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for our Children according to God
“Conversations with God”
Neale Donald Walsch
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Okay, I’m ready to move on. You promised to talk about some of the larger aspects of life on Earth, and ever since your comments about life in the United States I’ve anted to talk more about all of this. Yes, good. want !oo" # to address so$e of the larger issues facing %our &lanet. 'nd there is no larger issue than the education of %our offs&ring. !e are not doing this ell, are e" . I can tell by the ay You brought that up.
Well, of course, ever%thing is relative. (elative to what %ou sa% %ou are tr%ing to do, no, %ou are not doing it well. )ver%thing sa% here, ever%thing have included in this discussion so far and have caused to *e &laced in this docu$ent, $ust *e &ut into that conte+t a$ not $a"ing ,udg$ents of “rightness” or “wrongness,” “goodness” or “*adness.” si$&l% $a"e o*servations of %our effectiveness relative to what %ou sa% %ou are tr%ing to do. I understand that. "now %ou sa% that %ou do, *ut the ti$e $a% co$e- even *efore this dialogue is finished-when %ou will accuse .e of *eing ,udg$ental. I ould never accuse You of that. I kno better.
“/nowing *etter” has not sto&&ed the hu$an race fro$ calling .e a ,udg$ental God in the &ast. !ell, it ill stop me. We shall see. You anted to talk about education. ndeed. o*serve that $ost of %ou have $isunderstood the $eaning, the &ur&ose, and the function of education, to sa% nothing of the &rocess *% which it is *est underta"en. #hat’s a huge statement, and I need some help ith it. .ost of the hu$an race has decided that the $eaning and the &ur&ose and the function of education is to &ass on "nowledge0 that to educate so$eone is to give the$ "nowledge-generall%, the accu$ulated "nowledge of one1s &articular fa$il%, clan, tri*e, societ%, nation, and world. Yet education has ver% little to do with "nowledge. Oh$ You could have fooled me. Clearl%. !hat does it have to do ith then$ Wisdo$. !isdom.
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Yes. Okay, I give up. !hat is the difference$ Wisdo$ is "nowledge a&&lied. So e aren’t supposed to try to give our offspring kno ledge. !e are supposed to try to give our offspring isdom. 2irst of all, don1t “tr%” to do an%thing. Do it. Secondl%, don1t ignore "nowledge in favor of wisdo$. 3hat would *e fatal. 4n the other hand, don1t ignore wisdo$ in favor of "nowledge. 3hat would also *e fatal. t would "ill education. 4n %our &lanet, it is "illing it. !e are ignoring isdom in favor of kno ledge$ n $ost cases, %es. %o are e doing this$ You are teaching %our children what to thin" instead of how to thin". E&plain, please. Certainl%. When %ou give %our children "nowledge, %ou are telling the$ what to thin". 3hat is, %ou are telling the$ what the% are su&&osed to "now, what %ou want the$ to understand is true. When %ou give %our children wisdo$, %ou do not tell the$ what to "now, or what is true, *ut, rather, how to get to their own truth. 'ut ithout kno ledge there can be no isdom.
'greed. 3hat is wh% have said, %ou cannot ignore "nowledge in favor of wisdo$. ' certain a$ount of "nowledge $ust *e &assed on fro$ one generation to the ne+t. 4*viousl%. !ut as little "nowledge as &ossi*le. 3he s$aller a$ount, the *etter. 5et the child discover for itself. /now this: /nowledge is lost. Wisdo$ is never forgotten. So our schools should teach as little as possible$ Your schools should turn their e$&hasis around. (ight now the% are focused highl% on "nowledge, and &a%ing &recious little attention to wisdo$. Classes in critical thin"ing, &ro*le$ solving, and logic are considered *% $an% &arents to *e threatening. 3he% want such classes out of the curriculu$. 's well the% $ight, if the% want to &rotect their wa% of life. !ecause children who are allowed to develo& their own critical thin"ing &rocesses are ver% $uch li"el% to a*andon their &arents1 $orals, standards, and entire wa% of life. n order to &rotect %our wa% of life, %ou have *uilt an education s%ste$ *ased u&on the develo&$ent in the child of $e$ories, not a*ilities. Children are taught to re$e$*er facts and fictions-the fictions each societ% has set u& a*out itself -rather than given the a*ilit% to discover and create their own truths.
