An Archive of Growth?

How important do you think education is?

Education is absolutely crucial.

Humans are designed to be educated. We don’t spring forth from the womb with a passel of instincts ready to guide us through the world. We’re born as squalling, helpless infants who need to be cared for and instructed. We are perhaps the most helpless species when born, and we essentially continue incubating for 18 years before we’re considered ready to enter the wild.

We need education.

And not just the Three Rs, we need education on a wide range of topics in order to be good global citizens. Our world is complex, and each new generation needs to be inducted into how it works.

A small sampling of topics:

  • Waste management and recycling
  • The natural biosphere and how not to fuck it up
  • Sex and consent–don’t take unnecessary risks and only do what you’re comfortable doing
  • Nutrition & food prep, for self and others
  • Laundry, dental care, and other hygienic self-care tasks
  • Taxes
  • Driving, and/or navigating public transit
  • Walking
  • Talking
  • Interpersonal etiquette and emotional intelligence–how not to hurt or offend others

Note that only some of this is taught in schools. A good amount is expected to come from parents. And yet we don’t have parenting classes! (Or licenses.)

The amount of knowledge accumulated by any given age is staggering. We observe, we mimic, we get the picture.

Of course, this knowledge falls into various categories, like Care of Self, and Care For Others. As a species we kind of suck at the Care For Others side. We teach little children to share their toys, but we don’t teach them why it’s important, and so they grow into adults who sneakily justify not sharing their toys. They become people who mistrust refugees.

We can’t only teach people the day to day of survival. We have to teach them how to be good people in a world in which we depend on each other. That starts with the obvious things like ‘don’t steal’ and continues with ‘don’t be rude’ and ‘don’t swindle other people out of their homes.’

Apparently some people need explicit lessons in how not to be assholes.

Public education is a common good. An educated populace is capable of so much more–they get better jobs and earn more money, elevating the economy at large. They also don’t throw trash in the middle of fountains.

This is why that awful Betsy DeVos woman is such a plague on the landscape. She doesn’t understand any of this. She thinks God is all you need to be a “good person.” She doesn’t really give a damn what happens to poor kids or non-white kids or non-Christian kids. We’re all in this together and all she sees is one way forward. Fuck her.

But maybe it’s not really her fault. I understand she had a rotten, Christ-based education.

Education, my friends, is crucial.

Photo: The Kingsway School

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