The Story of “A Cucumber Seed”
Where does the name “A Cucumber Seed” come from?
It’s a story passed around in the Education for Life world, an oral tradition, you might say. And like most oral traditions, no one really knows where exactly it started. Usha claims Nitai first said this, but Nitai has no recollection of ever saying it, so we are left to focus instead on the message, rather than the bibliography.
What is Education for Life about?
It’s about teaching children how to be their truest, most powerful and best selves.
Many schools and philosophies of education have a goal in mind. In these schools, the process of education is to train children to fulfill that goal. The goal might be to create an academic achiever, or a good worker for business, or someone who sees everything in a mystical light.
EFL tries to do something different. It is about seeing children just as they are, treasuring and loving each child for his or her individuality, and nurturing their own unique potential.
As the story goes, to have a goal in mind for a child’s education that does not change depending on the child’s own gifts is like putting a cucumber seed in the ground and attempting to make it grow into a watermelon, or a tomato, or whatever fantasy the gardener holds for it.
If you put a cucumber seed in the ground, you must nurture it the way you would a cucumber!
Each child is different. Each offers a unique and beautiful voice to their family, their classroom, their community. The goal of Education for Life is to nurture that voice, to teach each child to value and love their voice, and to give them tools to share their voice in a calm, compassionate and powerful way.