I’ve just watched this video and wanted to share it with a couple of thoughts. It discusses the principles of freedom in education and the importance of health and happiness. More crucially, and more linked to some previous posts of mine, it mentions the idea that schools teach us to make a living, not a life.
One of my comments is that I am shocked these things are suggested as gaps in education. We are learning all the time. Everything you do at home is part of your life and learning experience, and whatever the % of learning that you remember or influences your later life, it is only one, formal element of it. We can do these learning experience things as an extracurricular learning experience. I know – I did. It never occurred to me I didn’t have to go out there and find stuff like this to survive, that education would be enough to see me for life. Why? Because I’ve seen it fail. Again and again. Being intelligent and having good grades doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t get you a good job and even more importantly, doesn’t make you safe.
My other comment is about Roger Walsh’s concept that spiritual or religious involvement is necessary for happiness and healthiness. You know what this makes me feel? Sad. Depressed. Angry. Excluded. Frustrated. All the negative feelings in a sea of confusion. And yes, I know “spiritual” has a very broad interpretation. But that doesn’t matter. Why? Because I’m not religious, I’m not spiritual, and the idea that I would have to do any of these things that I hate, which I find repulsive, untruthful and often prejudiced or be punished with an incomplete sense of happiness underlines to me not a true understanding of the nature of happiness, but the level to which a person’s own experiences and choices are so interlinked with their research that tehy cannot separate the two.
I find “belief” shallow. To me, it feels like a cheat or a shortcut that gets results, like a quick fix of drugs in place of real emotions and understanding. It reminds me of when I was at school and was constantly asked for who my heroes were. I tried to explain that I didn’t idolise people but they wouldn’t let me say that. I used to feel bullied by teachers to complete this exercise because it was good for me to have a hero and a role model. I wasn’t allowed to see people for the massesof positives and negatives they really are, to understand their complexities and diversities and know no one single person is everything you would want to be; I wasn’t allowed to want to be myself – a child with potential before me – rather than somebody else, a person who had achieved something I would never conceivably achieve. Why is this healthy? Why would it make people happy to teach kids to take shortcuts and go for quick fixes? Why not teach them to delve in deep, understand, analyse like a good science and develop a critical and compassionate brain?
I don’t think this kind of learning is enough either.