Originally published on What the Fvck dot com here.
What is truth? What about our history is subjective? Is what we are teaching our kids based on the vision we have for the world, or is it scientific and psychological fact? What is actually right or wrong? Is our truth based on our personal belief systems? Would it stand up in a court of law?
So much of what I read in the news, watch on television, or hear about as it relates to our children’s education, seems more based on idealistic fantasy disguised as truth, and all too often some ‘immoral’ compass by which to destroy the character of those who dare question the momental narrative.
I have been worried about the state of our children’s education for some time now. What is its purpose? What skills should our kids leave their secondary education with? How about a strong understanding of how the world works, and an appreciation and respect for the moral mosaic that exists within our direct communities and the broader world at large? These seem like a strong base for starters. Then again, what do educators have a right to teach our children, and what lessons should remain the role of the family?
In recent years, our educational institutions, politics, and social discourse have become extremely divided and their purpose lost and out of touch with truth. It all has made me deeply question what education should look like for our children because it’s become so non-secular, that it has lost complete touch with the religions, faiths, and morals that reach deep into the root of our ancestry whether Indigenous, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, or otherwise.
I want our kids to learn the basics like math. I want them to know how to read and write and to experience the beauty and power of words and their rhythm. Science, arts, and physical health. They are essential too. I also want them to know how to survive in the woods and in the streets of our communities, to have compassion and acceptance for all people regardless of race, creed, colour, religion, and who they love, and to be open to a diversity of opinions as they learn about the world and themselves and their place and worth within it. I want our youth to be confident and to know that they can do anything and to have the courage to take on the world. Most of all, I want them to feel free to constantly question everything in their life-long quest for deeper understanding and meaning.
What skills do our kids need to walk away from their public education with, to lead a meaningful and purposeful life?
First, however, there is a lot of division in our society and perhaps the initial exercise – and one that might help us answer the questions above, is to search deep within our cultural soil in search of a common root that connects everything that is dividing us today.
As I have searched within with the above in mind, it is my belief that a deeper sense of community is needed and that the labels we are growingly associating ourselves with, are not and can never address the need for those they are meant to support and uplift the most because singular labels don’t define us – they separate us.
We are humans. Let’s start there because most of what we are all made of, need, and desire, is no different in us all. Without these labels, we are just human. That is our common thread.
Our kids are talking about these labels and group identities all of the time at school and on social media, but neither can truly capture anything that is real or truly important to the individual because there are no all-encompassing labels to describe what makes us unique. Despite our different exteriors or our internal beliefs, we are still not a monolith based on these superfluous identities.
What is truth? Well, I feel like we must first build community by finding our common humanity, and it is that strong bond and the trust it strengthens, that will put us in a better place to define truth together. This is when we can be honest with what is just hopes and dreams, and what is actual fact. Where we’ll find power in transparency and be better able to accept that science and history are what we know at this moment in time, but that it might be debunked by the technology and information of tomorrow, building community will help us own the reality that today’s truth may become our past mistakes.
Beauty is neither black nor white – a hard truth or a definitive false. It’s the brilliant shades of gray in between. Why do they want us to live in a binary world? We are not ones and zeros.
I feel I have become less black and white about my opinions and beliefs as I grow older, but love, kindness, seeing the good in everyone, and the ability to be vulnerable in our quest for understanding, I feel should be at the root of everything we do and I see very little of these qualities, within the soil of our educational, political, and social systems.
Let’s spend some time focusing on what truly defines our joint humanity because I feel like if we put our heart and soul into such an exercise, we’d realize that our differences are but a speck of dust within the whole – not unlike our home within the stars and planets and infinity.
Let’s drop the labels and group identities, and embrace our shades of gray.
Pulled from the canvas I am but one shade, but together our slight distinctions make the painting truly come alive for the hues of our infinitive contrasts, bring together the allure that bonds us as one.