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HappinessI was catching up on some blogs, saw this engaging picture and had to read more. The post was about happiness; it went on to list things that happy people do. Not too far from the top was this item:

They see like a scientist (with an open mind and objective analysis), think like a farmer (with reverence and interdependence), and behave like an artist (with creativity and disavowment of convention).

There are many other items on the list that you will find interesting – perhaps things that you do or would like to do – but this one made me stop and think. What I have learned about myself during the past few years is that I like to think and learn new things; engaging my mind is relaxing to me. Playing with ideas is fun. I know… most of us recall days in school where we “had to learn” and it was hard, didn’t make sense or appeared irrelevant. If we were lucky we encountered a teacher, a subject or a small area of interest that ignited curiosity and engaged us on a deeper level of learning.

This statement about happy people seeing like a scientist, thinking like a farmer and behaving like an artist is exactly what we strive to do at Wilmington Montessori School each day. Children from the youngest ages have opportunities to approach ideas, familiar and new to them, to notice as much as possible and then consider them and how they relate to their world and the wonder contained there. They interpret ideas in a variety of ways and are asked questions that help them see more deeply and prompt further questioning and understanding. They do this hard work and try to fit their new knowledge into the framework of their world, which expands to include the broader world as they grow. Children are able to see the world with an open mind, to appreciate the connections and dependence between people and our planet, and to approach it with a creative spirit that will lead to solutions that demonstrate an appreciation for and care of our future. That is happiness; that is learning.