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Progra$s calling for children to develo& a*ilities and s"ills rather than $e$ories are soundl% ridiculed *% those who i$agine that the% "now what a child needs to learn. Yet what %ou have *een teaching %our children has led %our world toward ignorance, not awa% fro$ it. Our schools don’t teach fictions, they teach facts. Now %ou are l%ing to %ourself, ,ust as %ou lie to %our children. !e lie to our children$ 4f course %ou do. Pic" u& an% histor% *oo" and see. Your histories are written *% &eo&le who want their children to see the world fro$ a &articular &oint of view. 'n% atte$&t to e+&and historical accounts with a larger view of the facts is sneered at, and called “revisionist.” You will not tell the truth a*out %our &ast to %our children, lest the% see %ou for what %ou reall% are. .ost histor% is written fro$ the &oint of view of that seg$ent of %our societ% %ou would call white 'nglo Sa+on Protestant $ales. When fe$ales, or *lac"s, or others in the $inorit%, sa%, “6e%, wait a $inute. 3his isn1t how it ha&&ened. You1ve left out a huge &art here,” %ou cringe and holler and de$and that the “revisionists” sto& tr%ing to change %our te+t*oo"s. You don1t want %our children to "now how it reall% ha&&ened. You want the$ to "now how %ou ,ustified what ha&&ened, fro$ %our &oint of view. Shall give %ou an e+a$&le of this7 (lease. n the 8nited States, %ou do not teach %our children ever%thing there is to "now a*out %our countr%1s decision to dro& ato$ *o$*s on two 9a&anese cities, "illing or $ai$ing hundreds of thousands of &eo&le. (ather, %ou give the$ the facts as %ou see the$-and as %ou want the$ to see the$. When an atte$&t is $ade to *alance this &oint of view with the &oint of view of another-in this case, the 9a&anese -%ou screa$ and rage and rant and rave and ,u$& u& and down and de$and that schools don1t dare even thin" a*out &resenting such data in their historical review of this i$&ortant event. 3hus %ou have not taught histor% at all, *ut &olitics. 6istor% is su&&osed to *e an accurate, and full, account of what actuall% ha&&ened. Politics is never a*out what actuall% ha&&ened. Politics is alwa%s one1s &oint of view a*out what ha&&ened. 6istor% reveals, &olitics ,ustifies. 6istor% uncovers0 tells all. Politics covers0 tells onl% one side. Politicians hate histor% trul% written. 'nd histor%, trul% written, s&ea"s not so well of &oliticians, either. Yet %ou are wearing the )$&eror1s New Clothes, for %our children ulti$atel% see right through %ou. Children taught to criticall% thin" loo" at %our histor% and sa%, “.%, how $% &arents and elders have deluded the$selves.” 3his %ou cannot tolerate, so %ou dru$ it out of the$. You do not want %our children to have the $ost *asic facts. You want the$ to have %our ta"e on the facts. I think you are e&aggerating here. I think you’ve taken this argument a little far. (eall%7 .ost &eo&le in %our societ% do not even want their children to "now the $ost *asic facts of life. Peo&le went *ananas when schools si$&l% started
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teaching children how the hu$an *od% functions. Now %ou are not su&&osed to tell children how ' DS is trans$itted, or how to sto& it fro$ *eing trans$itted. 8nless, of course, %ou tell the$ fro$ a &articular &oint of view how to avoid ' DS. 3hen it is all right. !ut si$&l% give the$ the facts, and let the$ decide for the$selves7 Not on %our life. )hildren are not ready to decide these things for themselves. #hey have to be properly guided. %ave you looked at your orld lately$ !hat about it$ 3hat1s how %ou1ve guided %our children in the &ast. *o, it’s ho e misguided them. If the orld is in rotten shape today+and in many ays, it is+it is not because e’ve tried to teach our children the old values, but because e’ve allo ed them to be taught all this ,ne fangled- stuff. You reall% *elieve that, don1t %ou7 You’re damned right, I really believe it. If e’d /ust kept our children limited to the 0 1’s instead of feeding them all this ,critical thinking- garbage, e’d be a lot better off today. If e’d kept so2called ,se& education- out of the classroom and in the home here it belonged, e ouldn’t be seeing teenagers having babies, and single mothers at 34 applying for elfare, and a orld run amok. If e’d insisted our young ones live by our moral standards, rather than letting them go off and create their o n, e ouldn’t have turned our once strong, vibrant nation into a pitiable imitation of its former self. see. 5nd one more thing. 6on’t stand there and tell me ho e are supposed to suddenly see ourselves as , rong- for hat e did at %iroshima and *agasaki. !e ended the ar, for 7od’s sake. !e saved thousands of lives. On both sides. It as the price of ar. *obody liked the decision, but it had to be made. see. Yeah, you see. You’re /ust like all the rest of those el pinko liberal )ommies. You ant us to revise our history, all right. You ant us to revise ourselves right out of e&istence. #hen you liberals can have your ay at last8 take over the orld8 create your decadent societies8 redistribute the ealth. (o er to the people, and all that crap. E&cept that’s never gotten us any here. !hat e need is a return to the past8 to the values of our forefathers. #hat’s hat e need. Done now7 Yeah, I’m done. %o did I do$
Prett% good. 3hat was reall% good. !ell, hen you’ve been around talk radio for a fe years, it comes pretty easily.
