It's cause for celebration when I see connections popping up between the movements and philosophies that inspire me. When I watched this trailer today for the documentary-in-progress Taking Our Places, from Ana Joanes, the director of the 2009 film Fresh, I saw apparently disparate threads coming together: character education, the holistic farming practiced by Joel Salatin (author of Folks, This Ain't Normal), and the challenges of parenting.
Character education is a big buzzword in education these days. But I love the way Joel breaks it down in the clip: the first "characters" our children see (and emulate) are their parents. Character is about being reliable and dependable, being passionate, being comfortable in our skin. It's about realizing that we are all responsible, for each other and for the physical world we inhabit.
You can't have character education as an add-on to a traditional education; children need to emulate worthy, striving adults and be helped to find their place in the world. This is what will heal our educational system and our environment: each of us committing to positive change and taking up our piece of the work, in our thoughts and in our actions, whether we're food producers or consumers, parents or not.
Very soon, at www.gmws.org/videoclips, you'll be able to see a clip of Joel Salatin speaking last year at Green Meadow Waldorf School, where I work and my daughter goes to school.