Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Having a Healthy Abundance Mentality

"When you recognize that competition is often counter-productive and quit trying to gain something at someone else’s expense, you step by step fall into an abundance mentality."

Brilliant. This is the essence of what HoneyFern is striving for in a business model and as a school. We are really about getting better than ourselves, not anyone else.

But back to the beginning.

This article discusses the "healthy abundance" mentality, the exact opposite of the "scarcity" mentality so prevalent in our society and most obviously in our schools.

I described it this way several years prior to leaving public school: public schools are one big pie. When another school/teacher/student/district has something good happen, it makes their slice of the pie bigger and everyone else's smaller. This is why teachers don't collaborate, standardized testing is prevalent and districts have such a hard time working together. There is the belief that there is only so much pie to go around.

This belief is, of course, absurd.

There is exactly as much material in the world today as there was 100 years ago (see the Law of Conservation of Matter if you are doubtful); perhaps the material is in different form, but it is there. Do we need to be more creative to access it? Perhaps. Do we need to imagine things differently? Probably.

When I started HoneyFern I was fleeing from public school, and many of my initial blogs were tinged with bitterness. I kept writing about how awful public school is and it was not helping me transition. Don't get me wrong; I still believe public schools are a sinking ship, and there is tons of evidence that supports me. The difference, though, is that now I am focused on how fabulous HoneyFern is; this includes supporting parents who are making progressive choices for their kids, even if they are not coming to HF (like counseling and referrals for different like-minded programs in their area, or for kids who are younger). I get emails weekly from parents and teachers who want to start a school like HoneyFern in their state, and I am developing materials for those people to get started.

There is so much that opens up when you drop the mentality of scarcity and embrace abundance. It is never to late to try.

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