Thursday, September 14, 2006

Trust what you believe is right, not what others say

You can out-distance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you.
- Rwandan Proverb

There are no acceptable excuses. No matter what we may say to convince ourselves.

We are not turtles that carry our problems around on our backs. We have choices.

No one can cause us hurt unless we accept what is dealt to us is hurtful.

No problem can cause us stress unless we accept that a detour on the paved highway of our lives over rough ground is worth imposing emotional grief on ourselves.

We accept the burdens of our lives because we view them as burdens. If we viewed the same tasks and responsibilities as joys or honours, they would not be burdens. It's a choice.

Every road has rough patches. So does every life. That's life.

On the other hand, it's not so easy to shake off the life lessons, such as morals and right/wrong, that were taught to us as children. No matter how far we stray from what we were taught was right and good, those concepts remain with us for the rest of our lives.

This can be good or bad, depending on the lessons. Try to explain to a member of the fundamentalist Mormon sect in Utah that what their leader dictates to them is illegal, personally hurtful, emotionally devastating and just plain wrong according to the scriptures they call holy and you will be told to mind your own business and go away.

That is why we must teach what we believe that all children should know to all children. If we agree that murder is wrong, we should teach that to all children. As difficult as it may be to believe, we don't teach that to all children. The ultimate example of the effect that can have on a community is when Palestinian families praise the most recent member of their family to have committed suicide when he or she blew up a few or many Israelis in a market or restaurant.

If we believe that rape is wrong, we must teach that to all children. If we believe that helping others who are in desperate need is right, we must treach that to our children, to all children.

If we believe that change in cultural practices is necessary in sub-Saharan Africa to stem the tide of AIDS in that part of the world, we must do what we can to see that someone teaches the necessary lessons to the children. We teach it in North American countries and it's working.

The ideal would be for parents to teach their children all the necessary lessons. But some don't and every parent misses some critical lessons.

The only way to ensure that every child receives the same necessary lessons is to have them as part of school curriculum. And to teach the lessons in the primary grades.

Some will say that it would violate the rights of some people to have the same lessons taught to all children. This would not be necessary if plans were in place to survey everyone on what they believe are the basic lessons that should be taught to all children. It's highly unlikely that lessons against murder would violate anyone's rights. What a difference it would make to our cities and even our rural areas if everyone grew up believing that murder was wrong.

There are many lessons about life that should be taught to every child in a community. The community members can choose what those lessons will be, with guidance and assistance at the state/province level or the national level.

It's time to tell those who claim that teaching social lessons to children is a violation of rights that it's the way--the only way there ever has been--that all adults will know those lessons. Ignore the specious warnings about "the slippery slope" and "the thin edge of the wedge." They are propaganda warnings intended to create fear by edging us closer to anarchy.

Yes, you read that correctly.

If it's right, then let's teach it to every child.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to show the anarchistic fear mongers for what they are. And that we have to reason to fear them.
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