I hope this doesn’t offend you… but…
Are you weary of the same old shit in the blogosphere?
I am. A lot of posts out there are mind numbing. It’s becoming an echo chamber. Most days I look through my feed reader and I think, yeah, yeah, yeah, heard it before. Give me something new. Something with an attitude. Something with some originality.
Want something refreshing and new? Here it is.
Clay Collins is doing great things with thegrowinglife.com. IMHO – He has put together the best blog since 2006. He’s smart, he’s original, he’s got perspective, and most of all he’s got guts. He was unschooled, he started a software company at 15, and he’s putting his heart into his posts and it shows.
I don’t need any tips on organizing, or being more productive, or making vegetarian dishes, or decluttering. I want perspective, human perspective on life and Clay gives his perspective with abandon. I love it, because I want to know how others view the world, what does and doesn’t work for them.
This is what Clay Collins wrote about his struggle with perspective:
Being a perspective junkie, I wish more blogs communicated perspective, rather than advice and information (such as news).
But the common practice of trafficking advice and information on the blogosphere makes sense. It makes sense because perspective is a pain in the ass to put into words: putting forth the effort required to write perspective-filled & feature-length posts on a consistent basis isn’t sustainable for most people. It isn’t for me at least.
Thank you Clay, for stating that so eloquently. I appreciate your effort to give us your perspective. You are fostering the conversations we need to have in the blogosphere.
Clay is an unschooled/homeschooled adult. I have never met an adult who was homeschooled let alone unschooled. What a treasure his perspective is. I’m 39, and my research, my experiences in public schools, and the dramatic differences I’ve noted in my observations of homeschooled children has led me to become a proponent of unschooling/homeschooling (and other alternative education). In the 1970s when I was child, almost no one was homeschooled. In fact, I didn’t hear about the practice until I was in my mid-twenties. Although I hated school as a child, I spent most of my adult years believing that public schools were an important institution. Even when I ran for Minnesota State House in 1996, I was a firm believer in the “School System.” A change of heart came after I had children when I realized after much soul searching that I could not subject them to the insanity of the public school system. Seeing the quality of Clay’s work, a mind that is free of “systemized” nonsense, is a confirmation of my observations about forced institutional schooling.
Like many bloggers, Clay probably doesn’t want to come off as a narcissist, but I urge him to give us his adult retrospective on being an unschooled child.
Debunking Personal Development Tripe
Clay also debunks a lot of personal development tripe. He says things I’ve been thinking and feeling but hadn’t found the words to express, like, productivity as a value stinks. The only good reason to be productive is to produce the life you want to produce. For example, I want to spend more time with my boys. Some people might think that is unproductive. Our culture believes that productive men work, generate income, fix things around the house, work on the car, but they don’t spend all day playing with children. When I told people I was considering staying home and homeschooling my boys, they thought I had lost my mind. But to me it is one of the most productive things I could imagine. Productivity isn’t about completing a bunch of tasks, it’s about finding a way to do the things you want to do.
The Cost of Personal Growth Can Be Too High
Clay also writes about the cost of personal growth. For some of us the price is too high.
I’ll probably get some flack for saying this, but I’ll say it anyway: most marriages, most relationships will have a difficult time surviving radical personal growth and evolution. Relationships can become dependent on hundreds of implicit agreements, patterns, rituals, and shared views of reality and it often puts an unendurable stress on a relationship when these agreements, patterns, etc. are relentlessly challenged, ignored, or changed. Good relationships can survive depression, and terrorism, and prison sentences, and all kinds of horrible things, but radical growth is a difficult (but not impossible) to survive. It’s a tuffy.
I’d like to sugarcoat things and say you’ll never have to chose between your marriage and radical growth, or your children and radical growth, but that’s just not the case. The are priorities that I will always put before such growth because sometimes rapid growth just isn’t worth it. Sometimes its better to opt for deferred compensation.
He’s right. Sure you could get six pack abs, earn 5 handicap, run a marathon, make $500,000 a year, or you might even solve the economic problems in Africa, but if you lost your family in the process, would it be worth it? I’ll let you guess my answer.
Finally, Clay is doing this full time, he’s taking a big risk to give us this valuable resource, stop by his site and read a few pieces, if you like it, subscribe and leave him a donation.