I say that we were given two inalienable birth rights; one is Free Choice, and the other is Freedom. There is an obvious caveat to the Free Choice piece which needs to include the concept of harmlessness. You, reader, like that for yourself – agreed? I sure do and have raised these rights to operative imperatives.
Let’s say that you are a middle aged American person – though this applies everywhere, but just for the sake of grasping you, that is who you are, you – reading this. You want to be free to make all reasonable choices yourself and you sure as hell want to be free. So if a boss or a parent or a partner imposes his or her will on you, you might agree to their directive, but you surely want the right of choosing to agree or not. For example, your boss says he needs you to go to Siberian, naked, in January to dig coal with a gang of left handed serial killers, or something along those lines. You might agree, exercising your Free Choice to agree or not, and then again, you might not agree and get your ass fired in the process – but at least you had the choice. And hey, you are even free to choose to be a serial killer – of course you are, but then you get to pay the price of that choice.
Point is that you need, you want, you are owed, you own……that right. So how about your kid, sir? Assume that making him take algebra is akin to those cold coal fields, in his value judgment. But you insist, you MAKE him take that course, using your size, your meal ticket, your position of authority, the threat of dire consequences if he doesn’t…… to get YOUR way over the young uns right of Free Choice and Freedom.
Ok, ok – fine, fine…….start back pedaling here because of course we have a duty, a right, a need to…….. what? To impose our value systems on their lives? To assume that WE know better than they do what is “good” for them? So we do what we understand we are to do and, guess what, the kid goes along with it, cuz as a young person, he has limited Choice and actually doesn’t know that he has any choice, because this is happening all over the board.
Until. Until he does, and then he runs away, or symbolically runs away in his mind and attitude. Obviously a lot of kids do not run away – indeed they go on to take other courses that you, as parent, or industry, as future boss, require. But there is often a resentment, and WE are not equipped to understand the depths and dangers of that energy. And, of course, you play your trump card – that of knowing what’s best, and being a responsible parent and doing your duty to produce another……But ask yourself this; sure you know, maybe on a good day, what is best for you, but can you remember that children actually “know” what may be best for them. You know adult matters, they are specialists in childhood – until, that is, they get all warped up.
Now, average American, assume that somebody comes along and insists that you study Arabic, or sewers, or female psychology, or a better design for nuns’ habits…. Or fricking algebra for Christ’s sake. You may agree, but pretend that you are not interested at all. If you go along with the directive, and are not interested, you will not do well with it. If you don’t go along with it you will get your sorry ass fired. The question is; how do you feel about someone imposing their value system of what is good for you, on you?
Education. Why not honor our little ones, and let them choose what they want to study, where they want to invest their little times and attentions? Why not honor them as individuals and see what THEY want for THEIR lives. Johnny can go along his life enjoyment trail and if he then decides he wants to study algebra, for God’s sakes, then he will be able to, AND he will enjoy and possibly excel at it…….
And, as an aside, STOP for the sake of all sanity medicating their tiny souls with Ritalin etc. Does nobody understand what it means to be a newish person? What a horrid way to warp their lovely souls which only want to play in god’s fields of creation.
Why warp their lives with our judgments? Why not let the little dudes and dudettes warp their own lives?
By the way, you can kiss a nun……….but don’t get in the habit. Ahem. Amen.