Monday, March 4, 2013

In the Pursuit of Passion


I believe with all my heart that what we are passionate about is part of our purpose - part of what God made us to do.
When you are passionate about something and you learn, practice and make that passion part of your life - whether it in making a living or even just as a hobby.


The ideal, however, is to turn your gifts (which really aren't these the same as your passions?) into a means  to earn your livelihood.  You will be doing the work God made you to do and in the process be blessing people through the outer display of living your passion (your excitement and energy becomes contagious).
When school systems track  students towards an education or training in order to fill the jobs, in most cases the passions will not be filled - gifts will not be nurtured and developed.

We live in the northeast kingdom of Vermont and there are big changes afoot, I mean really big changes.  So close to our home, a mountain is being developed into a giant four season fun park megaplex, the closest small city is going to be newly developed with a large resort and an entire city block is going to be torn down and replaced with fancy buildings.  An international bio-tech firm is going to be formed.  All these changes, the public is told, will create thousands of jobs. 



In an area with the highest unemployment rate in the state wouldn't this be welcome?  Shouldn't area people be rolling out the red carpet? Most are.

I say no.  For one thing, the source of this influx of money is through the EB-5 immigration program - tens of millions of dollars - spent by wealthy foreigners buying their way into our country. (While the poor illegal working on a neighbor's farm must stay in hiding.) 

But, most frightening to me is one aspect of the response to all of these new jobs.   The local public high school has been meeting with the developers to formulate new training and job tracks which will take place at the public schools in order to "train" the children to support the pockets of few. 


While most of the jobs being created are low paying service jobs, I am sure there will be some higher paying positions in management and some specialty fields.   However, why are people convinced that money is the bottom line?   Why are our public schools ignoring passion - ignoring our children's gifts?   When passions are ignored the individual does not become the person God intended, and in turn, tens, perhaps hundreds, even thousands of others lose out on appreciating and learning from that one individual.  Perhaps that student was the next Edison or another Monet?  Or maybe another local farmer providing quality food for the local population. 

I am passionate about life, about living, and about becoming.  One of the reasons we home educate is to be able to nurture our children's gifts - to help them realize their passions.   I plan to share more about each of them in the coming posts.

30 comments:

  1. we may soon be a society totally committed to service jobs....which would be fine if those doing those jobs were passionate about serving. It used to an art and supported many generations of families. Now I am afraid we are creating( although there is nothing creative about it)a workforce full of discontented,bored and indifferent service workers...the ultimate hoarde of people "living lives of quiet desperation". It makes me sad. Thank you for providing moments of delight in my day with your posts. Carrie from St Thomas,ON

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  2. I love your blog ~ it is such an inspiration.
    My three children are all in college, following their dreams. My sons especially are not seeking educations in what would result in high paying jobs. One in music (majoring in piano, one majoring in art. My daughter has just recently returned to college (now with a son to support) and is still a bit undecided. I have long told my children to follow their hearts and they will be happy.

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  3. The public schools and general public aren't concerned about kids reaching the potential *God intended*, because God has been taken out of virtually everything. As a society we have lost the passion of serving others before ourselves and taking care of elderly, the sick, etc. We have praised a "me" society and encouraged it. Now we are basically reaping the results of our own selfishness. Gone is a sense of community and basic moral decency. When moral decline sets in the way it has, is it any wonder the material becomes our gods. Not to be all glum, there are still plenty of folks that are concerned about the common good. But, yeah, you see more of the former these days. I dont' begrudge anyone making an honest living and prospering, but one has to ask oneself, at what cost?

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  4. I don't think "training" the kids at the schools is a bad thing. Just because they work at a theme park doesn't mean they can't pursue their dreams. In fact, it gives them the avenue to pursue there dreams and in some cases, may change their dreams. I think it sounds like a great opportunity for your area and an opportunity many, many, many people would be more than grateful for now-a-days.

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  5. Tonya,

    You know our back ground my oldest daughter just graduated and college at this time is not in her future. She has her own web-site which she is making pretty good money but the main thing she loves what she is doing. She might not make a huge salary but she makes enough each month to buy the things she wants.

    My youngest is still being home schooled and hopefully being able to learn and create each and everyday.

    I found out a few months ago that the public school near us only teach the standardlize test...they don't do work sheets unless the questions are about the test they will take this spring. They don't finish chapters in their school books??

