What has these last two decades of service taught me? It has brought me closer to the pain of so many and closer to the joy experienced when freed from false beliefs, misconceptions of self and a sense of powerlessness. Those who tell their story tell of the judgments, criticism and pain they experience as students of failure. Yes, many “drop out” of school and “drop into” the health, social service, welfare and judicial systems. Failure and the thwarting of what is whole and natural is indeed the hallmark of disease and dysfunction, be it personal, social, economic or political. Understanding of what is supportive of individual difference is basic to the creative and harmonious use of human energy and motivation.
If we hope to creatively and harmoniously use human energy and motivation we must be supportive of individual differences and self-knowledge. If we are to be true to the precepts of a democratic system of governance, we cannot create systems that negate, demean or discriminate. A system that tags a first grader as a failure must be newly accountable. If a child does not readily acclimate itself to the world of filling in blanks, matching pictures, coloring in spaces, matching symbols