Over the past few days my most recent followers on Twitter have inspired the forthcoming post. (A major benefit of being connected). Jennifer Houlette informed me that we shared length of teaching service and the parenting of two teenage children in common. Brian Durst posted a quote by the author Joseph Cambell regarding the pursuit of "bliss" that resonated with me and has resulted in the day long contemplation of its true meaning. Consequently I decided to examine the pursuit of bliss as it applies to my own children and those that I teach.
My hope is that once my children have their passions ignited by things that matter to them they will pursue them with all the vigor they can muster. They will research. They will consume. They will create. They will take risks despite the possibility of failure. They will learn to celebrate effort and adapt to failure. The joy of learning more, will always drive the pursuit of learning more.
The pursuit of new knowledge and the acquisition of new skills will allow my children and those that I teach to enjoy life and make meaningful societal contributions. Ultimately I believe this may lead to their individual bliss, but this is only something they can determine.
As a parent and educator it is vital that I contribute to an effort where a multitude of choices are provided that will peak and sustain their interests, while fostering their growth. It is imperative that guidance and support are provided when sought but not forced upon them.
If we as adults are of the mindset to control their choices and their future direction, we will fail them. We must empower them to think and act independently. Failure to do this will create a population that evolves into adulthood helplessly.
As an educator and a father, my true "bliss" will only be achieved if I am fortunate enough to observe the children in my life commit their energy and passion to a lifetime of learning. Eventually using the knowledge they acquire to lead an ever changing global society that provides opportunity for the social, technological and economic growth of their citizens. Only then will the search finally come to an end.