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Figure It Out

I’m continually amazed at how my kids are so much more productive than me. They do not know the concept of limitations. When I say it can’t be done, they go and do it – every time! You’d think I’d learn to have a little faith.

Last year my kids wanted to make a wagon out of some scraps of wood. My instant thought and reaction – can’t be done. We don’t have the material, no wheels, not enough wood. On and on I went….

I only looked at what we didn’t have. This closed my mind. It happens all the time, and it ticks me off!

Fortunately, with 4 unschooled kids, they continually break out of every box I try to use to contain their ideas. Today, they were determined to make a leaf pile. September 3 in New England is far from ideal. 99% of the leafs are still on the trees. When they asked for my help, I said no – can’t be done. That didn’t stop them.

Here’s what they did. They scooped up the 100 or so leaves that were on our front yard. This was their base. Then they started pulled green leaves off the trees with their rakes. I finally went out to help. I was able to scrape together a few more leaves, but not enough. I continued to think it couldn’t be done.

But then, seeing their determination, and remembering their usually right and I’m dead wrong, I started to think “what could we do?” I started to figure it out – I waded in. Sure enough, I found our leaf source in our neighbors yard. He was all too happy to share his leaves. He even loaned us a large wagon so we could load them all up for one trip across the street to my front yard.

After 15 minutes of raking, my kids had their leaf pile. My guess, it’s the first leaf pile in our town (strictly for jumping, anyway).

I hope some of their energy, drive, commitment, and can-do-attitude will rub off on me.

We’re trained to think no, can’t be done, don’t have this, need to have that. This, I would argue, comes from the empirical thinking we’re all inundated with. Instead of using imagination and determination, we rely of cold, calculated, scientific methods. While these have their place of course, they often get in the way of the power of faith.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the video below from Danielle LaPorte.
~ Ted Olson

Danielle LaPorte – A Credo for Making it Happen


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