Love is the Most Powerful Force for Change

Love is the most powerful force.  That’s a good message on a Sunday morning.

We watched a Religion and Ethics Newsweekly program that shared the history and successful lives behind the Thistle Farms and their Magdelene community.  They are privately supported.

Thistle Farms is a social enterprise run by women who have survived lives of violence, prostitution, and addiction. By hand, the women of Thistle Farms make natural bath and body products that are as good for the earth as they are for the body. All proceeds go back into Thistle Farms and the residential program, Magdalene. For two years Magdalene provides housing, supplies, medical and dental treatment, therapy, education and vocational training at no cost. We believe that in the end, love is the most powerful force for change in the world.

Here’s some thoughts below from Magdalene Community residents and Reverend Stevens.  For me, their thoughts and the results tune into the issue of force and generous thoughts and actions folks have when they don’t have to give money (involuntarily to the government) or to become a ‘religious’ person (faith comes first), or even in loving to learn (rather than being forced into an educational institution with the use of compulsory attendance). 

Katie Lynn – "they don’t push religion on you, so that you can make the choice of your own, because a lot of people such as myself come from a background where I was told that if anything bad I did God was going to get me."

Thistles Farm founder- STEVENS: I think most of the women have pretty strong feelings about what their spiritual path looks like, and I’m more interested in encouraging them to have that religious and spiritual voice, where nobody’s saying like this is what you need to believe.

FAW: For the women who come here there is no staff hovering about, no one telling them what to do. What they do get: something most of them have never gotten before.

KATIE LYNN: I felt unconditional love. They loved me for who I was, and they wanted to help me through anything, just to get better.

Seems like government might be a powerful force for change, but love is the most successful force for change.  Parents loving their children and wanting the best for them through a quality education and independent thinking are what homeschoolers represent, even as other families provide the same by schooling means. 

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly have covered homeschooling a couple of times.  The first that I caught it was back in 2007, and I wasn’t crazy about that piece.  Any publicity like that given to an Education professor who unfortunately gained fame mostly for his notions that the state should oversee homeschooling children’s values gives too much weight to his silly notions.  (Similiar to the current national media’s spotlight on a ridiculous Florida man who suggests burning Korans will do I don’t know what in the tragic memories of 9/11.) 

Prof. REICH: If parents can control every aspect of a kid’s education, shield them from exposure to the things that the parents deem sinful or objectionable, screen in only the things which accord to their convictions, and not allow them exposure to the world of a democracy, will the children group up then basically in the own image of their parents, servile to their own parents’ beliefs?

His preference would be grouping up in the image of what, seeming to obliterate any parental or family uniqueness. 

I liked this Religion and Ethics Newsweekly piece better, that was aired earlier this year:

Muslim Homeschooling

MARTINEZ: Our goal is basically to bring up our children who are contributing citizens, who feel that they can and should give back to the world and ultimately to grow up in peace and be able to live a fulfilling life.

FAW: As a sign in her living room reads, “Home is where your story begins,” here where the alphabet, arithmetic, and Allah meet.

Love is a powerful force for change (and education). 

Check out Thistle Farms products

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