… Achieving discernment and belief amid “sound and fury” the continuous bombardment of “noise” directed 24/7 … 365 … is an unrelenting challenge … requiring persistent vigilance … less we drop our guard finding ourselves smothered.
Within this environment we endeavor to “live” constructive and creative lives juggling out attempt to be performance oriented and “multi-task” as reputedly America’s super-achievers are. Our belief in the message championed by corporte mass media drives us to attain more of that “stuff” corporate media declares is the latest symbol evidencing success. Ownership of this “stuff” according to corporate media polls assures “we” are seen by our peers as successful, noteworthy and hopefully envied.
The time has come that “we” stop and remove our self from this competition of sound and find that spot where silence reins and for albeit few moments dwell therein. Take a deep breath clearing the incessant noise allowing our mind to simply go blank. Choosing to consciously ask of self … What do I believe…? Of what am I truly aware…? The question is not what “they” want you to believe or what they want you to be aware of, but, what you … believe and are aware.
If you find this difficult you are not alone as for the past 50 years, at least, the education we provide is, as John Taylor Gatto, so eloquently explains in his book titled … Dumbing Us Down … skillfully designed to prevent you and me from achieving our own awareness and belief. I fully acknowledge that most likely if you a teacher, professional educator, school administrator, college professor, purveyor of educational materials; this statement might have raised the hair on the back of your neck or evoked anger. If you are able ask yourself if any of the following are attributes championed in your school or in your classroom…?
· The ability to define problems without a guide.
· The ability to ask hard questions which challenge prevailing assumptions.
· The ability to work in teams without guidance.
· The ability to work absolutely alone.
· The ability to persuade others that your course is the right one.
· The ability to discuss issues and techniques in public with an eye to reaching decisions about policy.
· The ability to conceptualize and reorganize information into new patterns.
· The ability to pull what you need quickly from masses of irrelevant data.
· The ability to think inductively, deductively, and dialectically.
· The ability to attack problems heuristically.
I believe if “we” are all being honest with ourselves the overwhelming reply is … NO … these are not attributes championed in our schools today. We teach conformity, the antithesis of the attributes delineated above. Our educational system from kindergarten through college is thoroughly rooted in keeping with need of those who constructed our education … corporate .. whose goal is … “to create a workforce that will NOT rebel … the greatest fear at the turn of the 20th Century … that will be a work force physically, intellectually and emotionally dependent upon corporate institutions for their incomes, self-esteem, and stimulation, and that will learn to find social meaning in their lives solely in the production and consumption of material goods.” … And to that end one should commend them on the degree of success it appears they have currently attained.
Let’s be just a bit honest, OK..? Today anyone who, for whatever reason, does not automatically conform and fit into whatever the preconceived model is, is summarily declared a misfit, malcontent, rebel, at the very least an eccentric, at worst a dissenter, trouble-maker, or perhaps even a terrorist. When the preponderance of available jobs are store clerks at Wal-Mart or flipping burgers at McDonalds or Burger King, the ability to conform is mandatory. Thinking for one’s self or taking matters into one’s own hands cannot be tolerated as production and uniformity is challenged thereby affecting corporate profits.
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