Proceeding Without Bad Ideas: A Practical Guide to Home Education – Planning Ahead (Part 3)

Before I venture any further in this series, intended to be viewed by post-pubescent students as much as by parents, it is imperative that I speak about a topic that occasionally comes up within the home education community, indeed, any community.

It is regarding perfection. It doesn’t exist outside of God, so forget about reaching it any other way. There are no perfect parents and there are no perfect children.

Imperfect parents cannot expect perfection of their imperfect children. Neither should imperfect children expect it of imperfect parents. Get past this crazy idea of expecting perfection from anyone or anything!

Just as unreasonable as the perfection merry-go-round we just went through, is to expect perfection of yourself. To be conscious of doing good work, to strive to be the best that you can be, or to expect excellence of yourself is all good, but you will not do well as a “perfectionist”!

Perfectionists are impossible to live with because they live in an impossible world. Perfectionists are so disconnected from the real world, they may even start to confuse their desire for perfection with their actually being perfect. Bad plan! Perfect people don’t exist, remember?

Furthermore, people who think they are perfect cannot possibly improve on perfection, so they handicap their own growth as a consequence. Perfect people see themselves as faultless and flawless, not as having failings or of being failures!

The next step to thinking you are perfect is to declare personal divinity and then to advance self-righteousness as His righteousness. This can only lead to disaster!

Forget about being perfect. Forgo the temptation to expect it of others. Just be good old imperfect you and strive to be the best you can be and to do the best that you can do, without beating yourself up when making a mistake.

As mentioned last time, the home educated have a number of advantages over the school educated. However, even though you have a better starting point in making life decisions, you can never expect perfection of yourself or anybody else. Besides, seeking perfection can actually paralyze decision making.

Living in an imperfect world provides ample opportunity for bad things to creep into our lives, without our being aware of it. There will always be ideas and actions that will direct you to repeat error, sometimes by default, other times by design, but never to perfection.

As solid as your worldview may be, it is still full of error, or shall I say, is imperfect and subject to further corruption.

You must understand that when the secular world keeps repeating a message, there is likely a reason. You may not know this, but the best way to indoctrinate people is to provide the same information, over and over again, eventually wearing down natural resistance, leading to the acceptance of what is being presented, as truth.

Repeating these principles or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true is the very definition of dogma, the underlying root of the dogmatic, who repeat an idea without knowing the original source or why it is or is not so.

There is no lack of examples one could use to illustrate how error becomes fixed as part of our thinking, but we will focus on a few specifically associated with career paths.

The first and most widely advanced bad career idea is that anybody can be anything they want to be. This secular thinking is based on the assumption that all people are born as a product of some cosmic chance occurrence, as blank slates that can be programmed to be something constructive, or destructive, depending on one’s perspective.

This is why there are so many people bouncing around from one job or career to another. If we can be anything we want to be, we will eventually find what we want to be, I guess! However, even this wrong thinking actually highlights an important reality about careers.

That is, there are really only two possible careers. You heard me right. There is the right career, the one in keeping with your gifts, talents and abilities, and the wrong career, which is not.

This takes us back to our original good idea that those who are more confident with who they are, are more likely to avoid paths that do not fit. If you are already familiar with your positive and negative attributes, it is easier to eliminate the wrong careers and potentially right careers are more likely to be identified quicker.

It should be obvious that people need to have a God-given aptitude for the career they choose. If you can’t draw, don’t aspire to being an artist. If you can’t hold a tune in a bucket, forget about being a rock star. Well maybe you could be some kind of star, as they occasionally prove how not having talent is not a hindrance! My opinion, of course!

Can’t stand the sight of blood? Forget medicine or nursing, even if it sounds so… romantic! Can’t stand people? Really, you need to fix that, but in the meantime, stay out of the service industry!

Many people have bought the lie that said they could be anything they wanted to be and have taken the longer, and likely more expensive, route to find the right career.

However, you can only be who God created you to be. I am not talking about a specific position, but a career in keeping with who you are. If you are excited about going to work, you can consider that to be the right job or career, at least for now.