3hat is how &eo&le on %our &lanet thin", isn1t it7 You bet it is. 5nd not /ust in 5merica. I mean, you could change the name of the country, and change the name of the ar8 insert any offensive military action by any nation at any time in history. 6oesn’t matter. Everybody thinks they’re right. Everyone
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kno s its the other person Or 'osnia.
rong. 9orget about %iroshima. Insert 'erlin instead.
Everybody kno s the old values are die ones hich orked, too. Everybody kno s the orld is going to hell. *ot /ust in 5merica. 5ll over. #here is a hue and cry for a return to old values, and for a return to nationalism, every here on the planet. "now that there is. 5nd hat I’ve done here is try to articulate that feeling, that concern, that outrage. You did a good ,o*. 'l$ost had .e convinced. !ell$ !hat do you say to those ho really do think like this$ sa%, do %ou reall% thin" things were *etter :; %ears ago, <; %ears ago, =; %ears ago7 sa% $e$or% has &oor vision. You re$e$*er the good of it, and not the worst of it. t1s natural, it1s nor$al. !ut don1t *e deceived. Do so$e critical thin"ing, and not ,ust $e$ori>ing what others want %ou to thin". 3o sta% with our e+a$&le, do %ou reall% i$agine it was a*solutel% necessar% to dro& the ato$ *o$* on 6iroshi$a7 What do %our '$erican historians sa% a*out the $an% re&orts, *% those who clai$ to "now $ore a*out what reall% ha&&ened, that the 9a&anese )$&ire had &rivatel% revealed to the 8nited States its willingness to end the war *efore the *o$* was dro&&ed7 6ow $uch of a &art did revenge for the horror of Pearl 6ar*or &la% in the *o$*ing decision7 'nd, if %ou acce&t that dro&&ing the 6iroshi$a *o$* was necessar%, wh% was it necessar% to dro& a second *o$*7 t could *e, of course, that %our own account of all this is correct. t could *e that the '$erican &oint of view on all this is the wa% it actuall% ha&&ened. 3hat is not the &oint of this discussion. 3he &oint here is that %our educational s%ste$ does not allow for critical thin"ing on these issues-or ver% $an% other issues, for that $atter. Can %ou i$agine what would ha&&en to a social studies or histor% teacher in owa who as"ed a class the a*ove ?uestions, inviting and encouraging the students to e+a$ine and e+&lore the issues in de&th and draw their own conclusions7 3hat is the &oint@ You don1t want %our %oung ones drawing their own conclusions. You want the$ to co$e to the sa$e conclusions %ou ca$e to. 3hus, %ou doo$ the$ to re&eat the $ista"es to which %our conclusions led %ou. 'ut hat about these statements made by so many people about old values and the disintegration of our society today$ !hat about the incredible rise in teen births, or elfare mothers, or our orld run amok$ Your world has run a$o". 4n this will agree. !ut %our world has not run a$o" *ecause of what %ou have allowed %our schools to teach %our children. t has run a$o" *ecause of what %ou have not allowed the$ to teach. You have not allowed %our schools to teach that love is all there is. You have not allowed %our schools to s&ea" of a love which is unconditional. %ell, e on’t even allo our religions to speak of that.
