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Play distorts; Toy distracts
An online 6 day course offered by ekfoundation to enable the journey of re-discovering what truly children are
March 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 30 ; Time: 7-8pm
There is a need for fresh research on children.
One that will enable us to really understand children’s true existential needs.
The paradox of modernity is that we seem to know many things- even able
to go the Mars, etc but seems to have lost our instinct for looking
after our children. Most of us have become dependent on external
sources- books and experts even to do our most basic and fundamental
activity for the survival of the species. And as you know we claim to be
the most advanced in terms of evolution and intelligence and yet we
don’t know how to bring up happy and contented children.
Children and us- the ‘modern’ humans belong to two paradigms of being.
We want them to be like us and they want to keep their original,
nature-centric, contented being-ness. With brute force, manipulation and
trickery we win finally. Ensure that they become mediocre, dependent,
arrogant, and confident with no substance…..
It is time that we give up and learn to lose in order for life to win.
So, there is a possibility of a win-win situation provided we prepare
ourselves to shift from our paradigm and learn from children how to be
natural, spontaneous, happy for no reason, to explore, to be open, not
to hold on to anger, how to handle fear, to be present, to be truly
creative……the list can go on….
They live in timelessness, in the state of abundance and existential
freedom whereas the modern paradigm brings us to the state of scarcity,
deficit-ness, constrained and under control, and wanting to control and
time-bound. This is no idealization. This is the beingness of people
from indigenous cultures. Step out and sensitively observe any
illiterate person without our usual biases. Watch sensitively the maid
that comes to your home….
I have been on this journey since 1990 guided by many children and
illiterate people. I can offer some hints on how to undertake this
journey and how to prepare ourselves to learn from children.
One thing I can tell you is that all our attempts to create a
child-centric space will fail because we do not really know children- We
are making up all kinds of wrong ideas about play, toy, story,
learning, education, etc just to suit our ego and comfort. Almost all
things that adults make supposedly for children are actually for the
convenience of the parents/ adults to deal with their notions, laziness,
concerns, anxiety, etc.
It is very urgent now because even the last bit which is essentially in
the child’s domain is being taken over by the adults- Playing and
Isn’t it strange that within the schooling paradigm we never talk about
knowledge creation? Are children meant to learn second-hand knowledge or
are they biologically equipped to create knowledge? The paradox is that
we are now systematically killing the natural ability in children to
create knowledge by interfering in their play and making of toys which
are in fact the cognitive system provided by life. The most dangerous
trend is that parents/ ‘well-meaning’ adults are playing with children
with no understanding of the real nature of play. For us- the educated,
play, learning, work, art, etc are fragmented into various watertight
compartments whereas for children everything they do is done playfully
(play), seriously(work), economically(art)-and learning is the
The fresh research would require a fresh way of looking at children-one
that has total trust in life, in children, and in oneself.
Join us in this journey
Let us think together to explore how we do constitute a people-centered
're-search' where each of us again becomes knowledge creators instead of
this constant dependency on books and experts at least in the domain of
‘parenting’ because your dependency will be learned by the child!
Existential knowledge foundation (ekfoundation)