An old Russian folk tale about how a village was saved from starvation provides a useful recipe!

The villagers set up a big pot, started a fire and put in one “magic” stone in order to make soup. Why, everyone knows soup made from a stone wouldn’t be fit to eat! So each of the villagers contributed some of what they had for the pot. By the end of the day, the kettle was full of delicious, nourishing soup for all.
Likewise, any community, with the will and the imagination can put together a learning center based on the principles and guidelines set forth in BREAKTHROUGH TO BRILLIANCE, Changing the World by Changing How We Learn.

This method might prove to be the best way of all. It will:

  • Put a whole community in seeking mode. It will elicit great artistic and graphic creativity.
  • Foster unprecedented cooperation and synergies.
  • Cause many to discover, invent and imagine.
Like bees gathering nectar, everyone would begin seeking, cleaning out attics, basements and storage facilities to find thousands of things such as fossils, feathers, stuffed animal specimens, an empty turtle shell, a hornet’s nest, old guns, diaries, spinning wheels, old Bibles, stamp collections, historic magazines, art prints, letters, costumes, craft supplies, puzzles, games, tools, equipment, building blocks, musical instruments, furniture, sea shell collections, post cards.

Contributing in the area of ones own greatest passion, a nature photographer might bring in a huge, smashing photo of a butterfly on a bright pink coneflower. A model builder might bring in an authentic scale model of an historic ship. Children will collect pods, cones, seeds, lichens and bird’s nests.
Once up and running, the Learning Center, in conjunction with Hamilton Learning Foundation, will offer classes, seminars and start-up kits to help communities develop their own learning centers.

“Leadership is best when the people say: 'We did it ourselves'.” ~ Lao Tzu
Stone Soup:
Everything will be carefully cleaned, ordered, labeled and displayed, to create four major curiosity centers. Project areas will be set up. Contributions of money will be used to purchase Montessori materials. An old building will be donated and refurbished with bright paint and artistic graphics. Masters will come forth to share their expertise. Many adults will find satisfaction as mentors. Seeking, discovering, learning and helping others will become a way of life for everyone.

“Start doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~ St. Francis of Assisi