Architects of a New Dawn

We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.

Sparked by something Violette Ruffley said in email, and then further sparked by Louis Grenier's recent blog post, "Mission Statement," I thought it might be interesting to discuss how we empower, or raise and nurture the dreams and visions of our collective children. Be they babies, little kids, teenagers or grown adults---I don't believe the sharing and nurturing ends. I believe we provide important stepping stones for our children as they make their way through life.

I believe it's so important, the project that Louis has created~~~these souls are the present and future realization of the love of creation.

They say (don't ask me to identify "they" cuz I don't know!) that we are closest to our life purposes, or knowing what our life's purpose is, when we are young---

The question---"What do you want to BE when you grow up?" when answered by a child may be closest to the truth of that soul's reason or purpose here. So often, that answer may not be met with approval or support from the immediate people in that child's world----that child may realize that to get on in this world, they should change and shift who and what they want to be when they "grow up" into something that they perceive is more in alignment with that will be "accepted" by society.

When we are not in alignment with our personal truth, or who we "want to be when we grow up," what becomes of that soul's dreams and goals?

How can we, as architects~~~~assist our younger co-architects?

Thoughts?

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Great topic, AW.
The first thing that popped into my mind, in terms of what we can do to assist the younger architects... is be authentic. I remember as a child and youth, resenting the double standards I witnessed from those who proclaimed to lead... yet didn't reflect the very concepts they espoused to uphold.
And secondly, be aware of how we use our power. Power used with another is empowering for all involved... power for is necessary and effective in situations where the other person has limited capacity and of course, power over... is old school and best reserved for dire situations, emergencies, etc. where time to consult and communicate is limited.
And last and always... be mindful... be aware of our own motives and volition. Be the best we can be...

I guess I didn't say much about youth or youth projects... but if we aren't self-aware, they will know.
I think an important part to this is supporting our youth in thier dreams and goals and not pushing our dreams or goals for them to the point where they are not setting goals for themselves but setting goals so as not to dissappoint thier parents.We all want our children to succeed but most of all we should want them to feel a sense of accomplshment for a goal that they have set for themselves. It does not matter if they succeed or fail at this goal. What matters is that they strive for thier dream or goal and not someone elses.
How true...teenagers are valued and evaluated according to their capacity to accomplish responsibilities that have been set for them. We give them praise, trophies, good marks when they do. We as a society (the school system, parents, community organisations) tend to give them responsibilities without giving them equivalent power. The power to imagine goals and to figure out how to acheive them for instance... The opportunity to fail and to understand what went wrong.
Thank you AkashicWreckage for putting this out here. The ideas that spung up has inspired the theme of my next blog! See you around,
Louis
Great insight, Jeanne.
You said: "The first thing that popped into my mind, in terms of what we can do to assist the younger architects... is be authentic. I remember as a child and youth, resenting the double standards I witnessed from those who proclaimed to lead... yet didn't reflect the very concepts they espoused to uphold."

Yes! I believe this needs to be encouraged in the teenagers----they DO have a sure hold on what being real, and, being truthful means. They can be quite the truth machines. Frequently, this sense, this knowing they have---is almost educated out of them. Wedges are put between parents and children, when they hit that middle school/early high school age---many of those wedges considered to be "normal" by educators. There is a current running through this time period, that puts forth the concept that we shouldn't trust kids that age, that they will lie and deceive us (so called adults).

I don't know a way to nurture or foster what Louis put forth as the Mission Statement in his blog---"To favour in teenagers, an awareness of their capacity and of their collective responsibility to transform their lives according to their needs and their dreams".---IF there is this air of dis-trust.

We cannot help them with learning about their power, is there is no faith and trust IN them.
I don't even know how we can build communities, if that is held as belief.

And secondly, be aware of how we use our power. Power used with another is empowering for all involved... power for is necessary and effective in situations where the other person has limited capacity and of course, power over... is old school and best reserved for dire situations, emergencies, etc. where time to consult and communicate is limited.
And last and always... be mindful... be aware of our own motives and volition. Be the best we can be...