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3hat1s right. 'nd %ou will not allow %our offs&ring to *e taught to cele*rate the$selves and their *odies, their hu$anness and their wondrous se+ual selves. 'nd %ou will not allow %our children to "now that the% are, first and fore$ost, s&iritual *eings inha*iting a *od%. Nor do %ou treat %our children as s&irits co$ing into *odies. n societies where se+ualit% is o&enl% s&o"en of, freel% discussed, ,o%ousl% e+&lained and e+&erienced, there is virtuall% no se+ual cri$e, onl% a tin% nu$*er of *irths which occur when the% are not e+&ected, and no “illegiti$ate” or unwanted *irths. n highl% evolved societies, all *irths are *lessings, and all $others and all children have their welfare loo"ed after. ndeed, the societ% would have it no other wa%. n societies where histor% is not *ent to the views of the strongest and $ost &owerful, the $ista"es of the &ast are o&enl% ac"nowledged and never re&eated, and once is enough for *ehaviors which are clearl% self destructive. n societies where critical thin"ing and &ro*le$ solving and s"ills for living are taught, rather than facts si$&l% $e$ori>ed, even soAcalled “,ustifia*le” actions of the &ast are held u& to intense scrutin%. Nothing is acce&ted on face value. %o ould that ork$ :et’s use our e&le from !orld !ar II. %o ould a school system teaching life skills, rather than merely facts, approach the historical episode at %iroshima$ Your teachers would descri*e to their class e+actl% what ha&&ened there. 3he% would include all the facts-all the facts-which led u& to that event 3he% would see" the views of historians fro$ *oth sides of the encounter, reali>ing that there is $ore than one &oint of view on ever%thing. 3he% would then not as" the class to $e$ori>e the facts of the $atter. nstead, the% would challenge the class. 3he% would sa%: “Now, %ou1ve heard all a*out this event. You "now all that ca$e *efore, and all that ha&&ened after. We1ve given %ou as $uch of the B"nowledge1 of this event as we could get our hands on. Now, fro$ this B"nowledge,1 what Bwisdo$1 co$es to %ou7 f %ou were chosen to solve the &ro*le$s which were *eing faced in those da%s, and which were solved *% the dro&&ing of the *o$*, how would %ou solve the$7 Can %ou thin" of a *etter wa%7” Oh, sure. #hat’s easy. 5nybody can come up ith ans ers that ay+ ith the benefit of hindsight. 5nybody can look over their shoulder and say, ,I ould have done it differently.3hen wh% don1t %ou7 I beg your pardon$ said, then wh% don1t %ou7 Wh% have %ou not loo"ed over %our shoulder, learned fro$ %our &ast, and done it differentl%7 1ll tell %ou wh%. !ecause to allow %our children to loo" at %our &ast and anal%>e it criticall%-indeed, to re?uire the$ to do so as a &art of their education-would *e to run the ris" of the$ disagreeing with how %ou did things. universeA&eo&le.co$ 3he% will disagree an%wa%, of course. You ,ust won1t allow too $uch of it in %our classroo$s. So the% have to ta"e to the streets. Wave signs. 3ear u& draft cards. !urn *ras and flags. Do whatever the% can do to get %our attention, to get %ou to see. Your %oung &eo&le have *een screa$ing at %ou, “3here $ust *e a *etter wa%@” Yet %ou do not hear the$. You do not want to hear the$. 'nd
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%ou certainl% don1t want to encourage the$ in the classroo$ to start criticall% thin"ing a*out the facts %ou are giving the$. 9ust get it, %ou sa% to the$. Don1t co$e in here and tell us we1ve *een doing it wrong. 9ust get that we1ve *een doing it right. 3hat1s how %ou educate %our children. 3hat1s what %ou1ve *een calling education. 'ut there are those ho ould say it’s the young people and their cra;y, acko, liberal ideas, ho have taken this country and this orld do n the tubes. Sent it to hell. (ushed it to the edge of oblivion. 6estroyed our values2oriented culture, and replaced it ith a do2 hatever2you2 ant2to2do, hatever ,feels good,- morality hich threatens to end our very ay of life. 3he %oung &eo&le are destro%ing %our wa% of life. 3he %oung &eo&le have alwa%s done that. Your ,o* is to encourage it, not discourage it. t is not %our %oung &eo&le who are destro%ing the rain forests. 3he% are as"ing %ou to sto& it. t is not %our %oung &eo&le who are de&leting %our o>one la%er. 3he% are as"ing %ou to sto& it. t is not %our %oung &eo&le who are e+&loiting the &oor in sweat sho&s all over the world. 3he% are as"ing %ou to sto& it. t is not %our %oung &eo&le who are ta+ing %ou to death, then using the $one% for war and $achines of war. 3he% are as"ing %ou to sto& it. t is not %our %oung &eo&le who are ignoring the &ro*le$s of the wea" and the downtrodden, letting hundreds of &eo&le die of starvation ever% da% on a &lanet with $ore than enough to feed ever%*od%. 