“If we teach young people to run away from the darkness rather than to open up the light in the darkness, to be the candles, the signposts, then we are doing great harm to them and the communities that they have come out of.”
~ Vincent Harding
Dear Springhouse family,
I have been listening to some great podcasts this summer. I recently listened to this one from On Being with Vincent Harding, the late Civil Rights elder. His message is this: Let’s teach young people how to be lights in our world.
Harding’s message is at the heart of the vision and mission of Springhouse Community School. As adults, we teach young people how to be lights by learning how to be lights ourselves. The Springhouse team practices this in many ways including doing our best to not run from discomfort; being authentic and having hard conversations; being adaptable and responding to challenges we face with creativity and care; and by making sure we stay connected to our bodies. This is rigorous and takes a lot of practice.
We want our graduates to be prepared for their lives when they leave Springhouse. We want them to be able to regulate their emotions and have empathy for themselves and others. We hope in the face of challenge, they have the skills to create new solutions to challenging problems. We trust they will respect diversity and not fear it. We hope they will not run from difficulty but stand as a light for others, shining out possibilities that have yet to be considered. This is a tall order, we know, and we do not only ask this of our graduates. We, the adults in this community, expect it from ourselves and each other.
Light cannot be known without darkness. The stars in the night sky, clarity rising from confusion, a candle burning in a dark room - light and dark are in relationship. We can’t have one without the other and “school” should be the training ground for learning how to be with both. If you are curious to learn more, I explore this in my doctoral work and a TEDx talk years ago.
If you are looking for a place to learn how to be a light in a world that needs you, or a place where your young person could learn from being with a whole bunch of lights, you are in the right place. Adults, please come dance with us, or dive into the Well residency that is all about learning how to stand in the dark to shine out light. Teens, join us for our 7th-12th grade program, our Friday program for homeschoolers, or our Rites of Passage program.
Let’s learn every day how to be more light in a world that needs us.