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Cowardice

June 2, 2009

There have been times since then when I’ve wished I could eat my words, wished I had chosen a policy of stoic endurance rather than radical imagination.  “Quit my job?  Take Logan out of school?  To go skateboarding?  That’s crazy talk!”  But I’m not sure if these second thoughts are the fear talking, or the common sense. 

 

It’s easy to recite the inspirational mantras – “follow your bliss,” “seize the day,” “if not now, when?” – but it’s a little harder to “walk the talk” when the monthly cash flow is looming over your shoulder, and you’re trying to sell yourself on a half-baked plan with no payoff.  Is it all just hype, or is there some substance?  Or do you have to buy into the hype, in order to give it substance?  If you believe in it, it becomes real?

 

Already, Logan is practicing obscure skateboard tricks with grand intention and starting sentences with “When we’re traveling around America next year…”  I wince.  I can’t get off the fence about this idea.  Am I too scared to jump out of the box with him – or too sensible? 

 

Socrates says that virtue lies on the mean, placing courage halfway between cowardice and recklessness.  Which is this?  Is it reckless to set off on a yearlong national skateboarding tour?  I mean, is it fiscally and academically irresponsible?  At first blush, yes, it’s downright cockamamie.  However, if we can get a sponsor or two, if we can sell the stickers and T-shirts we print up, if we can mooch food and lodging from friends and family, then I think we can break even.  As for the education, it is obvious that I can’t replace the faculty and facilities of his middle school.  However, which path will place him in better stead in June 2010?  Despite noble and genuine efforts by highly qualified teachers, Logan is developing an aversion to a school curriculum in which he feels destined to fail.  Is it irresponsible to offer an alternative educational path built around his learning style?  When you put it that way, it sounds like a good idea, although not perfect.

 

Assuming that sixth grade at the public middle school will be less educational for him than a year of experiencing America (and I plan to determine that), then it does become a question of courage (and affordability).  Do I have the guts to make this radical move and the tenacity to follow it through to some level of success?  I think I do, but I really need reassurance that I will not be (a) causing my own financial ruin while (b) crippling Logan’s educational prospects.  This reassurance can only come from a viable business plan and thoughtful academic plan.  I think I’m behaving on the mean.

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