Recently the SFL team met with a librarian at the Du Bois Library at Umass in Amherst to discuss possible joint adventures and how to bring the SFL concept to the campus. As we approach UMass and other institutions we continue to work on an easy to understand formulation of our 'philosophy' that uses accessible contemporary language.
The latest 'in a nutshell' version goes as follows:
Skills-for-Life combines practical knowledge that many young people do not receive these days, in the form of crafts, carpentry, gardening and food preparation with the inner skills of patience, personal insight and acceptance and appreciation of others through meditation, shared experiences and physical movement.
The intention of Skills-For-Life, as the name implies, is to pass on skills to a next generations that we consider fundamental to success in the material and societal world. These skills can be grouped into outer or manual skills, such as food growing or carpentry, inner or contemplative skills, such as introspection, meditation, but also contact with the body through rhythmic movement, and thirdly community building skills that will be needed in a potential difficult future.
Our intention is to bring these ideas and practices to young people, first as concepts to be explored and discussed. As a further step, we will be offering a residential, two-week program in August 2016, where these ideas can be practically applied, and new skills can be absorbed. The embrace of diversity, whether it be cultural, sexual, multi-age or multi-ability, is essential in a future where people will need to be able to accept each other, and work effectively together. We would like to know if your institution is interested in the possibility of providing a venue for our work. We are very flexible as to how this interaction might take place but at the outset it might take the form of a talk and discussion.
Skills-For-Life is a grassroots initiative responding to a perceived need for a more meaningful and sane life. The current state of the world, and the inertia that prevents needed changes, can easily produce hopelessness, frustration and depression in any sensitive human being. We believe that one possible way to face this dilemma, and to effect change, is not by changing others but by changing ourselves. By studying our own psyche and the way we interact with the world, by acquiring useful skills and learning to work with others, we can make a better community for all. We are not affiliated with any organization, either religious, political, or environmental, although many of us have become aware of the need to serve the future. Our motivation is to pass on what we have learned from others, and what we have discovered through our own experience.