I guess I didn't say much about youth or youth projects... but if we aren't self-aware, they will know.


It's so interesting that you mention self-aware. I think that truly strikes to the core of this. We must reflect, and, BE self aware so they, too, can continue to be.
Very true! We almost shield them from failure with rewards. Yet, we know from the experiences of life, that our greatest growth comes when we fail, pick ourselves up, and get on with the business of figuring out what to do next.

Louis Grenier said:
How true...teenagers are valued and evaluated according to their capacity to accomplish responsibilities that have been set for them. We give them praise, trophies, good marks when they do. We as a society (the school system, parents, community organisations) tend to give them responsibilities without giving them equivalent power. The power to imagine goals and to figure out how to acheive them for instance... The opportunity to fail and to understand what went wrong.
Louis,
Thank YOU for the blog post which inspired this discussion! LOL.
I am so glad that you are inspired.
In-Spirit, is how I've heard the word "inspired" defined~~~
Blessings,
AW

Louis Grenier said:
Thank you AkashicWreckage for putting this out here. The ideas that spung up has inspired the theme of my next blog! See you around,
Louis
yes jeanne - i think that as we are more and more transparent and authentic with our own truth of who we are and "want to BE in the world" (want to BE when we grow up), and empower ourselves by allowing the emerging of our own dreams, then it becomes easier to be encouraging and supportive of the next ones on their way who are following their own unique, sacred paths.
and some of us are just barely getting a glimpse of what that sacred path is later in our lives (moi), and just beginning to allow it to expand and manifest - i am very grateful for the interactions and examples courageous young people display in my world...it is inspiring to be open and learn from them! sometime they are not even being courageous, it is just who they are and how they are living their lives...so good to be able to share with them.

thank you for the chance to reflect!

aa
AA said: "and some of us are just barely getting a glimpse of what that sacred path is later in our lives (moi), and just beginning to allow it to expand and manifest - i am very grateful for the interactions and examples courageous young people display in my world...it is inspiring to be open and learn from them! sometime they are not even being courageous, it is just who they are and how they are living their lives...so good to be able to share with them."

I so agree with you, Amy! The courage that is there in our youth---in what many believe are challenging times, is so heartening to witness.
You also mentioned "the sacred path," above---I believe that is SO important to nurture in our youth.

When I was a teen, I used to have experiences and dreams---very real and yet surreal at the same time. When I was 18, I took transcendental meditation courses, and then other spiritual avenues opened up for me. One of them was a healing technique developed by Dr. Lawrence LeShan and Dr. Joyce Goodrich. We had healing groups that met, after we had been "trained," and it was amazing.

I vividly remember, though, wondering how this was going to mesh with the reality of the life that I was leading then---and what would people think of me---if I chose that off the beaten path---spiritual path?

So, it was put to the side and I did other things with my life.

One day, decades and decades later, I asked my then husband----what did you want to be when you grew up---what was it that you wanted to do with your life when you were 12?
He replied that he really wanted to be a veterinarian, but that his mother wanted him to be a doctor or lawyer--neither of which he ever had an interest in. I recall being surprised when he told me this, because I never knew this about him.

I asked him why he didn't do it and his response was that he didn't believe that society supported that kind of choice for men---at that time. He said that it would have been an odd choice, too different to be accepted!
So, even at that young of an age, 12, just by what he saw in those around him, what he really wanted to do with his life, went un-supported.

AW
I wrote the following awhile back but this discussion reminded me of it. You may enjoy. If not into reading it, the main point is that if I'd had even one adult to encourage me at that tender age, my life might not have been so painful at that time. Still, the journey worked out, as you'll read, but I hope to be that support and source of hope for the young people I meet in my life now at age 60:

Images and Deeper Desires

I remember being about 12 years old sitting in church, looking at the statues, listening to the choir and feeling that life must be about something really, really important...that there must be something incredible I was supposed to know, to feel. I assumed it must have been related to God, love, truth...the usual suspects!

