a long, indefinite adventure.

When will we be back?  I don’t know.   Will we be back?  I don’t know.

Ooooh – but it’s so wonderful and liberating and freeing – to live life by OUR Rules – instead of slotting neatly in with reams and reams of Stupid Rules – which, thankfully… no longer apply!

14 thoughts on “Stupid Rules Don’t Apply…

  1. You’re not being very British dear….you’re denying your British inheritance. Most Brits love routine and are dedicated to live by it. The exception is probably your uncle John. He had a coffin for a coffee table, used vases to drink coke out of, had a large pet pig living in his house and buried shop mannequins upside down in this garden. Is this normal ‘out of the box’ thinking? or is there a screw loose somewhere?

    • Actually, Mom – I think I get my out-the-box thinking more from the Patterson side – than from your side of the family. Uncle John is a case in point. I think he has spent his life flagrantly ignoring all the stuff he was “supposed to” have done – and he also strikes me as the most content and most genuinely “himself” out of all the Patterson brothers. And look at Cousin Clare! Another family member who couldn’t care less about the “Rules” and lives life on HER terms (and I absolutely love her for it!). Mind you – the way YOU’RE living these days, Mom – you are just as guilty of living outside the box! You’re “supposed to” act like a ‘normal’ granny – remember?? Why aren’t you tucked away safely in our garden cottage…. knitting booties or something?? (hee-hee!). PS: And I’m happy to have a couple of screws loose. Better that than having the screws too tightly wound!!

  2. Oooooh I love this topic!!!! Lets debate away!!! I just wanna know where you’re going???? And does it involve a stop to Hoedies at all??
    PS – I hate rules, for example I’m told I’m not allowed to feed my warties on the wildlife estate -. I say baa to that! I laugh out loud in the face of Mr.rule!!!!

    • Like I say,Cuz. You were one of the original Rule Breakers in my life… and all the better for it! Yes – we DEFINITELY want to visit you in Hoedies…. AND meet all the warties (that you’re not supposed to be feeding!!) tee-hee! 🙂

  3. I have come across your blog today and I love it !!!!! I have just gotten engaged and we have just decided not to follow said pattern, instead my partner is giving up his corporate job June next year just be before we get married I am in the midst of starting an online business and we are taking to the road. No stuff, no silly rules, no working long hours to get a promotion to work more hours. Its been the most freeing thing actually deciding to do it!!! Last night I told my Dad ( the most liberal of our parents) and he was thrilled thought it was fab!!! Can not wait to follow you adventures, here’s to no rules to the way you live your life!!! xxx

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  6. Hi, I came across this page from another blog I believe after starting up the Ken Robinson TED Talk on how schools stifle creativity. There is so much I resonate with from all your posts as a now 27 year old man with plenty of his own horror stories as it relates to schooling, fitting in, not feeling good enough because I don’t fit in, etc etc. I wouldn’t even know where to begin really there’s so many things I could say (when I am really motivated to speak on something I can say a lot, it just flows out naturally I find). I could easily fill several pages doing so.

    That said, for this particular comment I wanted to hit on just a couple of things if I may. As you probably could guess, I too have been a questioner, pretty much since I left high school a decade ago. It boggles the mind really how different I was then to now….I left high school a Catholic boy raised in it and confirmed into it as a teen from my father’s side of my family (they always were the more religious side, my mother’s side which is Lutheran never was), I even attended a World Youth Day in Koln, Germany (my biggest travel experience to this day) in the summer of 2005, just months after I had graduated. I left not really questioning much on a political level (this in part again came from the Catholic upbringing in part as conservative as they are), I was just really not a deep thinker at all in matters like these. I just knew how I was “supposed” to be, even if I had thoughts and feelings (particularly as it related to sex as a lot of teens deal with I think but that’s another topic) that ran counter to what I was told to be like.

    Fast forward 10 years, and I have and really want nothing to do anymore with any type of organized religion, completely have left that behind as it just didn’t make sense to me anymore, nor fit who I wanted to be, and also about as anti-government as one could be as well, questioning just about everything I see around me as it relates to that (I actually think in fact that religions and governments tend to act the very same way, but not a lot of people seem to notice I find….they’ll agree that governments abuse power, but when faced with their religion doing it too they can’t see it or refuse to, it astonishes me sometimes)

    That all leads me into what I have to say here. There were a few things in your post that stood out to the questioner in me that I now am…and I wanted to offer a different view point on them.

    The first one relates to the traffic laws…you state here that you feel that if people obeyed them, there wouldn’t be many issues on the road. Now…I do wanna ask for clarification purposes, if by traffic laws you mean basic courtesy type rules (similar to the don’t kill another being that you go into later, wherein it’s really just a nature common sense type law vs. any physical one), or if you mean the ones that we typically think of when we think of traffic laws, as in signs, lights, speed limits, and so on.

