The Messy Prospect of Being Human

Earlier this year, Courtney E Martin wrote a column for On Being, about how to foster grit in our kids and ourselves. In her fascinating piece, she explores the idea that our aim should not be to teach our children that they are gifted at everything, but rather to "teach them to delay their judgment, to give themselves time to find the places and ways that have meaning for them, and to make room for surprise and evolution in who they become." She suggests that if we can encourage them to play, to take risks, to experiment, to take themselves less seriously, they will have a better chance of knowing then it's time to "hone in on something that has real heat for them." But in this process of raising human beings, she also suggests that we as adults should also remember to experiment, to explore the underdeveloped parts of ourselves, the outdated stories and the unspoken creative dreams. 

Martin explains that perhaps we "don't think we have time to be messy. But flailing can actually be really fun. At the very least, it's refreshing. It puts us in touch with our empathy for the universal human condition of being new and confused and determined. In that way, it's not about us at all. And isn't that freeing?"

So lets pursue our dreams this month, try something new, and engage gently in this messy business of being human. Click here to read her article.

Gill Higgins