The curious fly on the wall #2: Community learning
Amber Grothe is a sparkly and curious world traveler, artist of life and incredibly on fire about alternative education. She’s on a self-led learning journey through alternative education and currently having a look at while being part of the Knowmads family.
You can follow her journey and thoughts in these weekly thoughts she’s having about learning at Knowmads. She’s open to connecting about anything, feel free to email or call her on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why I think community learning is important.
One of the first things you experience walking into Knowmads is kind faces, loving and caring eyes. A greeting, a hug. It’s a family and a very warm one.
Everyone needs a family and sometimes when I walk through the streets of Utrecht or sit in the busy Dutch trains, I look at everyone’s face, to see who is actually living around me. They then don’t feel like strangers anymore, but all just as another me, travelling with me and having their own life full of wandering, pain, struggles and bright sparks of happiness. Really seeing other people makes my life feel so much less important, so insignificant and so light.
I disconnect to my own perspective and try to see from and endless number of different eyes. Suddenly I feel so much love for all these people around me, I feel connected to something that I can’t describe, a big stream of life energy, love, maybe? It doesn’t really matter to me where the source of this feeling comes from or if it contains meaning in any way, but I suddenly know these people around me- are my family. I feel empathy, compassion and such openness towards them.
When I feel like this, mostly I magically receive a smile, or come into conversation with someone.
This feeling inside, of being connected and being rooted can, seen from my perspective, change the way you perceive reality and the way you hold yourself, your radiance to the world. When I feel connected, loved and safe in my environment I am very open to my surroundings.
This is why I believe in community and community learning, feeling this connection with people around you makes you stronger and gives you natural confidence.
It has the capability to make you feel as if you are part of something bigger then yourself. So, you can have the secure feeling and trust to be held in doing whatever your heart tells you to do. Because you are held, supported and seen by others.
I feel we need this connection, family in times of less face-to-face communication, less physical contact and more communication through social media. We need each other as human beings, we don’t have to deal with our struggles on our own and be a perfect individual, but feel that we maybe can be, real or something like that?
When we share in learning together, as I see the learning evolving in Knowmads, we build trust in ourselves. The students share their happiness, their tears and learn to live together creating deep friendship and community, which doesn’t seem to end after Knowmads. Often it can feel relieving to know that you are connected to a community, and you don’t have to travel this life journey on your own.
I think, the ’’Welcome Home’’ and community feeling allows this magic to happen.
Students literally come home and maybe will find more of a home in themselves?
I don’t know, but I think I’ll find out by joining this amazing family.