Jacqueline M. Ward is an economist, entrepreneur, avatar and
writer. She unschools her three children on the South side of Chicago where she is active in the homeschooling community on
a state and local level.
Jacqueline serves as the contact person for the South Side of Chicago for Illinois H.O.U.S.E.
(Home Oriented Unique School Experience) a state wide, nonsectarian organization with 17 chapters throughout the State of
Illinois. She is also the contact person for the City of Chicago for families who are interested in homeschooling; and the
co-coordinator of the Mid-South House group, a support group of 30 predominantly African-American families on the south side
Her family’s motto is “the world is our classroom” and they have traveled extensively
domestically and abroad in pursuit of their education. She is currently working on a book on traveling abroad with children
for African-American audiences.
"Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate,
our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask
ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of
God; your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel
insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone,
and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from
our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Albert Einstein, was once heard to remark ( I am paraphrasing here) “there is only one critical decision that you
have to make…whether you believe the world is a hostile place or a hospitable place.“ Merriam Webster's
dictionary defines hospitable as “offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.” On the other hand, hostile is
defined as “openly opposed or resisting…not hospitable.”
It seems to me that Mandela and Einstein share similar world views. When one considers the trials that Mandela has experienced
and the triumphs of his recent years, it must be that he considers the world hospitable, a place where “we are born
to make manifest the glory of God within us.” A world which ultimately responds to the intent and desires of its inhabitants.
Although in my “grandest vision of the greatest version of myself” (Neal Walsch, “Conversations with
God“) I would like to believe that I view the world as hospitable, in all honesty I must confess that throughout
different periods in my life I have vacillated between the two positions. As a child, up until the age of seven or so, living
in rural Mississippi in what some would consider abject poverty, the world seemed quite hospitable. I rose with the sun, played
with farm animals, drank nectar from the dew that accumulated in the flowers. Shortly after my 7th birthday, however, we moved
to Chicago and suddenly the world seemed quite scary and hostile. This period lasted until I went off to college where I was
again able to reconnect with the innocence of my youth and continue on for about five years or so. This dance between
the dichotomous worlds of hospitality and hostility continued for most of my life.
Allow me to share a little bit of what I have learned during my journey through these two disparate and opposing world
views of hospitable versus hostile.
When I view the world as hostile, I am constantly fighting for every scrap that I receive. Constantly evaluating whether
I am “winning” or “losing.” On the other hand, if I view the world as hospitable, then I know
that “all is perfection.“ Everything works to the glory of the Creator. There are no winners or losers. If I don't
get the outcome that I had hoped for, it’s still “all good“ as the brothers are heard to say.
In a hostile world, I am all alone; separate from you, separate from the Source. The world is a zero sum experience.
In order for me to gain (increase) someone else has to lose (decrease) and vice versa.
In a hospitable world there is only One and I along with everyone and everything am a part of the One. As such, there
is no separation, and only “increase” exists. My gain is your gain. The more I give (increase to someone
else), the more I receive (increase) the more there is available for all (increase).
Hostile world: every comment, every action is a personal attack. Hospitable world: every comment/action is
a message that I sent to myself to remind myself of something that I need to work on. Hostile world, people do and say
unforgivable things versus a hospitable world where I call people into my sphere to present those things that my spirit
yearns to experience.
Since turning 40 some years back, I have chosen to view the world as hospitable, one that nurtures the spirit in
this human form. As a result, it’s once again full of possibilities. I have regained much of the joy, optimism
and hope of my seven year old self, the self that truly was “powerful beyond measure”.
Having made this choice, I am deprogramming and unschooling myself as well as my children. Encouraging them to follow
Mandela’s lead; allow their lights to shine and not shrink from being the “brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous“
children of God that they are. And in giving all praises and credit to the Creator, I tell them that the world and everything
in it was perfectly designed and fashioned as a hospitable --“sustaining environment“ -- to nurture and
provide for all of their needs and desires.
In an interview with a reporter for the London Times in 2001, Desmond Tutu was quoted as saying that ultimately all we
want to do is return to God. He stated that the reality is that there is “just no place else to go.“ After
reading this quote I asked myself, since all roads lead back to the Creator, why not just relax and fully engage myself.
Treat life as a journey not as a destination. The things that happen during this journey are just experiences, “sights”
to take in, not the sum total of my existence, nor do they define who I am.
In this journey back to God, the creator of this hospitable world crafted in perfection, I find myself literally and
figuratively prostrate in a perpetual posture of gratitude. For in gratitude, where one is in constant communion with The
Creator, even the most egregious trespasses and transgressions are transformed into opportunities to perfect both the
human and spiritual potential. Namaste.
All is perfection…JacQuie