    I’m gonna assume for the purposes of this you mean the latter but feel free to correct me if I am wrong. If I’m not though…..(and even if I am I think it creates good discussion here), let me tell you how I see it. I have long since believed that traffic laws as we know them today….actually do more harm than good, and create more accidents in the end than they prevent. Now that may seem crazy to some, but let me explain why.

    When a person is driving today….they have to pay attention to all of these little things around them, with all the lights, signs and speed limits pushed onto them everywhere they go. When you have a system like that, what do you think is going to be their main focus? Obeying that? Or the actual drivers around them? I believe it’s the former, and because of that, I think it has made us worse drivers, because our focus is off where it should be. I’ll give you an example:

    You’re at a light at an intersection…..the light turns green…..so you go. In doing so you break a cardinal rule..one we’re taught from when we’re young, that is to look both ways before crossing the street. What happens if someone is barreling through the red light on that street as you’re coming through? They’re gonna hit you of course. That could easily be prevented if you weren’t focused on the light. But instead because we aren’t trained to think that way, you get accidents like that.

    The system we have in place just doesn’t work for me for that reason (that and I tend to think most of the signs and rules are there more to collect money in fines than they are about safety but that’s a separate subject), it lends itself to reckless driving. We’d be better without them I feel because then people would HAVE to be responsible for themselves on the road, they couldn’t rely on signs and lights to do that job for em anymore. I’ve even seen in fact that in some areas that don’t use a system like this, accidents actually really are lower. It’s one of those things that sounds good in theory, but in practice? Not so much.

    So that was one thing….the other relates to taxes. This is something I’ve always hated since I started to question/awaken to the reality of where we are in the world today, one of many things (licenses and permits is another along this line) but it’s a big one. We are forever taught that…taxes make the country, make the world go, that without them, we’d have nothing. But is this really true?

    What if we woke up tomorrow and the economic system we know today crashed (something I think is inevitable really, it can’t last forever the way it is) and money (which I have believed is largely a creation of government for the sole purpose for controlling its’ people as it stands) ceased to exist? What if there was nothing to pay taxes with anymore? What would happen then? Would we all just starve? Would roads no longer be built because we had no one to pay to build them for us? Would new houses never be built again? That doesn’t make much sense when you put it in those terms now does it? We’d still have needs, and short of having someone to fulfill them, it’d stand to reason SOMEONE would do the work to meet those needs right?

    Fact is….if anything, government stands IN THE WAY of that fulfilling, it doesn’t help it in any way. I mean, we pay BILLIONS of dollars a year to these politicians, these world leaders…but if you look around, do you really see any payback on the investment? Do they ever say “oh we don’t need as much this year, our job is done”? In short, do they ever do what they say they’ll do with what they’re given? I do not think so, and I do not think they ever meant to. Things all over the world are a mess, buildings are falling apart, roads are a mess, emergency services are strained, schools lack many things kids need, shouldn’t those things have been long since taken care of for the money we put into them?

    What’s worse, in any other field of business, if you pay for a service, and you don’t get what you paid for…you are free to dump them and find someone who will. But can’t do that with government, cause they’ve monopolized everything. So not only do they take your money and do nothing with it, but they make it where no one can do anything that they are being paid to do already. Clever scheme isn’t it?

    I believe them to be no different from a swindler who comes around asking you for your money, promises to use it for such and such a thing, but never delivers and leaves you with nothing. The only difference is….their theft has been legalized. It still though is theft and in my eyes should be treated as such. Morality doesn’t change because someone in a suit and tie or someone with a badge says it’s okay to do you know? If it’s wrong for the common person to take your money against your will, it’s wrong for them as well.

    I am learning to just kinda deal with it as it stands for now with all that said simply out of necessity so that I can make a life for myself in spite of it….(I have had a tendency to be so stubborn with things like this that I do nothing feeling so hopeless to fight against it all, which is counterproductive to making a good life obviously), but will always believe in what I have said here about it. It’s just not the system we are taught that it is to me.

    I guess that’s it for now lol, sorry if this was overly long for you or anyone else reading, I told you once I get started I can say a lot lol. Love to hear what you think about it all, and great blog. 🙂

    • Thanks for all your thoughts, Adam. Interestingly, my opinions have evolved somewhat since writing that post (I think the Stupid Rules post was written a few years ago)… now-days, I think I’m on a similar page as you… I’m more inclined towards doing away with the System entirely… and I *CERTAINLY* don’t trust ANY government to have The People’s best interests at heart. They don’t. They have the best interests of Big Corporations at heart. They’re interested in power, control and money.