3he% are as"ing %ou to sto& it. t is not %our %oung &eo&le who are engaging in the &olitics of dece&tion and $ani&ulation. 3he% are as"ing %ou to sto& it. t is not %our %oung &eo&le who are se+uall% re&ressed, asha$ed and e$*arrassed a*out their own *odies and &assing on this sha$e and e$*arrass$ent to their offs&ring. 3he% are as"ing %ou to sto& it. t is not %our %oung &eo&le who have set u& a value s%ste$ which sa%s that “$ight is right” and a world which solves &ro*le$s with violence. 3he% are as"ing %ou to sto& it. Na%, the% are not as"ing %ouC the% are *egging %ou. Yet it is young people ho are violent. Young people ho /oin gangs and kill each other. Young people ho thumb their nose at la and order+at any kind of order. Young people ho are driving us cra;y. When the cries and &leas of %oung &eo&le to change the world are not heard and never heeded0 when the% see that their cause is lost-that %ou will have it %our wa% no $atter what-%oung &eo&le, who are not stu&id, will do the ne+t *est thing. f the% can1t *eat %ou, the% will ,oin %ou. Your %oung &eo&le have ,oined %ou in %our *ehaviors. f the% are violent, it is *ecause %ou are violent. f the% are $aterialistic, it is *ecause %ou are $aterialistic. f the% are acting cra>%, it is *ecause %ou are acting cra>%. f the% are using se+ $ani&ulativel%, irres&onsi*l%, sha$efull%, it is *ecause the% see %ou doing the sa$e. 3he onl% difference *etween %oung &eo&le and older &eo&le is that %oung &eo&le do what the% do out in the o&en. 4lder &eo&le hide their *ehaviors. 4lder &eo&le thin" that %oung &eo&le cannot see. Yet %oung &eo&le see ever%thing. Nothing is hidden fro$ the$. 3he% see the h%&ocris% of their elders, and the% tr% des&eratel% to change it. Yet having
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tried and failed, the% see no choice *ut to i$itate it. n this the% are wrong, %et the% have never *een taught differentl%. 3he% have not *een allowed to criticall% anal%>e what their elders have *een doing. 3he% have onl% *een allowed to $e$ori>e it. What %ou $e$ori>e, %ou $e$oriali>e. %o , then, should e educate our young$ 2irst, treat the$ as s&irits. 3he% are s&irits, entering a &h%sical *od%. 3hat is not an eas% thing for a s&irit to do0 not an eas% thing for a s&irit to get used to. t is ver% confining, ver% li$iting. So the child will cr% out at suddenl% *eing so li$ited. 6ear this cr%. 8nderstand it. 'nd give %our children as $uch of a sense of “unli$itedness” as %ou &ossi*l% can. Ne+t, introduce the$ to the world %ou have created with gentleness and care. !e full of care-that is to sa%, *e careful-of what %ou &ut into their $e$or% storage units. Children re$e$*er ever%thing the% see, ever%thing the% e+&erience. Wh% do %ou s&an" %our children the $o$ent the% e+it the wo$*7 Do %ou reall% i$agine this is the onl% wa% to get their engines going7 Wh% do %ou ta"e %our *a*ies awa% fro$ their $others $inutes after the% have *een se&arated fro$ the onl% lifeAfor$ the% have "nown in all of their &resent e+istence7 Will not the $easuring and the weighing and the &rodding and the &o"ing wait for ,ust a $o$ent while the newl% *orn e+&erience the safet% and the co$fort of that which has given it life7 Wh% do %ou allow so$e of the earliest i$ages to which %our child is e+&osed to *e i$ages of violence7 Who told %ou this was good for %our children7 'nd wh% do %ou hide i$ages of love7 Wh% do %ou teach %our children to *e asha$ed and e$*arrassed of their own *odies and their functions *% shielding %our own *od% fro$ the$, and telling the$ not to ever touch the$selves in wa%s which &leasure the$7 What $essage do %ou send the$ a*out &leasure7 'nd what lessons a*out the *od%7 Wh% do %ou &lace %our children in schools where co$&etition is allowed and encouraged, where *eing the “*est” and learning the “$ost” is rewarded, where “&erfor$ance” is graded, and $oving at one1s own &ace is *arel% tolerated7 What does %our child understand fro$ this7 Wh% do %ou not teach %our children of $ove$ent and $usic and the ,o% of art and the $%ster% of fair% tales and the wonder of life7 Wh% do %ou not *ring out what is naturall% found in the child, rather than see" to &ut in what is unnatural to the child7 'nd wh% do %ou not allow %our %oung ones to learn logic and critical thin"ing and &ro*le$ solving and creation, using the tools of their own intuition and their dee&est inner "nowing, rather than the rules and the $e$ori>ed s%ste$s and conclusions of a societ% which has alread% &roven itself to *e wholl% una*le to evolve *% these $ethods, %et continues to use the$7 2inall%, teach conce&ts, not su*,ects. Devise a new curriculu$, and *uild it around three Core Conce&ts: 'wareness 6onest%
