I want to focus in this post on a simple concept that can have a huge and positive impact on your life. I want to encourage you to BE ACTIVE! By this, I mean to be an active thinker, an active listener, a conversationalist and an active learner. Making the decision to become active is empowering in itself, and this in turn will empower the people around you, including your children. To choose to be active puts you in control and means that you strive to be better informed about the decisions you make, which will give you a sense of control. From control comes a feeling of freedom, which ultimately brings about contentment. With all of these positive things in you, you are definitely going to be a better individual, a better parent, a better spouse, a better member of this earth. This is a valuable approach to life that you can model and teach your children.
To follow on from this, I think it is important to exercise control with regard to our daily lives and technology. Human beings are social by nature; we constantly perceive, interact with, and respond to the people we come into contact with, and the world around us. In this age of technology, we are inundated with information through the many devices that have become part of our daily lives, and we feel under constant pressure to process and respond to it.
The consequence of this information overload is that we never feel that we have any time to ourselves. We demand things to be provided faster and faster in the hope that this will save us time but this very desire is what steals time from us. As human beings, we are at odds with our surroundings.
We can’t change what is happening around us, but we do need to be aware of how it affects us. We have to make a conscious effort to take control of our time and to manage it; to process the world around us and to interact with others, particularly our family and friends, and we need downtime away from our devices.
For example, I have a rule that I don’t check my email until at least 30 minutes after I have woken up in the morning. Similarly, I stop checking my email at least 30 minutes before I go to sleep at night. These are small limitations that I put on myself but they are my way of controlling the flow of information I receive and therefore have to interact with, perceive, feel, and respond to. I know for sure I can’t change the fact that when I read an email, I am going to feel, receive, reciprocate, interact, and perceive; however, I can change the when, the how, the why, the what, the who, and the where. I can be active in the way I perceive, interact, feel, and reciprocate. That understanding makes a difference to the way I am as an individual, personally and professionally. I am an educator, a teacher who is dealing with the future of this world. To know that I can be active in the way I perceive, interact, feel, and respond to others empowers me when I am learning with my students, and in turn, I can share that empowerment by guiding them to empower themselves. This is something that is worth sharing with all of you. Be aware that the choice is YOURS.
By Ms Chandra Budi
About the author: Ms Chandra Budi holds an advanced degree from an Ivy League Institution in the Tri-State area, specializing in Early Childhood Education combined with Family Studies and Philosophy of Education. She is involved in early childhood education and family research and has studied with great thinkers such as Prof.Maxine Greene Prof. David Hansen, Prof. Kathryn Castle, Prof. Anne Soderman, Prof. Nancy Lesko, Prof. Gita-Steiner Khamsi, Prof. Hwu, Wen-Song, among others. She has been an educator for 15+ years and her experience varies from classroom settings to private one-on-one for very young children through high school.
Ms Chandra Budi is offering an academic camp this summer. Click here for details.