Curly and his Secret-of-Life Lesson (and my new “One Thing”)


It hit me as I sat riverside while the Sun rose this morning. Its not about helping others understand what I see. Its about helping others awaken more fully to their own personal journey – on their individual path in the alchemy of the quest – the joy of exploration and the absolute thrill of discovery. And because it generates a bubbling up of creativity and inspiration, we choose the magical possibilities and manifest them into our reality.

As I percolated on this, one of my favorite movies came to mind – City Slickers and this sharing of wisdom by Curly, played wonderfully by Jack Palance – 90 second clip here.

So, its your personal journey stupid! Its about the unfolding and ongoing discovery of new lessons – your lessons – your choices – your “aha” moments – your inspirations – your “One Thing”. And when you are clear and you connect with others on similar paths – watch out!  That is where the real magic happens!

If I accept the truth in this, then I am drawn to one very specific gut impulse – a pang in my chest and throughout my whole body – perhaps my “One Thing”.

I know from personal experience how the mojo I had for exploration and discovery in my childhood, died at some point in my life, and I am grateful that it is rising to life again in my 50s.

With two teenage children, I have seen this tragic process first hand. Children are born feeling safe – in full trust and like delicate flowers, completely vulnerable but not holding back in anyway. Their entire existence is about absorbing experience, and activity exploring and discovering. As they engage with the world, first with their parents and siblings, then in school, and in the media machine, they have experiences that tell them that the world is not safe. They learn that exploration can be dangerous and quite painful. And at some point, their want for safety (to avoid getting hurt) overwhelms the thrill of exploration and discovery and they pull back and become increasing complacent in the, same-ol’, same’ol, uneventful, yet predictable existence that can be anticipated and not be surprised by.

This, for me, is the most tragic thing happening on this planet!

And its happening (tens of thousands of children every minute) has a catastrophic effect on the future our human race on this planet. If we help the children hold onto their magic, they will lead the way, with fying colors, in the saving of all of us!

Here’s the compliance drone message – “live up to your parents expectations – everyone else’s expectations – comply with what is expected – fit in – get good grades so you can go to a good college – so you can get a job and make money – so you can get married and have a family (so you can help program the next generation in this craziness) – get credit cards – buy a house (mortgage) – and save for retirement.”  This is the mission for most, but for me it is a tragic prison of conditioning, conformity and compliance, and it is killing us!

Great article here – “Where Has Our Children’s Thrill of Discovery Gone”.

I’m thrilled to be collaborating with others on a project with a vision to create workshops for public schools designed to help the teachers, help the children protect and nurture their exploration and discovery Mojo’s, while also meeting curriculum requirements and scoring high on those stupid standardized tests. To serve the kids, we must help the schools and I am convinced that all it takes is a little team effort in the community to do this.

What is your “One Thing”?




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  1. Elz /

    Great post, Gerry! Today, my 20 year old son told me a story about a friend who became lost after the end of a show at a mega concert venue in a sketchy neighborhood this weekend past. Crux of it was he had no common sense and for the first time in his life experienced real fear. Apropos of this post, my son said, “Mama, you’re right about education…they just train us, they don’t teach us…don’t teach us how to think.”

    Mind you, my son was speaking primarily about high school, having had more than his fair share of differing educational models — French immersion for pre-K (family reasons), Waldorf K-6 private and charter, public Jr. High, and Catholic prep for high school — benefitting from the perspective. On more than one occasion, he’s thanked me for his Waldorf years.

    So, what’s my one thing? Discernment 😉

    Word Origin and History for education

    1530s, “childrearing,” also “the training of animals,” from Middle French education (14c.) and directly from Latin educationem (nominative educatio), from past participle stem of educare (see educate ). Originally of education in social codes and manners; meaning “systematic schooling and training for work” is from 1610s.

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