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Archive for November, 2012

How many times have you heard this— “children need a college education so they will have a good start in life.” How many times have you silently agreed to the notion that children need a “good education” so they can “make it” in “society?” How many of you are willing to take another look at these two universal constants of our current social rhetoric? Do you understand the difference between need and want?

As I said in my last post, there really is no such animal as “SOCIETY.” It is for this reason that arguments about society, and it’s condition, are always so unsatisfactory. We are all individuals, unique unto ourselves. We use the term society to refer to a collection of such individuals. This is a matter of verbal convenience—not a definition. Therefore, society = individuals.

And even though they use the term “society” for convenience’s sake, in their own minds, people only relate to the individual. For example, why else is there such objection to making broad, sweeping statements about Jews, blacks, women, Hispanics, republicans, democrats, etc., etc.? It is because such statements are an insult to the individual. They totally ignore the principle of the uniqueness of the individual and show no respect for or acknowledgement of it. Therefore, let us agree that the first basic function of society is to teach respect for the individual. Without this teaching, there is no society, there are only lots of individuals in a constant state of emotional anarchy.

Let us further agree that the first step in teaching respect for the individual is teaching respect for the self. The notion of “I” is, after all, the foundation on which all further understanding of the importance of the individual will be built. People who have no respect for themselves will assuredly not respect anyone else.

Taking this one step further we have–Respect for the self must be taught by the primary individuals in a person’s life—the parents. To any child, mom and dad are society, therefore, society = individuals = parents.  So how can parents(society) teach the principle of self-respect?

This one is easy. They can’t.

It is not possible to “teach” self-respect to children, you have to provide them with it the same way you provide them with shelter, warmth, food, etc.. You do this by loving them. You do this by spending time with them because you love them and you like spending time with them. In this way the individual child will absorb the notion that they “matter” and this is the basis for self-respect. All children need this. There is no educational “system” that can substitute for this. It is called nurturing.

You see, self respect is absorbed from one’s emotional environment, especially(but not exclusively) by the young. Society(parents) cannot “teach” respect like a course in algebra. Parents can teach little ones their numbers, letters, and colors. Parents can teach growing children about gardening, cooking, auto repair, hunting, and fishing and sewing. As parents take the time and trouble to teach them these skills their children will automatically absorb a sense of self-respect and this self-respect will, in turn, allow them to respect others. They need a sense of self-respect and they need to have consideration for others, otherwise, nothing else they acquire or achieve in their lives will have meaning. Nurturing is what will give children a good start in life. Education, which is only information of various kinds, will not do this.

So now let’s take a look at the chain of ideas we have just created.

Society = individuals = parents = nurturing = self-respect = respect for others = a healthy society.

You will notice that education does not appear in this equation at all. That is because children do not need an education. It is not a physical or emotional requirement in raising a stable individual(society). If one has no education they will certainly feel the lack of it. In other words, they will want some education. For a healthy child, education will provide a broader point of social view, they will learn about other ways of living and earning a living and hopefully, develop some respect for others.

All of our social woes stem from the fact that education is being used as a substitute for nurturing. As a result of this, we are raising entire generations with a syndrome that pediatricians would diagnose as “failure to thrive.”

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