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(es&onsi*ilit% 3each %our children these conce&ts fro$ the earliest age. 6ave the$ run through the curriculu$ until the final da%. !ase %our entire educational $odel u&on the$. !irth all instruction dee& within the$. I don’t understand hat that ould mean. t $eans ever%thing %ou teach would co$e fro$ within these conce&ts. )an you e&plain that$ %o ould e teach the three 1’s$
2ro$ the earliest &ri$ers to %our $ore so&histicated readers, all tales, stories, and su*,ect $atter would revolve around the core conce&ts. 3hat is, the% would *e stories of awareness, stories dealing with honest%, stories a*out res&onsi*ilit%. Your children would *e introduced to the conce&ts, in,ected into the conce&ts, i$$ersed in the conce&ts. Writing tas"s li"ewise would revolve around these Core Conce&ts, and others which are attendant to the$ as the child grows in the a*ilit% to self e+&ress. )ven co$&utation s"ills would *e taught within this fra$ewor". 'rith$etic and $athe$atics are not a*stractions, *ut are the $ost *asic tools in the universe for living life. 3he teaching of all co$&utation s"ills would *e conte+tuali>ed within the larger life e+&erience in a wa% which draws attention to, and &laces focus u&on, the Core Conce&ts and their derivatives. !hat are these ,derivatives$3o use a &hrase which %our $edia &eo&le have $ade &o&ular, the% are the s&inAoffs. 3he entire educational $odel can *e *ased on these s&inAoffs, re&lacing the su*,ects in %our &resent curriculu$, which teach, *asicall%, facts. 9or instance$ Well, let1s use our i$agination. What are so$e of the conce&ts which are i$&ortant to %ou in life7 Uh" . ell, I ould say" honesty, as you have said. Yes, go ahead. 3hat1s a Core Conce&t. 5nd, um" .fairness. #hat’s an important concept to me. Good. 'n% others7 #reating others nicely. #hat’s one. I don’t kno Go on. 9ust let the thoughts flow. 7etting along. 'eing tolerant. *ot hurting others. Seeing others as e<ual. #hose are all things I ould hope I could teach my children. Good. )+cellent@ /ee& going. Uh" believing in yourself. #hat’s a good one. 5nd, uh" ait, ait" there’s one coming. Uh" yeah, that’s it= alking in dignity. I guess I ould call it alking in dignity. I
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to put that into a concept.
don’t kno ho to put that into a better concept, either, but it has to do ith the ay one carries oneself in one’s life, and the ay one honors others, and the path others are taking. 3his is good stuff. 3his is all good stuff. You1re getting down to it now. 'nd there are $an% other such conce&ts which all children $ust dee&l% understand if the% are to evolve and grow into co$&lete hu$an *eings. Yet %ou do not teach these things in %our schools. 3hese are the $ost i$&ortant things in life, these things we are now tal"ing of, *ut %ou do not teach the$ in school. You do not teach what it $eans to *e honest. You do not teach what it $eans to *e res&onsi*le. You do not teach what it $eans to *e aware of other &eo&le1s feelings and res&ectful of other &eo&le1s &aths. You sa% it is u& to &arents to teach these things. Yet &arents can onl% &ass on what has *een &assed on to the$. 'nd the sins of the father have *een visited u&on the son. So %ou are teaching in %our ho$es the sa$e stuff %our &arents taught %ou in their ho$es. So$ !hat’s rong ith that$
's "ee& sa%ing re&eatedl% here, ta"en a loo" at the world latel%7 You keep bringing us back to that. You keep making us look at that. 'ut all that isn’t our fault. !e can’t be blamed for the ay the rest of the orld is. t is not a ?uestion of *la$e, it is a ?uestion of choice. 'nd if %ou are not res&onsi*le for the choices hu$an"ind has *een $a"ing, and "ee&s $a"ing, who is7 !ell, e can’t make ourselves responsible for all of it. tell %ou this: 8ntil %ou are willing to ta"e res&onsi*ilit% for all of it, %ou cannot change an% of it. You cannot "ee& sa%ing the% did it, and the% are doing it, and if onl% the% would get it right@ (e$e$*er the wonderful line fro$ Walt /ell%1s co$ic stri& character, Pogo, and never forget it: “We have $et the ene$%, and the% is us.” !e’ve been repeating the same mistakes for hundreds of years, haven’t e"
2or thousands of %ears, $% son. You1ve *een $a"ing the sa$e $ista"es for thousands of %ears. 6u$an"ind has not evolved in its $ost *asic instincts $uch *e%ond the cave$an era. Yet ever% atte$&t to change that is $et with scorn. )ver% challenge to loo" at %our values, and $a%*e even restructure the$, is greeted with fear, and then anger. Now along co$es an idea fro$ .e to actuall% teach higher conce&ts in schools. 4h, *o%, now we1re reall% treading on thin ice. Still, in highl% evolved societies, that is e+actl% what is done. 'ut the problem is, not all people agree on these concepts, on hat they mean. #hat’s hy e can’t teach them in our schools. (arents go nuts hen you try to introduce these things into the curriculum. #hey say you are teaching ,values,- and that the school has no place in such instruction.
