How does an idea or concept, product or service go from being viewed as wildly unorthodox and hazardous to being accepted by a large portion of the population? It often takes time and a small group of people (lone nuts- watch this video) who are willing to risk appearing foolhardy or flat out stupid to take a chance. Then, as those folks expound on the benefits, profit, or performance of the commodity, more people will be willing to try it; they in turn will spread the message and so on until it becomes a known quantity and therefore loses its aura of danger.
Yes, all it takes is those few crazy risk takers to start a trend or revolution!
This phenomenon has been repeated for every fad, craze, and culturally acknowledged norm throughout history, however, in today's world of social media, instant connectedness, and unlimited access to information this concept, also called horizontal marketing, occurs at an insanely rapid pace.
Deep Root Center is no different from any other weird, out there, demented idea, that eventually created cultural change. I mean come on --- we are telling kids that school is optional because learning is natural; if they are unhappy, bored, bullied, or disenfranchised, they can leave school and get a life. They can become students of the universe and study whatever interests them most. They can follow their passions now and not wait until they are 18. They can own their education, and, YES, we TRUST them to do just that!
Two years ago people actively avoided me because I was spreading this insidiously dangerous message of independence and intrinsic motivation.
Fortunately for DRC, there are a few lone nuts in St. Lawrence County who were willing to take the gamble and give this crazy concept a whirl. Those pioneers are spreading the word about their successful experiences at DRC, and now, in this very short time, people are seeking me out, asking questions, and they are choosing Deep Root Center as their educational facility, community, and resource, not because they are desperate, but because of the multiple benefits we offer our youth members.
No, we are not a hot commodity, yet, but we are leaving the risky station and heading for new status, who knows, in another year or two, we may be accepted as just another run of the mill, everyday, educational alternative in St. Lawrence County that just happens to be offering this extraordinary thing called self-directed learning.
1. I think it is fair to say that I love writing this blog. I find it intensely satisfying to craft something out of random thoughts that hit me as the result of a conversation or event, as well as from reading or listening to other blogs, YouTube videos, podcasts, and online articles. Going forward, I will continue to do my very best to acknowledge the people who instigated the thoughts and ideas that result in each blog post.
This particular piece was inspired by a combination of a Seth Godin blog, the DRC Housewarming event, a Ted Talk -YouTube video I watched several years ago, and the many conversations I have had with DRC families and community members over the past few weeks.
2. I am overwhelmed and so incredibly grateful for the sheer number of people who came out to our housewarming party this past Thursday evening. Thank you to everyone for embracing and spreading the word about this game changing concept for so many kids in our community.