In a world driven by competition, criticism, and, yes, distrust, an open environment where everything is built on, the antithesis - trust, kindness, and respect - is utterly foreign to all who enter. Culture shock is not an uncommon reaction for those who chose to stay. The people who invite those initial and inevitable sensations of unease, disquiet, and disorientation to erupt, and be dealt with, go on to thrive. We have discovered that the folks who resist and try to bury those feelings, surrender to the discomfort, before they have a chance to assimilate, and often return to the familiar world that they had sought to escape in the first place.
To be trusted involves the unshakable, persistent, overwhelming belief that:
At Deep Root Center, we believe all of those things about every single person who joins us. And, we expect that over a period of time, with encouragement and compassion, our students will come to trust themselves, too. Because, at the end of the day, without trust, self-directed education, intrinsic motivation, and the innate desire to learn will not survive.
I freely admit, there are moments that I struggle, mightily, to hold onto this foundational belief, especially over the past two months, or so, when we were dealing with some pretty big “stuff,” which adversely affected the entire community. This is when I actually said, on two separate occasions, “I will always trust you, until given a reason not to.”
Holy Hell - seriously - those words came out of my mouth? What about, you get to make mistakes and learn from them? What about the very first point, everyone deserves to be trusted? No wonder, there has been discord! I now realize that those words spoken in moments of pure, unadulterated frustration have had a negative impact all on their own. Because, “Without trust, self-directed education, intrinsic motivation, and the fundamental desire to learn will not survive.”
This is the moment that I can (need to) use that intersection, where mistakes, profound realizations, and apologizes meet, to begin to rebuild a couple of relationships. I firmly believe that the cornerstone of respect we hold for each other will allow this community to thrive, all while honoring all of the mistakes, mine included, with their inherent opportunity for learning, and to continue to be the place, where everyone knows what it feels like to be trusted – no matter what.
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