My thoughts more often than not, always seem to come around to Education. I’m developing some strong passionate opinions about it and don’t necessarily share many of them because I feel like I’m in a world where these thoughts don’t fit. At some point in my life, it is my dream to branch out and find fertile ground for my thoughts on education and nurture them to grow.
I got together with some friends friday night and we all talked about creating our own school. It was exhilarating to see what their vision of a school would look like and what components they would add.
This morning, I was looking at an organization that my good friend is working for (Leap Now) and that I’m considering applying for. I found their educational philosophies to be almost the exact as mine! What a thrill! They articulate an educational philosophy so well, I just have to share it with you! (hold on to your hat, its long……..
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates
This planet could really use some creative, empowered people who are not afraid to use their hearts and imaginations to create change. Our educational system often imposes a trance state that causes us to ask ourselves, “Why bother.” We want to encourage people to ask, “Why Not Bother?” Why not be the change that I want to see in the world?
Between the ages of 17 & the early twenties young adults are faced with 3 big and potentially difficult transitions: high school to college, family to independence, and adolescence into adulthood. Fundamental questions about identity arise with a sense of urgency, with a strong need to know. If we take some time to wrestle with these questions and find answers, we can lay a better foundation for our life – basing it on integrity, fulfillment, personal evolution, and creativity.
A better alternative to sixteen uninterrupted years in the classroom is to take time for exploration – real exploration and challenge that leads to life experience, perspective, and the beginnings of wisdom – time to engage the world in a genuine way reflecting our individual interests – rather than continuing in a contrived learning situation. There may be no better time of life to explore our inner and outer worlds.
We believe that there are many paths to the same mountaintop – that there is a commonality of human experience, and as many ways to express it as there are human beings. We welcome all spiritual traditions – and prefer any approach that allows one to remain open to the validity of the experiences of others.
“An unexamined life is not worth living.”
We feel that life works better when get to know ourselves better – our minds, our bodies, our feelings, our relationship to the sacred, our energetic being, our social awareness.
Our path is easier with help – from mentors, from our peers, from new experiences and from a learning environment with high expectations.
We are multi-dimensional beings – much larger and deeper than our bodies and personalities. The journey into adulthood makes much more sense if we can broaden the context of our inquiry.
Life is glorious and to be enjoyed.
We see a world that is getting faster, less personal, more electronic, less private. The work of human maturation and deepening tends to be slow, inward, more personal, and may require time when we aren’t accessible to others.
To help our students deepen, there are regular times during the program that we restrict the use of electronic media, cell phones, the Internet, tuning out through “tunes.” We believe that this can help an individual hear a quiet, guiding, inner voice, and also help open us up to the vertical dimension of life – its depth.
We believe that a person has most everything that they need for happiness within them – that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” To this end, and also in order to safeguard our students’ safety and well-being, each participant and trip leader puts aside drugs, alcohol and tobacco for the duration of the program. LEAPYEAR is about increasing awareness and gaining clarity which we feel is served by putting these substances aside for the year.
We feel that it is important to learn to live peacefully and consciously in community and learn to serve our community. In the words of the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, “the gurus of this age will be communities.”
We assume that travel into unknown inner or outer terrain is often uncomfortable – this can be confusing, disorienting and scary, as well as expansive and exhilarating. It is also one of the most valuable and satisfying things we can do. We assume that LEAPYEAR participants want to know who they are, and are willing to go into their unknown to get there. We assume that they will be willing to undergo a certain discipline to help them evolve.
We assume that our students will be willing to leave friends, family and their known environment to undertake a quest into a larger sense of self, and a larger world.
As a program we take a stand for integrity, for decency, for peace, for bringing light into the world, for living without compromise.