A lot of people are throwing blame around in this world, in this country. The other party isn’t cooperating. The president isn’t trying hard enough. The senate and congress are lazy. The super stores are taking everything and giving nothing. The banks are evil. Wall Street is full of heartless rich white guys of the 1%.
So some of the unrest is totally justified. Yes rich, white men are throwing their weight around and claiming to be the voice of the under represented. And yes they get it wrong a lot. Yes the government is flawed and failing in many areas, and yes it has a lot to do with party conflicts that shouldn’t even exist. Yes these issues are real and need attention.
But here’s where we should start our battle. In schools.
Every time an election comes around (and I don’t just mean for presidency), I hear candidates half-mention the need to better our school systems. The problem is that they always decide to cut funding to the arts and bolster the sciences. I’m all for STEM classes, but if we’ve already tried this approach and it hasn’t improved us, why are we still trying it? To quote the brilliant mind of Albert Einstein, insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
I don’t think the problem with schools is that we focus too much on arts or even that we focus too much on STEM. I think the problem is that teachers understand that most of their students need creativity to learn even if they aren’t artistically inclined but aren’t allowed to provide any of it because of legislature. I think the problem is schools losing programs that allowed kids to find healthy, productive venues for their issues and problems like art and music and literature and then wondering why more and more of the student population hates going to school to the point of dropping out and why bullying is on the rise to the point that some students are being hazed using their food allergies. I think the problem is so much focus on standardized testing and not on helping students remember the information passed graduation.
I think the problem with American education is that some people still think Titanic is just a movie. I think there’s a problem with the fact that most people think “Madonna with Child” is a reference to a pop singer. I think the problem is that most people don’t know the capital of the United States of America despite living here. I think the problem is that most people don’t think reading is useful, that it’s a low-class hobby, and that our literacy rate for most adults is at a 3rd grade level.
I think the problem is that most people don’t know the definition of racism or sexism but like to throw the words around to attack others while being the definition of the words themselves.
I think the problem is that “the real world” is teaching kids to think like this and not letting teachers correct the issues and instill real passion for learning in their students.
I think the problem is that the government thinks paying teachers less than most people pay babysitters is fair and just and that college tuition rates keep rising till people can’t afford to go or end up finishing with more debt than they can ever pay off and that the world sneers at them for it either way and that a Bachelor’s degree is worth as much as a high school diploma despite the cost and time and effort.
I think our society could be great again. I think our citizens could fix all the issues themselves if they were educated, with or without higher education. I think our people could save this country of freedom if we tried a different tactic and put more money into education and small businesses and healthcare than we put into building our military. I truly believe that if we inspired people to love learning we could fix our broken nation.
But until the angry masses stop shaming the government for making any step in that direction, and until the government takes charge of such an opportunity, we shall never see that growth. The problem is that the angry masses don’t understand that taking steps in this direction are for their benefit because of the current system in place, so they continue to stay angry masses. The problem is that people are too focused on immediate returns and not focused enough on long-term consequences, and this will be the downfall of more than just our country.
This will be the downfall of our world.