When I was a teacher, I read about the “Hidden Curriculum” which is basically everything children learn in their immediate environment, more specifically in the school setting. In the case in which I was reading about it, it had to do with racial issues and how in many schools the lack of visible minorities in the teaching staff and the higher majority in the maintenance/ cleaning staff sends underlying messages to students about potential career paths.
In the context of this month’s blog and MMtH (My Map to Happiness) – during one of my meditations this week, I had a random thought about trees. But not just any tree, specifically trees in our cities that have been restricted by cement contours. The growth of these trees is restricted by the cement around the small patch of earth surrounding them. If they are strong trees, regardless of these restrictions, they have found a way to grow their roots and eventually, we see cracks and in some places uneven sidewalks will appear. Eventually, many of these trees will be cut down to a stump; however, with time, sprouts grow from the leftover stump and/ or roots.
I love to look at how nature represents our lives. The life of these trees I previously described becomes a hidden curriculum. Let me explain myself, by unconsciously seeing the world that surrounds us, we make assumptions of the consequences of our actions. As individuals living in society, we are often part of a hidden curriculum or what I usually term as “society’s unspoken rules.” For some of us, the structure of a 9 – 5 job becomes our cement contour where we often feel restricted. Restricted/ confined to doing tasks that we might not necessarily enjoy. The general belief for many of us is that if we leave this structure we will be faced with something that feels like “death” i.e., no money, no house, no food. If we take the time to become aware of our thoughts, we will find all of the “fears” that are keeping us from stepping out of this structure. Unfortunately, we allow these fears to take over and rarely see the minute details (aka life’s miracles) such as the sprouts growing out of the stump and roots. This is growth. Hence, a beautiful representation of nature’s life/death/ life cycle. In the context of our lives, this hidden message from nature tells us that there is always room for development, something new.
For every major change in our lives, there is room for growth. If the tree was not strong enough to grow roots and destroy the cement, it would probably die. So, one might say well if either way we will be facing similar consequences why be strong and step out of the confined structure? Because, your taking action means you have made a conscious choice and are therefore empowered. By not taking action, you are waiting for something drastic to pull you out of your misery. It can either be a rough journey or a smooth transition. YOU decide.