I found this book "The Tao of Management," by Bob Messing in Ocean City, New Jersey. After looking through it I thought to myself what it would be like to apply the wisdom from the "Tao Te Ching" into the perspectives of the Montessori Classroom and possibly home life too. In all fairness, there is already a wonderful book called "The Tao of Montessori". Then I came to the conclusion that I am going to take on a little experiment this summer. I am going to read the sixty-four passages in this book "The Tao of Management," reflect on each one, and then see and write about how it can be applied. I think and hope that we will both find some value in this experiment.
Bob Messing writes for his first passage, The Creative - Ch'ien
"The creative represents the strength of Tao, you, and your organization. Strength is born, expanded, fulfilled, and consolidated. if any of these aspects of strength are lacking, the creative quality of strength is not complete. The manager must never confuse strength with force. They are not the same. The manager concentrates on the accomplishment of his task(s), and is minimally visible. Arrogance is the extreme of knowing something about winning but nothing about losing. Arrogance blocks a manager by diminishing his creative strength."
Without the creative, the child will be lost both in the classroom and at home. The adult must be creative in their capacity to inspire. Remember, inspiration is different then motivation. Anyone can be motivated to do something. It is using something external to get someone to do something that you want them to do. Inspiration is getting the person to light their own spark and to take off. That is what we want to do for the child in the classroom and hopefully what the adult wants for their child at home. One must be creative to inspire. The more creative is exercised, the more strength there is.
Strength is internal just like inspiration. It seems to me that the frustration of not being able to or even understand that they must inspire causes the adult to use their force and they become misguided thinking that they have strength. The adult must focus on what they wish the outcome to be, especially upon failure. It is necessary for the adult to focus on what the goal is for the child, give them the tools and then be visible as little as possible during their process. Each failure of the child is truly another opportunity for the adult to express more creatively and find a different way to inspire. In realty we always hear, "location, location, location," but in learning it should be, "presentation, presentation, presentation." Presentation is how learning and teaching can be successful with all of its components, variances, and ability to provide and accept idiosyncrasies.
If we allow ourselves to remove the internal obstacles, and be careful to not confuse or misuse force for strength then the child keeps us humble. An important thing to note is that when you are aware of arrogance as you are trying to present something or too comfortable with successfully presenting, it is then that the adult's creative strength is blocked and the trust in the presentation is temporarily disconnected. We have the opportunity to be humbled by the child. The problem here is not in having confidence, but in not being able to adapt to the child and be creative because of arrogance or force.
Well, this was the first of sixty - four passages. I look forward to your observations, thoughts and insights. Maybe you have a different interpretation that you would like to share.