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Is (insert activity here) For Everyone?

As Education Director for an alternative education program, I am frequently asked some version of the following two questions:

1) Is College for everyone?

2) Is Praxis for everyone?

Besides food, water, air, shelter, and love (and I’m sure there are some people who would even debate the necessity of the aforementioned elements), there aren’t many things that are for everyone.

This is true of going to college and this is true of skipping college. This is true of starting your own business and this is true of working for someone else. This is true of making a lot of money and this is true of taking a vow of poverty. This is true of being very ambitious about your career and this is true of not caring all that much about your professional life.

This is true of getting married young, getting married old, and not getting married at all. This is true of having a lot of children, having a few children, and not having children at all. This is true of having a very active social life and this is true of being an introvert. This is true of being a Lady Gaga fan and this is true of being a Miles Davis fan. This is true of almost everything.

There are no cookie cutter answers to the question “what path should I take?”

We’re all capable of helping each other evaluate pros and cons, but none of us have the final answer for anybody else.

No matter what the subject, it will always be necessary that we think for ourselves.

If you can find an easy answer whose application requires zero creativity, zero critical thinking, and zero personal risk, it’s probably not an answer worth having.

To Create Is To Evolve

Art is an opportunity for transformation.

When we create things, we recreate ourselves.

The creative process is reciprocal in this way. When we give our energy to it, it gives us a deeper quality of life in return.

This is the strongest argument, in my opinion, for why we should follow our passions.

The greatest reward for attempting to realize our dreams is not the prospect of receiving critical acclaim or financial remuneration; it’s the immeasurable thrill of gaining access to new dimensions of our own being.

When we engage in acts of creation, we catalyze our evolution.

Build something different. Make something new. Invent something cool.

You may not change the world, but you definitely wont remain the same.

Are You Mature Enough To Handle A Compliment?

It’s often said that the mark of maturity is the ability to take criticism.

I’d also contend that it’s no less of a sign of depth to demonstrate the ability to take a compliment.

A message I penned a couple of years ago bears repeating:

When someone offers you a compliment, and you respond by explaining away your positive attributes in terms of how your mother raised you, what city you’re from, or how many advantages you’ve had, it doesn’t change the fact that your goodness is still worthy of being appreciated. The ability to explain the origins of a virtue does not make that virtue any less real or praiseworthy. So when someone applauds you for demonstrating good character, don’t treat them like they’re being irrational or unethical. When people compliment you, it’s not because they’re under the illusion that you’re a perfect, self-sufficient being that’s never had any help. It’s simply a kind way of saying ‘I appreciate you’ or ‘I admire you.’ It’s already a rare experience for most of us to feel celebrated. So when it happens, why not allow it? Ease up on the scientific explanations for why you refuse to be impressed with yourself and just allow the other person to have their moment of gratitude.

We’re well aware of your flaws and imperfections. Please allow us to have at least one moment to talk about your beauty.

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