What’s the difference between nonconformity and ethical nonconformity? How can one differentiate between anarchism and humanism? What exactly is the definition of morality and integrity and should these be chosen and taught by others, or developed on one’s own? What happened in the Stanley Milgram and Solomon Asch experiments and what does this mean for us today? What is “herd mentality” and how is it often harmful? Are you comfortable with the status quo? Do you feel moved to do something about it? What is “constructive audaciousness?”
Mindfulness & Meditation
In science class we learn “stimulus–response” as immediate cause and effect. In meditation and mindfulness, we learn to recognize that there exists a gap between the two: “stimulus – mindfulness (choice) – calculated response.” Do we have more control than we think? How can we take back and settle our minds to make better decisions? Can we “de-condition” ourselves and move away from blind momentum and routine existence? What is our responsibility here for others and ourselves?
What are the major tenets of existentialism? What’s the meaning behind Sartre’s “existence precedes essence?” What is “Mauvoise Foi” and how does it limit our potential? Are you living like an automaton? How can we begin living more authentically and become champions of sincerity in the “theater of the absurd?” What do we need to be careful about when deciding between authenticity and approval? If you aren’t satisfied with the direction your life is going, who gets to write the next chapter?
Freedom & Choice
Learning that you’re ultimately free is refreshing, but does it mean you’re free from responsibility? Can a person ever surrender their freedom? What is the relationship between freedom and choice? Is deciding not to choose still a choice? How does alienation play into freedom and choice? How and why might some authority figures try to stifle your freedom and choice and what is an emotionally intelligent way to address this?
Action & Passion
Rosa Parks disobeyed authority. Mohammed Ali disobeyed as a conscientious objector, refusing to serve in war. Are the consequences of civil disobedience worth it? What is apathy and how is this harmful for humanity? When deciding to take action, how can we practice self-control, self-discipline, poise, tact and respect for the opposition? What is the “silence paradox?”
Responsibility & Accountability
Who was Kitty Genovese? What is the difference between being a bystander and an upstander? What does it mean to be proactive? How will being responsible and accountable help save you energy in the long run? When you fully commit to responsibility, how does this change you and others around you? What does responsibility and accountability have to do with being a humanist?
Ego & Compassion
Ego can be defined as the thing you think is you, but really isn’t you! How will analyzing this help you improve your relationships with others? How might ego get us into trouble? How can we keep our ego in check and learn to cunningly “observe” it rather than attach to it? Might engaging in such help further our capacity to show compassion for others?
Positive Failing & Self-Compassion
Is it possible to fail our way to success? Why is it important for us to embrace and even celebrate our own personal quirks and idiosyncrasies? How can we be thankful for our failures and use them as helpful bits of information as we move forward? Do we fear failure or fear success? How can we develop our sense of self-efficacy?
Fear & Courage
“Fear does not prevent death, it prevents life.” “The opposite of courage is not cowardice, it’s conformity.” “Courage means being afraid but doing it anyway.” What do the authors of these quotes mean exactly? How can we synthesize these teachings to help empower us to face our fears? Feeling fear means we’re alive! Is this not a good thing?
Student “Speak out” Sessions
After processing all nine sessions, students take the stage and creatively perform orations that address, “What type of adult would I like to unfold into?” and “Would I rather be accepted and seek approval or make an impact?” Friends, families and teachers are invited to this special event that gives participants a voice to be heard and validated. The “speak out” sessions will be recorded to help motivate and inspire others in their community and around the world!
Available to schools and organizations all over the world, the ENE curriculum may be tailored specifically to each institution’s particular needs. Examples include:
1 | Ten weekly sessions of 1.5 hour workshops
2 | Three day intensive “ENE Boot Camp” (best for international locations)
3 | Strategically extended throughout the full school year
“Historically, the most terrible things; war, genocide, and slavery, have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.”
Howard Zinn - Historian, playwright, and social activist
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
E.E. Cummings - Poet and Author
“If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.”
Rollo May - Psychologist
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
Jiddu Krishnamurti - Philosopher
“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”
John F. Kennedy - U.S. President
“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”
Friedrich Nietzsche - Philosopher
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you into something else is the greatest accomplishment.”