    I think you are so right about letting each child to seek their own creative passion...each child is different and they should not be molded into a"public" worker...there are enough people behind a cash register but not enough artist,musicians,and creators.

    Wonderful post and I look forward to learning more about your family:) :)

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  6. I know when my children were small parents would talk all the time about how their children were going to go to college no matter what and they were going to be going for something that would "better" them, what that meant was makes lots of money. I would be looked at funny when I said that I did not think it was my choice for my children to go to college or decide what they would do when they grew up and all that I wanted for my children was a happy life. I home schooled as you do and I had one who decided not to go on to college, who we now know has some "issues", and one who became a cosmetologist. My children are still family oriented and love to be around mom and dad. I do not think you have to be highly successful by public opinion to be successful.

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  7. In my formative years, I was told by my parents that following my "passion" was not the right thing to do. They said I would never be able to make a living or get pay back (financial, of course) for my training/education in any of the fields in which I was interested. I didn't have the confidence or know where to go to get assistance on following my dreams. I found "counselors" in both high school and college to be unapproachable (too busy) and of little or no help whatsoever. It seems that some fifty years later now, the same thing is still happening to the majority of our young people. So, so sad for our society and mankind in general.

    An excellently written post. Blessings to you for raising your children as you are.

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  8. Thank you for this great post. Looking forward to following updates!
    Blessings,

    Jeanneke.

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  9. Well said! My oldest is in grade 8 and already at school they are trying to steer him in the direction of an "academic" future because his grades are so high. They ignore the fact that he would much rather work with his hands. On the other hand, we are encouraging him to find what he loves, and then find a way to make that his job. I would much rather see him happy than see him rich...

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  10. I am graduating my oldest from 12 years of homeschooling this May. He has applied for college and will follow a passion that is God given. He is studying music composition. My husband and I both made sure that we taught our children to follow the passion they have been blessed with.

    I think it is also a matter of trust. Trusting in Our God completely, knowing full well that He will provide all of our needs.

    My children understand this. They see their talents as gifts that need to be allowed to grow.

    No, the country will not agree to this, because money tends to be the motivation behind it all.

    m.

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  11. Great post Tonya. I struggle with this greatly, particularly working in commercial real estate which I have realized although I enjoy in a lot of ways, it conflicts with my values in so many others. I'm now wrestling with taking a risk and doing something new, both for myself, and to hopefully set an example for my children to take risks and follow your heart, not the money. The greed and bottom line above all else is so disheartening. I look forward to hearing future posts on this topic.

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  12. We have a similar issue in my small town. There was the promise of lots of jobs but local people aren't being hired. The jobs are being given to people from other parts of the country and world....not entirely sure why when so many are out of work here. So disappointing.

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  13. One of our big mining companies has just sponsored traning in a local highschool to service the mining industries. What happens to these poor kids when the mining boom crashes.Yes I agree with you. Childrens learning in the public system is geared towards money making and not to where the child has a genuine interest. I don't think a lot of kids today know where their interests lie. I think they have had it squashed in their schooling.

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  14. I have thought so much along the same line and agree very much with your way of thinking. The school system is designed to force all children though the same needles eye and consequently any children who don't fit the "ideal" are stamped difficult or disfunctional even dumb as a result. It's not right! Someone once said: "We are born as originals and die copies" tragically there is a lot of truth in it. And like you say, bottom line: it's all about the money! Pam xx

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  15. I agree with you Tonya, more and more we live in a world where the many are simply fuel to throw on the bonfire of greed for those at the top end. In the meantime the dreams and expectations of everyone else are sacrificed, all they are good for is manning the pumps of money making. It really is getting worse but many are not able to step back and see how this enslavement affects us all and limits our choices and rights as free human beings.

    My dream is to raise children who respect themselves and seek to take a role in the world that brings them joy and sustenance but that they should never be afraid to take the road less travelled. By learning to farm ourselves I hope my boys will also gain skills that will allow them independence in the future and minds free of the indoctrination of mainstream society.

    Those at the top benefit the most so will never change it, only by the actions of individuals, working towards our values and creating a 'counter culture' of high moral standards and environmental responsibility will we be able to secure a real future for our kids. We are doing it, right now!

    Great post : )

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  16. I've always been self-employed, and it hasn't always been easy. Sometimes I DO wish I had a college education in, say, education or nursing to fall back on or to have had the CHOICE to fall back on. But also, when I look at my life, I see it could not have gone any differently and that I've always been supported.

