Jun 13, 2011

A note on expressive thought

Recently the following video was shared in my local homeschooling e-group.  It has given me a lot to think about, especially on how I treat my children when they express themselves. 

Taylor Mali Totally like whatever, you know

The thing that really made me stop and think was the question, "Why?"  Why is there an epidemic of un-intelligence?  Why are we afraid of expressing our knowledge and opinions around our peers? Undoubtedly there are a variety of different influences that have led to this, but what I think it ultimately boils down to is a desire to fit in and not alienate ourselves from our peers.

The next thing I wondered is, how much has this "aggressively inarticulate generation" affected me?  How often do I shy away from expressing myself eloquently?  I realize that there have been a few times when I have expressed my knowledge on a certain topic, and the response of "Wow, you're so smart" have made me not want to share my knowledge in the future.  Of course I'm not "so smart", when there is so much that I do not know.  I just happen to know something about the said topic and shared what I had to say.  Children, like adults, don't want to be told how smart they are when they say something.  They want to feel like what they have to say contributes to the conversation, and is not a deliberate attempt to show off.  It's okay to express your knowledge about the Star Wars universe, but not okay to cite Shakespeare.  It's okay to be tech-savy as long as you are an average student.  Among musicians, it is okay to know a lot about Beethoven, but not Aristotle.  We really do feel like we have to cover our tracks and apologize for saying something intelligent.  It is easier to stay quiet.


After watching the video, my husband and I agreed that we are grateful that in our marriage we can feel comfortable having an intelligent conversation with each other.  The home is a safe-haven for many things, and intellectual expression and development is apparently one of them.

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