Before tackling peace around the world, let’s take a look at the war going on in our cities and around our country. An almost irreversible mindset can be already established by Kindergarten, progressing in primary, and erupting in high school and after: hitting other kids, hitting teachers…stabbing, shooting, drugs, gangs, rape, unemployment, abuse, abandonment, incarceration. Basically war.
Of course, rather than treat the source of the problem, we spend billions expelling, punishing, imprisoning. Reactions that only exacerbates the problem, causing even more wasted billions. Occum’s Razor pares all these expensive, ineffective reactions, and causes, down to poverty…leaving us at the source of the problem: no “caring.” It’s not a “black” problem, it’s a “poverty” problem.” A “lack of education” problem. There always have and always will be economic inequalities. It’s the nature of capitalism. But, everyone should be prepared and able to get an education…not the way we do things now, but the way it ought to be done. Where everyone, from birth, gets equal opportunity.
We need to define both “education” and “poverty.” Let’s start where it begins: poverty: “the condition or quality of being poor (money-wise); indigence; need.” For the sake of interest let’s stress “need.” All poor children are not in need; some not poor children are in need. Let’s say in need of a “caring person” in their lives: parent, grandmother, big brother or sister, relative, or socially responsible mentor. Of course parents are ideally the caring person who starts education at birth. But in a poor family with one parent, possibly not educated properly, striving to make a minimum wage, that’s not always what is achievable, unfortunately.
Another definition of poverty: “unproductiveness, as of soil.” Let’s use soil, in which things grow, as an analogy. One garden is planted in good earth, in the sun, care for: watered regularly and weeded so healthy roots are able to flourish, not having to fight for survival. The greens flourish and produce healthy fruit.
Another garden is planted in poor, rocky, dry earth. Plants start to grow, but are neglected. Get no care…no watering, no sun. They start to wither. Little fruit is produced. Weeds grow rampant. Plants fight each other as well as the weeds to survive. Even if an attempt is made later to nourish, it’s too late. Weeds and the weakest plants are pulled, hoping some of the stronger will survive…but it’s mostly futile. All the effort is now spent on the hope of a few surviving.
An odd thing: a human may be sadder watching plants wither than another human. We have some priorities to fix…the first being how we currently view education, which is archaic, outmoded… not keeping up with the world’s needs. No longer successful for the majority.
Next time: a suggestion about how education could look drastically different.