Check Out Our Latest Book: Common Ground on Common Core

Order Now!

Resounding Books Newsletter

List of Articles
Privacy Policy
Paid for by Resounding Books PAC
© Copyright 2015
|A| 619 South Main Street, Box 418 / DeForest, WI 53532
|P| 608 467 0877

July 14, 2015 - Opening Gateways for the Mind: Marsha Familaro Enright on the Great Connections Seminar

The world places constraints on our minds. There's no way around it. The problem is, we don't always know what those constraints are or that they're even there. Hence, Resounding Books tagline question, "Is your brain in a cage?" None of us can know the answer...unless we have the courage to ask the question.

Having asked the question--and having discovered that our mind may have been hijacked in certain respects--how do figure out where we're hung up and free ourselves? 

In this final segment of our interview with Marsha Familaro Enright, we asked her about the Great Connections Seminar, a week-long summer program that her organization, the Reason, Individualism, Freedom Institute (RIFI), annually offers to teens and 20-somethings. While there are all kinds of ways to facilitate greater intellectual and creative freedom, Marsha and her team at the institute appear to have designed a remarkably powerful gateway, indeed. We believe it's well worth sharing the program with the Resounding Books Network.

It's immediately apparent from looking at RIFI's website that Great Connections doesn't aim low. It consciously aims to help participants answer questions such as:

  • How do I know what I know?
  • How do I determine what’s right and wrong?
  • How do I identify the best conditions under which to live?
  • How do I build a life of meaning and creative achievement?

Rooted in classic writings and Socratic method, the seminar employs active listening, shared inquiry, and a strong spirit of exploration to open powerful doors of thought. Over the course of just one week, participants cultivate in themselves and each other approaches and practices that quite literally catapult them beyond the status quo. In concert, they build a sort of mini-society that, in and of itself, provides valuable new frames of reference.

We're talking about true critical thinking and outside-the-box perspective, here, versus the schlock Arne Duncan et al so assiduously--and disingenuously--push. In fact, Great Connections has repeatedly been described by participants as "life-changing" and "transformative." High praise...and curiosity-inspiring. Makes us want to attend, which, as it turns out, is not an impossibility. Marsha told us that RIFI has actually offered weekend seminars for adults beyond 20-something and expects to do so again in the future.

The methodology of the program is, in fact, so effective--and holds such far-reaching implications and applications--that it's gone international. In partnership with RIFI, motivated Argentinians have begun holding Great Connections-based events. Their aim is to foster free-society reforms in their country, which has seen an increasing loss of liberties at the hands of populist and fascist governments. 

The application period for this year's Great Connections Seminar is already past, but it's never too late to start thinking about next year. Have a teen you'd like to set on the road of intellectual freedom?  In your 20s and looking for ways to break out and make the most of your path in life? The Great Connections Seminar is an opportunity we suspect it's well worth your time to investigate. Listen to the conversation between Marsha and Kirsten, then decide for yourself...

UPDATE: We just realized that RIFI is, in fact, offering a weekend version of Great Connections for adults in early October. For more informaton, see this post on the RIFI blog.

NOTE: The original version of this video did not properly render a link to the RIFI website, so we re-rendered it and replaced it on YouTube. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the missing link in the video or if anyone tried to access the video and found it temporarily unavailable. All should be well now. Thanks for your understanding.

404 Not Found

" data-layout="standard" data-action="like" data-show-faces="true" data-share="true">

Print Content