I was asked, by an acquaintance, exactly what is it they want? I breathed in the true essence of the question. It was asked, I think, not out of hate, but out of fear and frustration. Of, not knowing how to proceed and how to
make sense of the madness and chaos exploding around us.
I thought about a response, about my internal response. For me the answer was a simple one. First, “they” are us. Second, “they” want the same thing we want. Hence, we are they. Safety, security, freedom from fear, from hate, from the stigma of constantly being judged by some false external signal. Yes, the color of our skin is a signal of a bushel full of reactions. An instant signal that conjures up all the preconceived ideologies we have been filled with.
Your first teachers are your parents and the circle of all the parents that formed you. Hate is a learned dimension of your being. Love is as well. It is the natural inclination of humans to love. As my friend Davey says: You plant corn, you get corn. The answer to living in some kind of harmonic sphere is rooted in the word teach. Teach your children well is more than a line in a song. It’s a signpost for guiding our children on life’s journey.
It is my opinion that the key to teaching well is rooted in a curriculum, of academics & life experiences, that is based on the now out of fashion Dewey philosophy of making school/education/curriculum an extension of and preparation for life. We have gotten quite far off course with teaching to a test as opposed to teaching to the skills and processes that equip us to think clearly and estimate. Strange word estimate. We have become a nation of mechanical doers. It’s the difference between saying to a child, here’s how you get to the solution and; give me an estimate of what you think the outcome/answer is? So, what you really want is a child to understand and feel the larger picture. Estimating the answer is the difference between 10 and 1000. One of those outcomes makes no sense, the other is the common sense result of understanding the relationship of what the problems are and what the solutions might be. Common sense, and its exercise is most helpful. It’s caught up in the absence of civics and ethics in our curriculum. We become frightened of offending anyone, so frightened, we offend everyone.
Occam’s razor is a postulate that is worth understanding. The simplest answer is usually the right answer. So, teach your children well and let them understand that doing unto others…makes great common sense. It’s what we all want.
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