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Exceprts from "Nurturing Human Growth"

On Uniqueness:

When we value uniqueness, we encourage self-respect by allowing self-expression. The person can use his imagination, experiment and create. He solves problems in his own way. He may discover new ways of living because there is more than one right way.

Self-respect brings respect for others and their rights. It helps diminish selfishness and thus encourages constructive group activity. As the individual values himself, he can look to his inner resources rather than always relying on an external world.

On Interdependence:

The parts of each human being are interdependent. All the attributes and actions... flow into each other; and, as each particle is dependent upon another, so is each person dependent upon many other persons.

Recognition of our interdependency brings significance to everyone's life. Respect for oneself and the rights of others becomes evident. Appreciation for each person's contribution encourages everyone to take responsibility for himself, for others, for the whole. Each person is needed and needing - needed to give, needing to receive.

On Unfolding:

From caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly, each stage is unfolding at the proper time. So with human beings. Sometimes adults fail to understand this unfolding process, and they push or thwart development in children. They teach the alphabet at age two or three - before the child is physiologically ready to comprehend abstract symbols. They may overprotect a child from participating freely in safe physical activities because of their own unrealistic fears of danger. To do so can impair the child's growth as his body is forced to go against nature.

The unfolding process is the coming into 'being' a step at a time. at the right time Each person has his own way and his own time. To support the unfolding process builds self-confidence and promotes well-being of the body and mind. Our unfolding is a lifetime process.

On Cause and Effect:

When one understands the process of human development, one can begin to appreciate the role of cause and effect. Parents can become aware of the part they play in the development of their children. Parents tend to blame themselves too often when things go wrong. They do not realize that the behavior of children influences how parents feel. Understanding the process of cause and effect enables both children and adults to take responsibility for their own actions. Each can see the part he plays in causing joy or pain in human relations and in helping or hindering others as each seeks to fulfill himself.

On Duality:

Within the human being there is a duality of endowments at once active and latent. As the dependent child yearns for and lives moments of independence, so the independent adult yearns for and lives moments of dependence. Look within the shy child. There is an element of assertion waiting to blossom. Look within the assertive child to find peace.

One cannot possibly understand everything about another person. One cannot possibly know what is best to do at all times. We can only strive to do our best, realizing that at times we will do our worst, since that is part of the duality.

On Loving, Caring, Trusting:

When we understand as best we can the developmental aspects of the unfolding process, we can know something of what is emerging as the person unfolds physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually. Since the rate of unfolding varies from person to person, we need to be sensitive to individual differences. The differences that appear in humans can prove to be far more valuable than the similarities. We need tobe even more sensitive to those individuals whose unfolding we do not understand.

On Communication:

It is essential that there be honest communication, both verbal and nonverbal. Honest communication conveys that one cares and trusts. Realistic boundaries and rules can be established. Unnecessary anxieties and power struggles are averted. Growth can be healthy.

On Unfolding:

The more his natural unfolding has been nurtured, especially in the early years, the greater a person's chance to fulfill the potentials of his 'self' through all phases of his life. He will be enthusiastic about life, unafraid to explore the future yet capable of coping with setbacks. He will enjoy creating and will continue to experience the fullness of his life, all of his life.

The intellectual unfolding of the young child is inseparably bound up with all his other aspects of unfolding - physical, social and emotional. It is a natural process unique to each and occurs as the child acts upon and responds to the social, natural and man-made world. The child forms and understands concepts through repeated experiences with people, objects and situations. He builds concept upon concept, and each concept understood broadens his ability to understand more.

By providing rich, stimulating and challenging experiences, adults can encourage intellectual unfolding. A multitude of such experiences occur natually as the child goes about his daily explorations, investigations, experimentations and discoveries. His natural curiosity is a valuable catalyst for his intellectual growth - growth which cannot be forced or pushed faster than the gradual and complex growth of his central nervous system.