In the beginning of the flight, when I saw this mom, I had judged her. I instantly
built a wall between us. I viewed us as two very different people with opposite
parenting philosophies. Devin and Tiff also saw this mother's actions in the beginning
of the journey and commented on how mean she appeared to be acting to her kids. When I
asked how I could help, my children also witnessed me shift from judgment to
understanding and love for this woman. It was a moment in my life of personal growth
and one that my children learned so much from as well.
When we judge someone, we don't know their story or their path. We instantly shut
down the possibility to spread peace and love and make a difference in the lives of
others. When we can look beyond the surface, we may see ourselves in others. We have
all been at our worst at times and it hurts to have the eyes of judgment on us when we
are needing support and connection.
For the rest of the flight I chatted with this mother. Listening to her talk about
her life and personal path was really interesting. We had so much in common. We
laughed together over tea as our children played. I can't image how negative the
flight would have been if I didn't shift from judgment to love. I created the space
for connection and it felt so empowering!
As we were getting off the plane, the mom turned to me and thanked me. She said
that I gave her such a gift and that she would never forget us. She gave me a hug and
in that moment I knew that I had grown as a person.
Since the experience with this mother, I have extended the core concepts of my
unschooling philosophy to others in my life. It is so much more than a parenting
philosophy. It is a life philosophy. Focusing on others' needs rather than their
behavior is a tool of peace and connection that can change the world. I love that my
own path brings me into ever widening circles to extend the joy and respect further
and further to others. This spiraling growth is never ending.
The flight home from England was a turning point in my life and the life of my
family. I can't wait to see who we can help on our next journey. I know it will be
fabulous because no matter who we encounter, if we allow love and understanding to
guide us, only joy will follow.
"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."
- Mother Teresa