Annagale came home with this in her school work the other day. Okay, the spelling isn’t perfect but when I read it, I became extremely angry. Let me decipher it for you: “Sally the horse was pretty good. She did what you told her.” More than a grammar exercise, Annagale was conveying something I am doing my best to counteract: conformity. This is no reflection on her teacher (who is exceptional) and her school (which is highly acclaimed). Schools are not to blame for this – they merely reflect what we feel is appropriate for human behavior. It has to do with the paradigms we instill in our children at a young age. My children (and your children) are not “good” because they do what we think they should. They are “good” simply because they are. God made them that way.
I find myself on occasion correcting my children not because they need correction but because I’m embarrassed that others will judge me for their behavior. Rather, I should be fostering their creativity, individuality, and a personal sense of “God-esteem.” I want them to learn everything they can including obedience. But that doesn’t include conformity. If you’ve never seen this incredible TED talk by Ken Robinson,” I think you would enjoy it.
Here’s another take on the issue by Christian leadership guru Tim Elmore.