Potential

Today, my mum made a comment about me. Here I am, doing everything for my “school”, my children, CGS…. but I have so much “potential”, how can I tap that potential? I guess she was saying how can I development myself to the fullest?

Of course, I responded that by doing what I am doing, I am developing myself. I have never really realised how much development occurs when you are a mother. I have grown in ways that are completely immeasurable and yet, they are areas of substantial growth. Of course, as the growth is unquantifiable, no employer in their “right mind” would find me desirable, since, in many ways, I look like I’ve “gone soft”. I was a pretty driven corporate worker in my other life. I would “get things done whatever it takes”. With that, came a development of part of me that today, I am not proud of. So, I have worked (and am still working) to diminish that part of me.

That is why I love Montessori. I was just thinking (in line with this discussion on “potential”) – there are all these enrichment classes to “develop the child’s potential to the fullest” but what of the potential to love? Children are born with VAST amounts of love and potential to love. Heaven forbid they have classes to develop that. However, so much focus is on the other types of (so-called) “potentials” that often, the potential to love is eaten away.

How often has a child stopped an adult to say – oh that lady dropped something, or that child fell down, or there is a beggar along the road – only to have the adult yank the child away to say, “We are in a hurry” or worse still, instill indifference or even judgment in the child by saying something negative. As they grow older, we stop children from helping one another on the pretext that the other child would be “cheating”.

And then there’s the living in the moment – the complete joy of watching a butterfly, of seeing the clouds moving through the sky, of listening to the waters of a stream… moments filled with love of things natural, things that feed our soul…

Montessori is a way of life. It is so strange that on the one hand, I am told (and I strangely, I actually understand it) that you can’t really “do” Montessori in a homeschool setting. Yet, on the other hand, I see Montessori in everything I do. I am becoming a little more patient and loving to children every day (and more “in the moment” with them) and then, today, thinking about this idea of “potential” and love, I realise I need to become even MORE patient and loving to the adults I meet. They may have bad habits that have now “become” part of their being (unlike children who still have the potential to change), but why should I treat them any differently from the children? Why is it that I am justified in saying – they are adults, they should know better? Some adults never had the opportunity to learn or know whatever it is we assume they ought to know. We need to meet them where they are.

This work is, as they say, life changing. I see God’s hand in it very strongly and I am blessed for that.

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