Dropout Festival

In a teeny-tiny country, there’s a teeny-tiny festival. It’s so exclusive, that just a handful of people have visited it. No, this is not the beginning of a fairytale. Then why am I writing about that festival, I can hear you think. What is so special about such a small festival? Well, I will tell you.

First of all, I was one of those few people who has visited it, just a few hours ago. It is organized by a foundation, called Spirare, whose sole mission is to invite young, gifted people to discover and explore their natural talents in an inspirational environment. The foundation is situated in a rural environment, with lots of open space, in a tiny country called The Netherlands.

Last September, I had the pleasure to be one of the “Life Guides” who accompany the youngsters with their journey of discovering and exploring their talents. These youngsters are called “Life Trackers”, since their journey is like a track. Although I have been there for just a short period of time, I have become quite fond of all the people involved in this journey.

Earlier today, I visited the place again, because the foundation had its annual little festival as an official event to close the season. Today, I could clearly see the progress that a lot of the youngsters have made in the in-between months. This progress is as diverse as there are youngsters: where one of them evolved themselves in music, another one evolved in education. A few others evolved in sculpting or painting while yet others evolved on a personal level. All in all, quite the few bright and beautiful young people.

Now about the name of the festival: Dropout Festival. I’m not sure, but I think this is the chosen name as a salute to all those bright minds all over the world, that have stopped their regular education and pursued their personal goals on a journey that is called Life, like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Richard Branson. These people all have at least one thing in common, which is the fact that they came to realize that regular education would not be able to help them explore their talents and therefore chose their own path of life lessons.

Just like those people, who now are heads of multinational corporations (except for Steve Jobs, who has evolved on a different plane of existence), the youngsters at Spirare dropped out of regular school to pursue a different kind of teaching that will help them further in their lives.

All this uncovers a valuable lesson for us all, or maybe even more than one. If nothing, it foremost tells us that regular education is not part of the solution, but rather being part of the problem. A one-size-fits-all based education is not what these youngster need in order to evolve. No, they need a personal-cut education plan that helps them develop their talents and skills. Eventually, they become happier people in their later-on lives, just because of this personal-cut education plan. Yes, they dropped out of regular school. But NO, they are most certainly NOT washouts, nor are they afraid to explore new paths or horizons. These are the ones who form a whole new generation of beautiful human beings, in every color of the rainbow.

That is why I salute all of them, and I bow down deep to what they have already accomplished in one school year. And that is why I want all of you to know about this teeny-tiny festival.

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