takes joy out of giving
gift out of life
life out of joy
gives in to loss .losing
loses dancing from moving
movement from song
song out of living
gives value to 'wrong' .winning
steals meaning from passion
passion from love
love from the losers
gives in to loss
my poetry sucks

so I can't share it .afraid
it's not good enough
for wanting
wanting is not enough .losing
is all it's about
when there's no need for gain .pain
when there's no need for doubt .love
in sharing our souls
I lose the value of loss
wanting to feel you
sharing my failures
my laugh
my story
my pain
my losing
wanting to hear you

there is strength in giving without pride
there is giving in loving without judgment
there is love in witnessing frailty
there is pride in knowing we love

This week I had to check off my kids' abilities from the list of grade-appropriate learning outcomes, just to ensure they keep getting their homelearners' money - but this list of where they measure up doesn't say anything about who they are, their strengths or passions or abilities. Just places them somewhere on somebody's list. I just want them to sing because they want to, to learn what interests them, and to do what they feel is right instead of what they need to do to win. Winning doesn't feel very good when you have to turn and see the losers, behind you.

This isn't about not valuing strengths, but celebrating them individually, as opposed to competing to be better than others. If we were all just working towards our own individual goals -- because we wanted to, and not because we were expected to, or because we wanted to be 'the best' -- then we would get there, I think, with a true feeling of accomplishment and gratitude for where we are. And community. 

All people will always have aptitudes or difficulties in various things and I think it's important to celebrate our uniquenesses. But competition of any sort creates losers, where an atmosphere of sharing and support creates desire and confidence.

Usually, when the topic of non-competitiveness or non-coercive learning, or even my choice not to test and grade my children comes up, I am warned that my children will need to learn to function in the "real world". My answer to this is that we already live in the real world, because the real world is the one we are creating every day. As more and more of us turn away from competition and judgment, towards support and celebration, I am more and more pleased to be a part of the real world.

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