Updated: Jul 2, 2020
My life began the moment I broke out of my cell of doubt created by the public school system! Every summer vacation I felt like my sentence had ended, and the only sad thought was that it would begin again, in just a few short months, when school started again. Most kids feel the same way; they hate school, but they go because they are trained to believe it is the Great American Expectation. Remember, we are told time after time that if we do well in school then we will be successful. So we strive to please our parents, our teachers, the system, and ourselves. This is the secret, cruel pressure that molds our spirits.
The simple question that has followed me around like a pesky fly all of my life has been, "Why did I hate school so much?" I wanted to like school, but the moment I entered kindergarten I felt like I was not allowed to be my free little self anymore. I can remember it like it was yesterday—the classroom looked fun, but only five years earlier I had been delivered into the hands of my parents, and now I was being delivered into the hands of complete strangers and expected to perform! Even when I was five years old, l knew there was something wrong with this picture, but a giant cloud of expectation had become ever present in my life. It was inescapable, and it seemed to follow not only me but my brothers and my parents. As matter of fact, it followed everyone I knew. As a child, it felt so wrong that many of us lived under this cloud of expectation. It seemed to be the very thing that kept me from doing what I really wanted to do, especially as a child. This cloud of expectation never allowed me to see through it, to the outside of the cloud. It was ever present and kept up a fog, and that fog seemed to have a head on it with an authoritative quality. This authority had so many of us wanting so badly to please it, and because we needed its approval and acceptance, just one negative mark on our report cards could make us feel like we had failed completely. And so we then tried even harder to please this authority.
The one secret this authority has is it that it will never allow anyone to ever know that you can never make this cloud of expectation happy, and that once you buy into its power, it holds you hostage forever! Without the approval of this authority, you will always feel like a loser! Its power and hold over us makes us view people on the other side of the fog as outcasts and losers, and even entices us to feel above these so-called radical types and to look down our noses at them. If you are accepted by this powerful system, then you are part of the club of expectors. You are then paid for by entitlements. Once you find the excitement of being entitled, you are set forever, and you now have the club of expectors behind you who will protect their own at any cost.
As I grew older, I became sick of this cloud of expectation following me, so I broke out to the other side of the fog, and, guess what? You can breathe better, see better, and you can feel the excitement of ideas and dreams becoming part of you—sometimes for the very first time in your life. But still, that cloud of expectation wants us back; it does not like losing anyone, so it turns on the doubt switch that is planted in you, and you can’t really be free until you discover the key. That key is the other head of education! It is the freedom of discovery, the love of teaching yourself, and the understanding that everything you ever wanted to learn or know is within yourself. You can excel beyond the expectors' understanding and knowledge, and they no longer know how to control you because you have become an individual! You confuse the expectors, because they don’t understand what true freedom really is, so they label you a rebel, and they try to keep you from succeeding. The other head of education is not a cloud of expectation, but a blue sky of freedom. It needs no degrees to prove its brilliance. Once you learn to believe in yourself and your own ability to learn what you love in your own time, motivated by the love of your interests, then anything and everything becomes possible. It is also possible for your children. We all must learn to believe in our children and not in the cloud of expectation that is put on them. When your child does not want to go to school, think about it—maybe they are smarter than you. Don’t allow the cloud of expectation to cloud your intuition; we are all conditioned to believe in it and not in the other head of intuitive education. Who says a child cannot teach himself? I beg to differ. Children are brilliant little beings, and they only need the trust of a parent to free them to become pure brilliance. Children have common sense, and they will know when they need teaching. They also know when they don’t need to learn something they are not interested in.
The moment you stop believing in your children and start believing in the system of expectation and that authority, you hand your beautiful, innocent children over to that system, and they are no longer under your authority. Just look at our teenage population. Where are the individuals? Most kids find a peer that they can feel accepted by, because remember, you just handed them over to strangers, and they know it! These kids now feel completely abandoned and look for someone they can identify with. Most kids at school are in the same boat, but there is always going to be that one person your child will confide in and, “bam," there is almost no hope of retrieving them. They no longer trust you and become part of an even more dangerous system. My life began the day I quit public school and started my own business at sixteen years old! My journey has taken me from a jewelry business, to becoming an award-winning author, publisher, restaurateur, writer, nationally-syndicated radio talk show host, successful entrepreneur, chef, mother, teacher, speaker, and mentor to thousands of troubled kids. And all it took to help these kids was to hold their hands through the fog to the other side where they felt the fresh air of freedom on their faces, and the rest was within each one of them. Why is it so hard to believe that real education does not need degrees or fanfare? It only requires the love of learning and the love of discovery.