Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

The Young Person's Guide To The Future

Flora Springs, Napa Valley, California, USA

March 2, 2014

This essay, The Young Person's Guide To The Future, is the companion piece to It is also the sixteenth in an open group inspired by Landmark Programs: It was written at the same time as Shaken Up And Teary.

I am indebted to Benjamin Britten, and to all Landmark Forum for Young People and Landmark Forum for Teens graduates, participants, producers, and leaders worldwide, and to their source who inspired this conversation, and to the Landmark Office in San Francisco for contributing material.

Werner's work has been available for young people (ages eight through twelve) and teens (ages thirteen through seventeen) (the ages for the standard Landmark Forum are eighteen and older) for decades. The results it produces in their lives are dramatic - stunning, in fact. For the most part, the content it presents is the same content presented in the standard Landmark Forum. The essential difference isn't the content. The essential difference is it takes a lot less time  to deliver the same content to young people and teens. Because they aren't as invested as adults are in perpetuating their own points of view and righteousness, they get off it faster and consequently get it sooner. So it takes a lot less time to deliver the same content to them.

Whenever I have the opportunity to speak with parents like myself whose children are graduates of Werner's work for young people and / or teens, there's a question which is always present in the space, and which invariably gets asked - more sooner than later. This question (which, to be clear, is asked by the parents on experiencing the shape their children are in now) is "What would my own life look like today if I'd gotten clear about this when I was their age?". Indeed, what would  it look like? What if ...? It's a confronting, riveting inquiry.

Are young people and teens required to participate in advanced programs and / or seminars after they graduate? To be sure, advanced programs and seminars are offered ... but no, there's no requirement to participate in them. Participating in Werner's work when you're a young person or a teen (no matter what age you are, actually) is similar in at least one important respect to participating in any education: whether you participate only once then graduate, or whether you participate, graduate, and then continue on with advanced programs and / or seminars, you're a graduate for life. Once you've graduated with a high school diploma or a Bachelor's degree or a Master's or a Doctorate, their benefits and value alter the way life shows up from then on, regardless of whether you undertake further study in the field or not. So it is with graduating Werner's work - I say "Once a graduate always a graduate.".

To be sure, many adult graduates of Werner's work do elect to go on to participate in advanced programs and seminars. Does this mean the benefits of Werner's work for young people and teens are lost on them if they don't go on to participate in advanced programs and / or seminars? The answer is no. And yes, it's a marvelous (actually it's a smart, a very  smart) choice to go on to participate in advanced programs and / or seminars. But is it required?

No it's not required, and I say it's particularly not required in the light of my experience as a parent (even though I recommend it simply because it's such a grand, epic adventure). Here's why: once young people and teens are introduced to the conversation for transformation (responsibility, possibility, creativity, accountability etc), the possibility of the conversation for transformation becoming a language for family  is completely started. And once it's completely started, I (that is to say we)  as family can take it from here.

When the full impact of this in young peoples' and teens' lives becomes clear, their parents are likely to say "This is awesome ... and  ... what would our family look like today if we'd all gotten clear about this years and years before we actually did?". Indeed, what would it look like? What if ...? It's a confronting, riveting inquiry.

Having had a complete experience of responsibility, possibility, creativity, and accountability in the Landmark Forum for Young People, my graduate children recognize and respond to these ideas in any conversation I have with them. So even if they don't elect to participate in post-graduate advanced programs and / or seminars, their  graduating Werner's work enables and empowers my  having the conversation for transformation with them. This is an interesting idea, yes?: parents' lives transformed by their children graduating Werner's work ...

Listen: on this score alone, young people, teens, and adults in a family graduating Werner's work allow parenting and family to be more direct, more open, more powerful, more productive - ie fulfilled. It initiates a quantum shift. It starts a new created future for family, a new realm of possibility  for family.

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