The human species absolutely amazes me. We are built, hardwired, as a social race. To varying degrees, we are all social. It’s good to recognize our nature.
Henry David Thoreau said as much in his seminal work, Civil Disobedience and Other Essays: “If a plant cannot live according to it nature, it dies, and so a man.” Not only are we social but also in order to live in a healthy society, we each must realize our self-identity and create a Purpose. If we don’t know who we are, we can’t create a Purpose consistent with Heart. We desire Purpose, because that is the way we relate to one another, i.e., form a society. Our nature, then, consists of knowing self, creating self-purpose, and living that in the midst of others, society.
Great! So what? It goes a step further, really many steps further. If everyone experienced what I describe above, then I probably would not have created the purpose I have. Things would be awesome. However, we come hardwired with Ego, also, in addition to Heart.
Ego helps us gain a sense of our being in society, but it can hinder our coming to self-awareness by making us conform to many things in order to fit into society, to relate, but in a way that denies our true nature. Remember Thoreau? Some people delve deeply into Ego and wield it as a weapon in an attempt — oh, mostly subconscious — to be in control, fit in, fill the emptiness of not knowing their own Heart.
When some of these folks, who can be accomplished, persuasive, brilliant, even personable, start manipulating and controlling through power plays in a multitude of ways, the masses over time grow wary. Then, revolutions occur. When people have felt oppressed and repressed, disregarded and disrespected, voiceless and unnoticed, they are not living their nature. We need freedom to be and live core Self and our Purpose.
Yet, when we neglect self-awareness and creating a purpose, we do the stupidest of things: put ourselves in the hands of a government to fill purposes we neglect. This means society, a natural society where we each are free to follow “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” doesn’t work the way it should. It depends on each of us.
The current political and governmental situation exemplifies this. It’s revolting, repulsive, and replete with dishonesty. Ego won this round at a national level, and it affects all of us. People have no trust in one another, in who has facts or not, in the very offices at the highest level. Of course, I have always been a nonconformist and questioned everything, but in the past, I could evaluate wise, learned evidence. That only exists in few places now; the ranting and raving on both sides of the issue do nothing to help anyone forward. This current executive administration has effectively destroyed the basis envisioned by our founders for a nation in which people could seek, know, and live their personal truth. Enough.
And I hope it has been enough that people might ask what can be done. Nothing fast — well, it could start with a healthy impeachment and abdication of the unqualified, ass-covering liars the executive has surrounded himself with. The deeper action, more lasting and effectual one, revolves around education. (And I already know I do not have enough time or space tonight to complete my thoughts.)
Education in its current form with all the reform measures, programs, interventions — all of this meaningless shit needs to be overthrown. Revolution and redefinition are required. You think I’m a nut case, don’t you? Come on, admit it?! I would not be like a lying S.O.B. of a political candidate saying such things if I did not have many years experience as a professional educator. And if, beyond that, I had not practiced what I preach in the limited, dictatorial, industrialized system that is the current educational establishment.
And I wish to shed some light on this before ending tonight to set up the positive possibilities I may address tomorrow — a dramatic, dark background to provide contrast for the brilliant light of hope for humanity.
Today’s educational establishment reeks of what so many speak of but do little to change: it’s an industrial model complex. Many reform movements propose to change this. In fact, I just heard a snippet of another tired webinar today by a supposedly leading reformer. Do I agree with project-based learning, inquiry-based learning, and dozens of others? Yes, in their concept but not in their implementation. They are like throwing someone a rock when they need a life preserver.
Why? Because the second that these methods, really systems packaged for sale, are introduced, when educators talk about getting the teachers and students on board, they have automatically told me that the stakeholders had no part in development. They must be sold a bill of goods. It’s exactly like a factory. Here are the parts. Construct the product based on this plan. Do not deviate. Your product (students) will undergo quality control examination (testing, assessment, or whatever other euphemistic term they wish to use).
Oh, the high school kids didn’t pass quality control. It’s because those guys in the assembly line before us didn’t add the parts in the right way. They didn’t teach math, writing, reading, or whatever the way they should have. We have a curriculum — product construction manual. It’s all laid out. And reform is only tweaking the directions.
We have been taught what good little students and classrooms look like, should sound like, should be doing. The educational establishment down to individual schools in districts sound like idiots to me. They produce mission statements that cannot be reached in the way they approach the children. They should know better. Create life-long learners ? Those would be students who know how to learn and who love to learn. Does cramming them in a room, commanding where they sit, when they eat, go to the bathroom, and what they must learn reap the goal of being a motivated life-long learner? No, it does not.
What do grades do for students? Sort them? Some better than others? Indicate progress? If that’s the only way an educator can come up with seeing the value and worth of a child, then they are teaching the wrong things. And they are.
The upshot of all this is the current system is a failure. Oh, students aren’t. Yes, there are shining examples of success, but kids do hear their own Heart and learn things because they want to and those sorts of kids make the exceptions — not the system. That is for damned sure.
Yes, the upshot: Make kids a product. Build them the way the instruction manual says. Make them dependent on someone else’s approval and evaluation. And reward the hell out of the ones who are exceptional. Show those who don’t conform, who are more defective products, the error of their ways. Remediate. Repair them so they can be sold as functioning products, maybe the economy models.
This system has led directly to where America and other nations are right now in the political and governmental quagmire of who to even believe. The products of education, our citizenry, don’t even know what to believe. In fact, those who consider themselves our enemies have already won. We can’t evaluate, reject, formulate, and respond to the lunacy occurring in Washington, D.C., right now, which impacts the rest of this planet in one way or another.
Education has been the key to controlling the masses, and masses resigned to mediocrity and dependent on others for money, truth, and direction are slaves under a dictatorial oligarchy. That is where we are, in an unnatural setting in which we are discouraged from living Heart-truth because that threatens those who wield Ego as a weapon of control.
Dark enough background. I hope to pierce the darkness tomorrow with the light of hope, that things, education, the nation, the world can be different. But we have to take our lives back, become discoverers of Self, and make the difference. Government will never do that, and if you want it to, you are proof of all that I have been saying. The fact is You are more powerful, brilliant, insightful than the educational system has led you to believe, because all of that is within us, not in a curriculum that can be dumped into our heads or a government that legislates it.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!