May 20, 2008

Where the edges overlap

After our great trip to the Aquarium yesterday it occurred to me that once again I am making a choice that puts me alongside some strange bedfellows.

The first time I was aware of this was when finding out about Fertility Awareness. There are, in general 2 groups of people who feel strongly about Fertility Awareness method of Birth Control - Those who reject chemical or barrier methods for religious reasons, and those who reject them for hippy tree-hugger type reasons. I was surprised at the time, since many people in these two camps have very little understanding of each other's worldview.

(Although, of course, I know several tree-hugger hippy evangelical Christians, so that just proves that stereotypes are only broadly useful, not all-inclusive). I fall neatly into neither camp, choosing it for largely pragmatic reasons.

And yesterday I saw the same two groups, overlapping quite happily. Again, I fit neatly into neither camp. Yes I am an evangelical Christian, but I am not homeschooling primarily to isolate my kids from 'the world' (btw I have discovered few Christian homeschoolers here who feel that way, although perhaps those families are not known for attending group outings...). Nor am I of the opinion that any sort of structure and expectation of my kids will in some way inhibit their development, that they should grow wild and free like flowers (likewise have discovered few parents who think that either, even the unschoolers see value in kids learning self-discipline and following through a commitment).

Then Merl pointed out that there was something similar going on with Sproutman's Kitchen Garden book and Nourishing Traditions.

We were philosophising about this late (for us) last night, and decided that when you get people who are passionately committed to something, to the point of being counter-cultural, that that is where you find some good ideas. That good models of 'best practice' exist where extreme views overlap. Best practice is not found with Joe Average - that is what is called mindless apathy - just doing what everyone else is doing.

Best Practice is found with people who seek after better ways of doing things and try them out. OK sure, some of these ideas will suck, but when you find multiple passionate groups, of quite disparate character, doing similar things, then it is worth prayerfully considering where the Spirit of God is at work in this world, and what He would have you do in response.

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