    I think there are a lot of people and educators out there right now that are supporting the younger generation to follow their hearts. There's still a lot of bull too, of course, and will always be. I guess one just has to turn away from that and steer themselves, and their families, in the "heart-centered" direction. You are doing that! Good for you.
    xo

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    1. It is never too late to go to college.
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.
      We are blessed to have choices, aren't we?

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  17. Oh a life lived without following your passions is a life not really lived. This post makes my heart so very sad. To think of the system ignoring a child's passions in favour of "training" them for these jobs, why?

    I look forward to reading more about your children and their passions.

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  18. exactly! Kids now wait until their 18 to decide who they are on their own. Sorry about the new developments near you, it's always frustrating to watch mismanagement around us!

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  19. Very thought-provoking post! Our society is has exchanged the real true God for the god of money and "jobs."

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  20. Sometimes the pure potential that God intended is to raise a happy family, and if a paid service job allows them to fulfil that role then so be it. My husband works in a similar job and works very very hard to support our family, there is nothing arong about him not being Monet or Edison. Money does make the world go round when you earn such a small wage that every penny counts and is put towards something essential. Not everyone can live on open land raising their own animals and vegetables, and working with the natural materials they have at hand, there simply isn't enough land and the population is too great. There is a lot to be said for service jobs being done to the very best of someone's ability and making someone else smile in their day. Not every child in the local school will be funnelled into those jobs. I admire the way you live and everyone who manages to bring their family up the way you do, but it isn't the right way for everyone and God doesn't intend the same great things for everyone..... being humble is valued too! Regards, Jenni

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    1. Hi Jenni,
      I certainly didn't mean to offend. When we have God's love in our heart then no matter what we do (even when I am cleaning our toilet, for example) I am joyful. So yes, at a service job one could touch the lives of many and what a blessing that is. I am no way saying there is anything wrong with any particular job. What I have a hard time with is the huge disparity that is happening in this country between the rich and poor and that our institutions are educating the masses to fill these low paying jobs.
      We are definitely not all gifted in terms of being famous - I also included farmers in that category if you read above again - I was just making a point about thinking outside the box, that is all.
      God does want us to use our gifts no matter where we are and no matter what our task is at the present.
      Blessings, Tonya

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  21. Ok so now I see that your a fraud much like The Pioneer Woman who never lets anyone post anything negative on her website. If you aren't going to let people post their opinions about your post than why have a blog? Mine wasn't even negative although I was totally disagreeing with what you said. It's sad that you can't take any type of debate on your site and only want people who fawn over everything you say.

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  22. I have enjoyed reading your blog. My husband and I grew up in Vermont and the Berkshires in Massachusetts. Personally I would love to see both areas untouched as they are so beautiful and for some provide a beautiful life style. We both left after trying very hard to earn a living and not finding much success. I have let all of my children follow their dreams and passions and I hope it works out for them. Reality for alot of children is work and not college or passions. I do think that placing the blame on schools is wrong. I work in a high school guidance department and we encourage all children to pursue their dreams. Many children need to work to even get to community college. Many children don't want college and just want to work. Many more don't have alot of choices and work is the only way. Please do not think that public school is squashing dreams. We provide an education and career paths for everyone not just a choice few. Parents need to take responsibility for their children's education. Schools were not to meant to raise children.

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    1. I think it is really sad if any child feels their passions cannot be a reality.
      I am not blaming schools at all - I was just not agreeing with big business getting into the business of education, that was all.
      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment.

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  23. Ok cool. If you go to her site she does not allow any post where people disagree with her and I just think that is unrealistic. She only wants people on her site you kiss her butt and I was really hoping you weren't like that. Glad to see your other responses!

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    1. Melissa, I've been reading Tonya's blog for many years and value her thoughtful insights and the way she lives her life very true to her values, no matter what it costs her. I find your comment deeply offensive, you seem to be holding onto a lot of anger and directing it at Tonya, this is inappropriate. If you do not find her opinions to your taste, go elsewhere or write your own blog and share your opinions as honestly and openly as she does.

      As a wise rabbit once said, if you don't got nothing nice to say, don't say nothing at all.

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  24. A wonderful post. I think education must be about the child. Nurture and tend to the child as you would a small seed and in time you may stand back and wonder at the beauty they produce.

    School or big business, aren't they the same?

    Peace to you, Terry

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