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3he% are wrong@ 'gain, *ased on what %ou sa% as a race of &eo&le that %ou are tr%ing to do-which is *uild a *etter world-the% are wrong. Schools are e+actl% the &lace for such instruction. Precisel% *ecause schools are detached fro$ &arents1 &re,udices. Precisel% *ecause schools are se&arated fro$ &arents1 &reconceived notions. You1ve seen what has resulted on %our &lanet fro$ the &assing down of values fro$ &arent to child. Your &lanet is a $ess. You don1t understand the $ost *asic conce&ts of civili>ed societies. You don1t "now how to solve conflict without violence. You don1t "now how to live without fear. You don1t "now how to act without self interest You don1t "now how to love without condition. 3hese are *asic-*asic-understandings, and %ou have not even *egun to a&&roach a full co$&rehension of the$, $uch less i$&le$ent the$C after thousands and thousands of %ears. Is there any ay out of this mess$ Yes@ t is in %our schools@ t is in the education of %our %oung@ Your ho&e is in the ne+t generation, and the ne+t@ !ut %ou $ust sto& i$$ersing the$ in the wa%s of the &ast. 3hose wa%s have not wor"ed. 3he% have not ta"en %ou where %ou sa% %ou want to go. Yet if %ou are not careful, %ou are going to get e+actl% where %ou are headed@ So sto&@ 3urn around@ Sit down together and collect %our thoughts. Create the grandest version of the greatest vision %ou ever had a*out %ourselves as a hu$an race. 3hen, ta"e the values and conce&ts which undergird such a vision and teach the$ in %our schools. Wh% not courses such asC D 8nderstanding Power D Peaceful Conflict (esolution D )le$ents of 5oving (elationshi&s D Personhood and Self Creation D !od%, .ind and S&irit: 6ow 3he% 2unction D )ngaging Creativit% D Cele*rating Self, Ealuing 4thers D 9o%ous Se+ual )+&ression D 2airness D 3olerance D Diversities and Si$ilarities D )thical )cono$ics D Creative Consciousness and .ind Power D 'wareness and Wa"efulness D 6onest% and (es&onsi*ilit% D Eisi*ilit% and 3rans&arenc% D Science and S&iritualit% >uch of this is taught right no . !e call it Social Studies. a$ not tal"ing a*out a #Ada% unit in a se$esterAlong course. a$ tal"ing a*out se&arate courses on each of these things. a$ tal"ing a*out a co$&lete
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revision of %our schools1 curricula. a$ s&ea"ing of a valuesA*ased curriculu$. You are now teaching what is largel% a factsA*ased curriculu$. a$ tal"ing a*out focusing %our children1s attention as $uch on understanding the core conce&ts and the theoretical structures around which their value s%ste$ $a% *e constructed as %ou now do on dates and facts and statistics. n the highl% evolved societies of %our gala+% and %our universe Fwhich societies we will *e tal"ing a*out $uch $ore s&ecificall% in !oo" :G, conce&ts for living are taught to offs&ring *eginning at a ver% earl% age. What %ou call “facts,” which in those societies are considered far less i$&ortant, are taught at a $uch later age. 4n %our &lanet %ou have created a societ% in which little 9ohnnie has learned how to read *efore getting out of &reAschool, *ut still hasn1t learned how to sto& *iting his *rother. 'nd Susie has &erfected her $ulti&lication ta*les, using flash cards and rote $e$or%, in ever earlier and earlier grades, *ut has not learned that there is nothing sha$eful or e$*arrassing a*out her *od%. (ight now %our schools e+ist &ri$aril% to &rovide answers. t would *e far $ore *eneficial if their &ri$ar% function was to as" ?uestions. What does it $ean to *e honest, or res&onsi*le, or “fair”7 What are the i$&lications7 2or that $atter, what does it $ean that #H#I<7 What are the i$&lications7 6ighl% evolved societies encourage all children to discover and create those answers for the$selves. 'ut" but, that ould lead to chaos. 's o&&osed to the nonAchaotic conditions under which %ou now live %our lifeC Okay, okay" so it ould lead to more chaos. a$ not suggesting that %our schools never share with %our offs&ring an% of the things which %ou have learned or decided a*out these things. Juite to the contrar%. Schools serve their students when the% share with Young 4nes what )lders have learned and discovered, decided and chosen in the &ast. Students $a% then o*serve how all this has wor"ed. n %our schools, however, %ou &resent these data to the student as 3hat Which s (ight, when the data reall% should *e offered as si$&l% that: data. Past Data should not *e the *asis of Present 3ruth. Data fro$ a &rior ti$e or e+&erience should alwa%s and onl% *e the *asis for new ?uestions. 