Discovery of Freedom with Responsibility - Summer 2018 - week one

Responsibility is the word often comes when we talk about open learning. Often a doubt is raised “If its free, will the child be responsible or how do I make a child responsible?” At Aarohi we do not make children responsible, they are responsible (this is the belief we began with). Once we change this perspective, our actions change. All our actions are to empower the child rather we taking their responsibility. 
 
The first week of summer, a group of various age people (4 to 49yrs) had the first encounter with freedom when they had unlimited choices of things to do the campus. "Do what you want to" was not an easy task, because the first confusion was "what do I want to do?". Many never thought what they really wanted to do. This needed a connection with our dreams - What all one dream of doing, a dream of achieving, wish to do..the freedom began with self-discovery. A long list of dreams came up ranging from cooking to climb a tree.
 
The responsibility of planning, doing, understanding came with the freedom of choices. Each day planning brought a different aspect of connecting with self and making an action plan for our own dreams/interest. Freedom to choose brought responsibility for doing. 
 
At the one of the day thought club brought all together to THINK and connect with self. My voice of consumption of jam/sauce, reflection on images, an impromptu show on images and finally documenting the week brought an opportunity assess self through own perspective.
 
Morning fitness and active me was an opportunity to give the gift to our body and mind beyond sitting, talking and wishing. Evening sports brought an opportunity to experience sports with all ages and beyond boundaries of competition. Campus care in the evening was an opportunity to experience care for the resources we use, toilets we use or the food we eat. The whole group of three teams worked each evening in various areas. 
 
Night time brought an opportunity to mingle with each other thought board games, groups games, simply talking or reading together. 
 
During the day unlimited choice was an opportunity to get involved in DOING and experience own limitations and achievements. Some got involved in making wall mural with mud while some spent the whole week in forging, some got excited about assembling Trampoline, while some joined to make pull up bars to practice Parkour and ended up making jungle gym,  some worked on developing self-interests, while some joined others, some choose to bake using rocket oven while some cooked biryani for all, some were happy cutting and chopping vegetable for hours while some went out of the campus to sell lemon juice and masala buttermilk, one child struggled to edit his film while other one enjoyed making challenging Origami articles and making his business plan to sell his creations.
 
Basic skills brought an opportunity to think “what all do I need in life to live?” Apart from basic skills of reading, writing and mathematical skills, growing food, basic stitching or basic cooking can add value in life. Some choose to work on the land, while some worked on practicing maths and comprehension, some worked on making chapter while some struggled with one needle and thread. 
 
Each session conducted by various children was an opportunity to experience the freedom to take learning into our own hands. But this opportunity had the responsibility of preparation and understanding of the session. Some worked and prepared in detail, while some missed their marks. The journey continues. 
 
Fridays are different at Aarohi - brought an opportunity experience working together to work on the land,  Then a trip to the nearby pond to break all images and inhibition of “I can’t, it's tough, not capable” with swimming in the pond, playing in the muddy water and climbing trees. 
 
Various exposure to learning brings an opportunity to choose from unlimited choices. Jatre, a concept to celebrate learning by sharing. Each day one hour is spent on learning from each other - this week. Vaibhav, a guest at the campus shared his love of computers. He started with " how do things appear on the screen just by one click?" This was good enough to arouse the curiosity. He began with sharing about the basic parts of the computer and shared inside of a computer. Vishruthi, A Radio Jockey from Gujarat shared about how a radio work. For many of us, radio means music but behind every song, so many other things go behind. Apart from sales, marketing, and finance, the RJ'ing Department has many aspects - Music manager, promo producer, programming heads, and RJ. For her RJ'ing is about the theatre of mind to create imaginative stories. RJ's work is not about spontaneity, but a script which is prepared behind the scene. Regional language becomes important to connect with the listeners. She was an architecture student but inclined to literature and music. By accident got an opportunity to become RJ. Her love to talk, music interest and music inclination sustained in the radio industry. Radio was love than passion and now an obsession. It's not easy to just go and present a show for an hour, it is draining and demanding. 16 hrs preparation for four hours of a show! Very very hard working industry. Hardworking, creative, thoughtful, Avantika, a student of 10th std,  from Bangalore, shared her love of Ballet dance. She shared about its origin and her own experience the dance form. Aditi, a student of 12th std,  from Mumbai shared about various Indian dance forms and their origins (all comes from Shiva’s Tandav dance). Jasith, another student shared his love of fighter planes, He took us through various parts of the aircraft and various types of fighter planes. He was seven years old when he got interested in them and since then reading, talking, reserving and dreaming of a fighter plane. Advised us to look for aircraft profession, as we need better fighter planes. Bhargav, a parent shared his research on alternate energy. He shared about various types of research happening to use fuel efficiently in our transports. 
 
Kids are not capable. They don't understand hence can't use Freedom with Responsibility. They are small, they don't understand. The control is necessary...Well, no doubt not only kids, even adults find it difficult to use freedom with responsibility. So it's not only about the kids, it's all about our processes to solve any issues. Controls, punishments, and threats are very easy to make things happen. But are they helping in peace within?  The freedom to consume Jam, Sauce, Pickles, Sauce, Sugar, Bournvita, brought an opportunity to get introduced to consumption with "responsibility". My voice on every Monday at Aarohi brought the opportunity to reflect on actions for the various processes at Aarohi including the freedom. 
 
A small change in the way we take snacks - instead of just taking the snacks, we set up “Aarohi Ki Dukaan” to buy snacks as maths challenge. Most people who participated knew basic maths of fractions, all they needed to do was apply that knowledge and make a bill for self. Limited quantities, limited budget, many options to choose and a team of four - that all to bring twist and excitement for an hour. 
 
It’s not easy to be free - this requires choices to be evaluated, decisions to be made, consequences to be lived - Add to freedom is the responsibility that one has to have not only of oneself and one’s actions but of the various tasks that child has chosen to do, of resolving all possible conflicts, of taking and giving feedback, of raising one’s voice and be heard and finally responsible of making oneself happy.
 

Aarohi is like a drum, by itself dumb, but if you strike it, you make music for yourself. Here is a small insight from Osho on responsibility.

FROM YOUR VERY CHILDHOOD YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT NOT TO BE responsible. You have been taught to depend. You have been taught to be responsible to your father, to your mother, to your family, to your motherland, to all kinds of nonsense. But you have not been told that you have to be responsible for yourself, that there is nobody who is going to take your responsibility. . . .

I teach you not to be responsible to anybody —the father, the mother, the country, the religion, the party line, don’t be responsible to anybody. You are not!

Just be responsible to yourself. Do whatsoever you feel like doing. If it is wrong, the punishment will immediately follow. If it is right, the reward will follow immediately, instantly; there is no other way. In this way you will start finding what is wrong, what is right, on your own. You will grow a new sensitivity— Indians call it the third eye. You will start seeing with a new vision, a new eye. Instantly you will know what is wrong, because in the past so many times you have done it and always suffered in consequence. You will know what is right, because whenever you did existence showered great blessings on you. Cause and effect are together, they are not separated by years and lives. . . .

By OSHO - Rajneesh (from his book - Autobiography of a spiritually incorrect mystic).