      Your thoughts on traffic rules also provided some meaty food for thought. To be honest, I hadn’t really given the topic MUCH thought… but I think I’ll definitely be chewing on those ideas of yours for a while… and… yes – I agree that government & religion have MANY similarities – and in, fact, I’ll add third piece of the puzzle… The School System. I think that Systems of Government… Systems of Education and Systems of Religion… are a happy trio that work together – mostly to promote this idea that there is only one “RIGHT” way (their way)… only one “RIGHT” belief system (theirs)… only one “RIGHT” way to live… and I think mostly, it all has to do with control. And I’m the kind of person that just has this natural… I dunno… allergic reaction… to anyone or anything that tries to CONTROL me.

      To be honest – a lot of it depresses me. And it depresses me because I can’t *fix* it… I can’t CHANGE it… I have to find a way to somehow live (authentically and happily) within the boundaries of this system – and the best I can do is to question… and learn… and grow… and support the growing number of dissenting voices raising up (all around the world) that challenge the status quo and how things are.

      So… thanks for your nice, juicy comment… some nice food for thought in there (and – of course – I always like hearing about people’s stories and journeys too). Hat 🙂

      • 🙂 thank you for the kind reply, it’s so nice to be able to openly share thoughts like that without having to worry about being judged….it’s so hard to have that conversation with many people….they tend to look at you like you’re insane (have found that in my family on both sides for sure), there’s a handful of people I can really go so deep with like that…can count em on one hand really, others just get pissed/tune me out. So it’s nice to find another like mind, like soul that can understand where I come from, and be open to the ideas I am putting out vs just dismiss it without even a thought. One of the great things about the web I think, being able to find places to talk like this where it’d be harder to do locally.

        And yeah this post woulda been in 2012, and ironically enough I THINK I was still semi religious then…..actually no…check that, I woulda been JUST coming out of it, end of 2011 I was pulled away from it entirely by a woman I met in passing online. I had left Catholicism 4 years prior, but was still searching for an identity in the Christian realm up till then. After that it changed, and never have looked back since. Best thing I ever did, could never go back even if I wanted to, my conscious mind wouldn’t allow me. Once your mind is opened, just like with political things, you can’t close it back up again. Your life forever changes at that point, you can never view things how you once did.

        But yeah that was a while ago. It’s interesting sometimes to look back at yourself over time isn’t it? How you change…..as I said before….changed a TON just the last decade alone, I wouldn’t recognize my old self if I was looking from an outside view as who I am now. He was a very different person.

        As far as the traffic rules thing goes….I wonder what would happen if you went out and took a poll of random people around town and just asked them simply, what they focus on most when they are on the road, the rules, or the other drivers. I’d be highly curious as to what the responses might be. Could take it a little further with them if you wanted to in terms of thoughts on the system as a whole, if they feel they are better drivers for it or not, etc, but if nothing else that. Would you be up for it? I think it’d be interesting to put the theory to the test a bit.

        I agree on the schools btw, it’s all connected. There’s no freedom of thought at all on any level, it’s all obey, obey, obey. Even on the college level to a point I think there is that, in that you are forced in a lot of cases unless you go a specialty school to take classes that have NOTHING to do with the degree you seek, effectively there to waste your time and your money. With systems like that, it’s no wonder kids hate school, it was designed for everyone BUT them. I actually feel sorry for kids in the younger generation now. It’s changed a TON in 10 years. The year after I left high school, they instituted mandated ids at my old school…security cameras EVERYWHERE, one door to go in the mornings, having to wait outside 5 minutes if late (and buzzing to come in, same for non staff people of any kind), etc etc etc, it’s become more of a prison than it even was when I was there. I feel I got out at just the right time…..it seems so much worse now, and the work rate is higher too, especially with common core coming into play.

        I also loathe the fact that not only are these kids shoved together 9 months out of the year for 13 years, but they are expected to get along to the letter, to where nowadays if someone fights…..you get a criminal record practically for doing so, even if you are only defending yourself (there was a 3rd grader that got killed by a bully a few years back due to that zero tolerance policy, he didn’t wanna get suspended, so he got killed for it in the end when they beat him up). It really bugs me….has for a while….kids (and even adults sometimes for that matter) are gonna have conflict and fight, especially in that crowded prison like environment, forcing them to bottle it all up won’t do any good and will only make inevitable conflicts worse than they otherwise would be….and doesn’t work anyway in the end. Have always felt if kids were allowed a safe, monitored way to release that steam out from time to time, issues would never get as far as they do with stabbings, shootings, etc, and I view adults the same. We try so hard to keep the peace that I think it can create as many problems as it solves. Not that trying to is bad course, but sometimes it just won’t happen for one reason or another. Not everyone is always gonna get along, and as much as people may not like it, sometimes physical conflicts will be the only way for two people to be able to move forward.