I also remember feeling afraid, because I didn’t see those amazing ideals and concepts manifesting around me. I had a sense that no one was going to be able to help me. I would ask and the answers would be "just believe" or "it’s a mystery."

Worst of all: "After you die."

YIKES, you’re kidding? What a bummer for a little kid!

Don't mistake my point. I'm not anti-religion. That has it's place and for some, it's a meaninful and personal choice. What I'm addressing here has no comparison to what religion teaches or offers. It's apples and oranges. Religion and faith simply didn't satisfy the deepest needs I felt inside. My memories of images like the one above are fond ones. That was something very inspiring when I was young. Some of the finest people I know practice a religion and since that never promised me a heaven on Earth, no harm, no foul.

What I've found, though, is that what was longed for all those years ago is indeed possible; that I wasn't just some nutty kid with larger than life fantasies, looking for something that didn't exist for me in this lifetime. I have been fortunate to find something that allows me to feel that heaven, not after, but while I'm alive; while I can be sure; while I can enjoy.

I'm glad I never gave up looking and asking, because now I can swim in an ocean of answers. Now I can feel something, a practical experience, and with that...the longing of that little girl, that longing that never left, is now completely satisfied.
Last night, for the first time in a while, I had CNN on. There was a discussion on bullying in school and the recent suicide of an 11 year old boy, who was being bullied.

It made me think about this discussion and how the issue of bullying is still with us.
When my boys were younger, and I can recall it coming up when they were in kindergarten, I thought there was headway being made---
Very sad...
http://blog.schooltipline.com/topics/bullying/recent-bullying-victi...
FASCINTATING!

Thanks to you all. Anyone who is getting to know me around here, know that I have the largest spot for the young people, especially now that I've reached that sacred parental classification.

Foremost in answering the question namely: "How can we, as architects~~~~assist our younger co-architects?" I would say that we should address whatever adult child issues reside in ourselves. To whatever degree of variation there has been dysfunction in our families, let us as adults work to halt those routes of transmission to the next generation. Although I personally have NOT gotten to that place where I am "living to be what we wanted to be when we grow up." I'm a work in progress, and it is not a thing of perfection today as an end result.

What I can do for my son and other young people that I interact with is be real about that. I have to be courageous to share in honest and address that child with the respect that I want as well. Today I asked young architect on this website to refer to me as Mike, vs. the "Mr." referent that his very concientious parents have instilled in him to do (thisI I presume). He is an Architect is no different than I in this journey.

To further illustrate how I deal with young people today, I want to talk about a "bullying" epidode with my son. When I saw a larger boy "roughing him up" in play, I took the boy to the side and spoke to him in no certain terms that it was not appropriate to handle my son in that manner (they are both around 5 years old). I let him know that play is one thing, but size does matter and there is always going to be someone bigger than him down the road. I'm not waiting for the teacher or the monitor to tell him what should be told right then and there. Moreover, I tell my son not to engage in that sort of play, least he is subject to getting tossed around and not feeling the better for doing so. We are all responsible for peace, and it starts very young. I was a smallish boy, and was surrounded by fear for most of my formative life. Now I get to walk another boy through something, for which I had no teacher or adequate guide. And the next time we saw the so called "bully child" I made a point that I personally acknowledged his presence as yet another child, and asked how has he been. My son even made a Valentines for him. What is an important lesson for that child, is that I respect him, and he see the importance that I place on my son's welfare so he knows that is not an appropriate place for any of his frustration. I can participate in Open House or other school activities where I get a chance to met the parents, and know a little bit about this boy rather than applying some false label, say like "bully" in this particular circumstance. I can move forward to creating a community.

I have spoke in specifics, but in general, children simply have to be given the respect of that is commissurate with the sentient and wise creatures that they are. The have to be shown in the AFFRIRMATIVE (i.e., with positive reinforcement) how to live, instead of always being talked down to or having their feelings disregarded. I'm not perfect, but this is the type of man that I always wanted to be "when I grew up."

Best, Mike

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