'lwa%s the treasure should *e in the ?uestion, not in the answer. 'nd alwa%s the ?uestions are the sa$e. With regard to this &ast data which we have shown %ou, do %ou agree, or do %ou disagree7 What do %ou thin"7 'lwa%s, this is the "e% ?uestion. 'lwa%s this is the focus. What do %ou thin"7 What do %ou thin"7 What do %ou thin"7 Now o*viousl% children will *ring to this ?uestion the values of their &arents. Parents will continue to have a strong role-o*viousl% the &ri$ar% role-in creating the child1s s%ste$ of values. 3he school1s intention and &ur&ose would *e to encourage offs&ring, fro$ the earliest age until the end of for$al education, to e+&lore those values, and to learn how to use the$, a&&l% the$, functionali>e the$-and %es, even to ?uestion the$. 2or &arents who do not want children ?uestioning their values are not &arents who love their children, *ut rather, who love the$selves through their children.
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I ish+oh, ho
I ish+that there
ere schools such as the ones you describe.
3here are so$e which see" to a&&roach this $odel. #here are$ Yes. (ead the writings of the $an called (udol&h Steiner. )+&lore the $ethods of 3he Waldorf School, which he develo&ed. !ell, of course, I kno about those schools. Is this a commercial$
3his is an o*servation. 'ecause you kne I as familiar ith the !aldorf Schools. You kne that.
4f course "new that. )ver%thing in %our life has served %ou, *rought %ou to this $o$ent. have not ,ust started tal"ing with %ou at the *eginning of this *oo". have *een tal"ing with %ou for %ears, through all of %our associations and e+&eriences. You’re saying the !aldorf School is the best$ No. a$ sa%ing it is a $odel which wor"s, given where %ou sa% as a hu$an race %ou want to go0 given what %ou clai$ %ou want to do0 given what %ou sa% %ou want to *e. a$ sa%ing it is an e+a$&le-one of several could cite, although on %our &lanet and in %our societ% the% are rare- of how education $a% *e acco$&lished in a wa% which focuses on “wisdo$” $ore than si$&l% “"nowledge.” !ell, it is a model I very much approve of. #here are many differences bet een a !aldorf School and other schools. :et me give an e&le. It is a simple one, but it dramatically illustrates the point. In the !aldorf School, the teacher moves ith the children through all levels of the primary and elementary learning e&perience. 9or all those years the children have the same teacher, rather than moving from one person to another. )an you imagine the bond hich is formed here$ )an you see the value$ #he teacher comes to kno the child as if it ere his or her o n. #he child moves to a level of trust and love ith the teacher hich opens doors many traditionally oriented schools never dreamed e&isted. 5t the end of the those years, the teacher reverts to the first grade, starting over again ith another group of children and moving through all the years of the curriculum. 5 dedicated !aldorf teacher may ind up orking ith only four or five groups of children in an entire career. 'ut he or she has meant something to those children beyond anything that is possible in a traditional school setting. #his educational model recogni;es and announces that the human relationship, the bonding and the love hich is shared in such a paradigm is /ust as important as any facts the teacher may impart to the child. It is like home schooling, outside the home. Yes, it is a good $odel. #here are other good models$ Yes. You are $a"ing so$e &rogress on %our &lanet with regard to education, *ut it is ver% slow. )ven the atte$&t to &lace a goals oriented, s"illA
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develo&$entAfocused curriculu$ in &u*lic schools has $et with enor$ous resistance. Peo&le see it as threatening, or ineffective. 3he% want children to learn facts. Still, there are so$e inroads. Yet there is $uch to *e done. 'nd that is onl% one area of the hu$an e+&erience which could use so$e overhauling, given what %ou sa% as hu$an *eings that %ou are see"ing to *e. Yes, I should imagine the political arena could use some changes, too. 3o *e sure. )+cer&ted fro$: Conversations with God, !oo" #, cha&ter K Neale Donald Walsch
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