        Not only that but what are we teaching kids if we don’t let them defend themselves? If the only thing they learn is that anytime someone is threatening them, they can rely on someone else to deal with it for em, what happens when no one is there? They will be woefully ill equipped to handle it. I am proof of that, I was bullied for years as a kid, never fought back, never learned how….and wish I did sometimes to this day. Gotten into wrestling/mixed martial arts the last few years in part for that very reason, to be able to handle myself if need be. Bullies don’t learn anything either I might add if they’re not allowed to get a taste of what they dish out. So both sides lose you know?

        BTW going on another part about schooling, how does the system work for when you pull kids out of school where you are? I don’t think you’ve addressed that in any of your blogs that I’ve seen….so was curious. Here in the US where I am there’s really no option to pull them outright, it’s public/private school or homeschool. No unschooling here that I know of. What is it like there?

        And finally…..that last part I can relate to so much….that’s pretty much who I’ve been the last decade or so. It can and has eaten me alive at times with all the bullshit that goes on both on a local/day to day level, and an on a national and global level. I have prided myself so much on being aware that sometimes it’s stunted me…..it would consume me. It got to where last year when all the racial related things started going on in Ferguson and elsewhere in the US, I had to just tune it all out, cause I was getting so sad, and frustrated at it all, at how people were acting, fully knowing that it wasn’t gonna do anything but play right into the hands of the government to be that way, that it wasn’t/won’t change anything except for the worse. I just had to step away….for my own sanity. It’s almost a curse to be aware sometimes in that way…..I mean I don’t regret it, but…..sometimes it makes day to day existence really tough.

        Just on a personal level….I’ve fought with myself on a lot, about where to swallow my pride…..if I should on many things because of that. I’m just like you….I HATE being told what to do, and if someone tries to force me to do something or to think a certain way as my family on both sides tends to do, my immediate reaction is to dig in my heels that much more on my side. I wanna live my way…..do things my way, and no one elses. I have fought against getting a drivers license for that reason, basically chose not to work when the options were….get a job you hate just to live, or do nothing….I did not and do not like being made to do something that goes against my conscience, and against my own personal will for my life. I am the type of person who if told I can’t do something, will wanna show that person I can and I will, even if doing so has hurt me in the process.

        Now though, as I near 30 years old in less than 3 years….I realize I have to do something with my life after spending the first 27 at home…well behind the pace of others my age (something I’ve felt more and more over the years from myself and others), before it’s too late. As it turns out now, I actually have an opportunity that has presented itself to me that ties in with the wrestling interest I spoke of earlier, and would involve me moving away from here finally and starting a new life elsewhere…..still unsure where that’ll go but it’s something (I thought a lot about it when I was reading your posts about taking big chances, risks, leaps to make a life…this would be by far my biggest….and it’s scary, but I know I need to do something and preferably soon), but nonetheless, I am not getting any younger, and the system we have, is what we have…..I have to come to terms with it for now and work around it, lest I never do anything. That’s a pretty hard thing to really accept for someone like me as you undoubtedly know and understand….but to get through to where I wanna be, I have to….it’s one of those sacrifices that must be made, it’s out of my control to do anything different without jeopardizing my future in the process so…..just one of those things. I’m determined to make something of myself one way or the other though for sure, just wish I had a little more control in that way, but life is nothing without a challenge is it? Part of the experience I suppose.

  7. Dang, Adam! You certainly have a LOT of interesting thoughts churning through that head of yours! I’m still chewing on what you’ve written…. but suffice to say – I *DO* hear you when it comes to finding a space to be real and speak openly (without fear of condemnation / judgement, etc). As you saw on my Facebook post – it’s still a struggle for me in many ways. My HEAD knows what the right thing to do is… but it seems like it’s taking a while for my heart to catch up.

    Also – you might be surprised to know that there are loads of unschoolers & homeschoolers in the States. I’m on a number of their facebook groups and forums. Apparently – the laws change from state to state. Some states are pretty anti the idea of home education… other states are very open to the idea. Some of my favourite authors on the topic of home education (John Taylor Gatto who wrote the book “Dumbing us Down”) are Americans… (and – often times – ex-teachers).

    Here in South Africa, it’s pretty relaxed (in that regard). I think the Department of Education already have their hands MORE than full – and generally – they just leave us Home Educators to our own devices (which is exactly how I like it – because I don’t think the State has any right to inflict THEIR preferences on how *WE* choose to raise and educate *OUR* kids).

    Okay – I’m not going to post a long comment (even though I read through yours – fully and completely!)… I’ve got all these wonderful messages in my in-box… from people who saw my Hat-book…. and I’m busy replying to everyone.

    (I have this *thing*… about replying to everyone. Even if it’s time-consuming. I want people to feel *heard*… and I want to acknowledge people who have taken the time to write and connect with me).

    That being said – I’m probably going to have to work out some system… because – with all this writing… I wonder when I’ll get the chance to actually DRAW and finish my HAT book! hehe! 🙂

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