Last year, I was sitting at one of my son’s parent nights and a parent commented that it has been hard for her daughter to change the narrative about herself. People had formed opinions about her and she was not able to transcend those labels. In conversation afterwards, some people agreed that they had fixed labels about a number of people in the class, both children and parents, that were formed many years before and these labels had stuck.
Rudolf Steiner’s words “Receive the Child in Reverence” speaks to this for all of us. A renewal is required each time we meet “the other”. It can be very satisfying to our “small selves” to label another human being, to give them a conceptual identity and to pronounce righteous judgment on them. Indeed we have been conditioned to think and behave in this way. But as we know in moments of wisdom, a conditioned thought is not who “the other” is but is who they appear to be.
Giving someone a conceptual identity becomes a prison, not only for the other person but also for yourself. It limits the opportunity for development and growth which is what this parent was referring to when she commented that her daughter was stuck in the same narrative and couldn’t escape.
To let go of this judgment does not mean that you don’t see what they do but it allows you to recognise their behaviour as a form of conditioning and you see it and accept it as that. You don’t construct an identity out of it for that person. That liberates you as well as the other person from identification with conditioning. The label is removed and the “small me” no longer runs your relationships.
Steiner indicated this is something we must strive for every day to avoid rigidity and allow for growth and change.
On the 7th of September, Silver Tree will have another re-registration visit by the Department of Education Services. These visits are preceded by much paper work to ensure the school meets all the requirements of the government and as a result the office will be heavily involved in preparation for this routine inspection. Please be understanding of this situation.
Please read: 10/08/2011 Silver Leaves Edition 252