THE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM PARADIGM
By Madeline McFadden Nunez
I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Dr. Larry Wilson for an afternoon of conversation. This article is the result of our discussion.
Commonalities. At first glance, development would seem to have as much in common with the Montessori method of education and the political system of capitalism as apples do with oranges. After all, the three are completely different disciplines, founded by people who had no relationship with each other and were probably not even aware of each others work. Universal truths, however, have an interesting way of transcending disparate fields.
THE MONTESSORI EDUCATIONAL METHOD
Maria Montessori developed a unique approach to education that stemmed from her work with young orphans. While attempting to give them a lesson in hand washing, she noticed the youngsters lingering at the sink with the soap on their hands.
What was this? Her goal was to teach the youngsters about cleanliness, but they taught her instead that children don’t see the world the way adults do. Fascinated with their first experience with soap, they reveled in the slimy sensation and silky texture of this unknown substance.
Wise enough to realize what was happening, Ms. Montessori went on to formulate a child-centered method of education based upon her astute observations. Far from an imposed order of learning—which is the norm in most classrooms these days—she did not tell the children what to study or learn, nor pressure them to conform to certain views.
She proceeded instead with a belief that if she created a rich, supportive environment that students would learn all they need to know, in their own time, in their own way. She had a deep and abiding faith in the innate wisdom of a child’s brain. To this day, the Montessori way is not about producing a child who “tests” well, but rather nurturing one who is a life long learner and most importantly, is happy.
While Scottish philosopher Adam Smith may not have invented the idea of capitalism, he was the first to compile and write a book on the subject. Thus he secured for himself the title of the Father of Modern Economics.
Smith championed the economic concept of supply and demand, and the idea that an “invisible hand” guides what happens in the marketplace. Imbedded in the capitalistic framework is the idea that each person should look out for himself or herself, and their own self-interest. By doing so, the best outcome for all occurs inadvertently.
In a capitalistic system, no one is assigned to a job, or forced to take a certain position. Instead, there is an underlying faith that when a need or desire arises, the markets will react and move to make ensure that that need is filled.
The opposite approach is a “command” or socialistic society where politicians arrogantly decide what society needs and the government forces the members of society to comply with its vision. There is no fluidity, only structure imposed by an authority upon unwilling individuals.
“MODERN” MEDICAL CARE
The current medical paradigm is yet another “command” approach, not unlike that of socialism or our current public education system. One visits the all-knowing expert, the doctor, who consults his textbook to find the remedy to address your current problem. It is short sighted—like the teacher who helps his students memorize material for a test, but doesn’t give them a foundation of understanding for the subject that will serve them for life.
If you are steeped in this kind of thinking, you will have a hard time understanding development, for it is the antithesis of this kind of approach. Development requires a paradigm shift — the kind of thinking of a Montessori or Smith. It takes some faith.
A development practitioner does not pretend to know what the client needs. He or she just follows the map provided him by the information in a hair sample. Just like a Montessori classroom, that practitioner knows that if he can help his client create a supportive environment in the body through the use of the appropriate diet, targeted supplements, and other detoxification methods, then the body will use its innate wisdom and heal - in its own time, in its own order, and in its own way.
At times “its way” involves a flare-up of symptoms for a day or more - an unusual phenomenon called retracing. To succeed with a development program, a client needs to have patience and trust in that “invisible hand”.
Montessori education, Adam Smith’s understanding of capitalism, and development all share several important principles:
1. There is an “invisible hand” that guides the mind and body. The most important thing is to embrace and support this idea, and allow the body and brain to express itself.
2. Taking full responsibility for yourself and all your actions is one of the most loving and powerful things you can do.
3. Sometimes events and healing takes time to unfold and occur. Therefore, try to have faith and patience. While you can force your will upon a situation, chances are it is not the best plan. Surrender to the idea that there is a bigger picture, and try to work with it, not against it.
4. In the area of healing, education and economics, using coercion is often counterproductive in the long run. While you can impose a fixed solution to a problem, this kind of fix is often temporary, and may create worse, long-term problems down the road.
These universal truths have proven successful, time and time again. However, they are not the way most of us were raised, and most people do not feel comfortable with them. Nor are they the way most people operate. Embrace these principles, however, and development becomes a portal not only for your health and healing, but a doorway by which to perceive life in a whole new way.