Ever wonder about your contribution to the world? Does asking if I make a difference suggest I am thinking more about me than the world? We all have our niche, our place where we see needs and we do our parts, but sometimes, I feel more observer than participant. Consider counseling, for instance. I am there, I am participating, but it's not really a directive process, as much as a guiding process; the goal is to help client find their own strengths and their own paths and so, it's not really about me, but I am in there, right? Is that a conundrum? Is that what Western philosophy is missing from it's social equations of statistics and data acquisition and rankings? We have lots of directives, or helpful advice, like eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But did you ever wonder, if a doctor eats an apple, does he avoid himself?
Where am I with this? I'm thinking about education. I would like to pursue my PhD, but I somehow have to be clever enough to figure out how to fund it, and a feed a family, and I probably need a focal point. I think about the time I spend maintaining licensure by pursuing continuing education, which Relias is a big part, and I consider how it will grow in as a typical part of general work life. And I wonder, some CEUs are serious endeavors, why can't we apply continuing education to furthering education? Will organization like Relias evolve into the new academia? Will our elementary and high schools get involved? In some ways, if you believe the hype, teaching to the test is a way of life. Is CEU acquisition eternal high school? One of the most frequent lament you may hear is how horrid the educational system has become. But consider your own data acquisition. You probably carry it with you daily. You suppose your kids teachers are using more? (I'm beginning to wonder if kids today just need an adult to be available and listen. (See cellphone parenting to know how much I wonder.)
And I can't help but ask, "why?!" At no time in the history of the human race did so many people have access to so much knowledge, and you can get to it as quickly as pushing a button. I am not yet advocating excommunicating teachers. I would never suggest throwing out the baby with the bathwater, but I think I should point out, there is no baby in there! In counseling, I am an advocate and a guide, and I encourage autonomy and choice. Why aren't teachers advocates? I think, if I were a teacher, the first thing I would say to the students is I am not here to give you and education. (That's assuming I am at 6th grade or higher, and making assumptions they have the basic tools to minimally read and write, and I can so work with minimum, because to get to maximum, it's just practice, right? (Further, I imagine if you can operate cell phone or a computer, you have minimally mastered some symbols, right)) "No one is going to give you an education! Take it! There is food on the table. Eat!" As a guide, and an advocate, I can encourage you to follow your passion, and if we turn that passion into a paper or research or projects, is that the better student? Isn't that the goal of education, to give people the means to pursue their own way to serve and be productive and self reliant? People who pursue happiness tend not to be happy, but those who follow their passions, well, they have more hits on the happiness continuum. We're not really supposed to be happy 24-7. That's mania. We're not really wired to be stimulated 24-7, and for most people, that's an every day thing, sleeping with the radio or TV on, and waking to it and moving through environments where this uninterrupted stream of information and noise and sights and smells filters through us because we're so afraid of the dark and the silence, even though that's exactly where we grow and integrate knowledge; its where seeds burst forth on their way to becoming trees! (In darkness you are wondrously made...) It's a wonder we've not all been diagnosed with ADHD. We travel through space, falling through day and night, rain and blue skies, and so there should be activity and quiet, too. Right?
Based on the World Health Organization, the countries with the most material wealth report being the unhappiest nations, compared to the countries with less material wealth. I hope the parallel isn't true: that the ones with the most access to knowledge are the least wise.
I am not concluding with a directive here. I am not offering a prescription. I am probably just rambling, as I tend to do. I don't expect an audience. My voice is only one of what, 7 billion? There are needs to be met. Hands to be held. But then, wasn't it also a conundrum when Kirk flipped Spock's maxim: the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many. Maybe I will keep reading books, and thinking, and quietly publishing blogs, or posting notes on facebook. Maybe I will find a place of like minded people... The world is a think tank, let's commune! That's not a directive. It's an invitation. I like the word commune. It sounds like love. And, if I remember the song correctly, that's exactly what the world needs...