Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Limited Choices

Last week my letter to the editor was published in our local newspaper. I wrote about schooling because on April 3rd the taxpayers in our school district will be voting for a referendum to see if we should spend more money on building a new school. It's been voted down for over ten years now.

Limited Choices

I hate spending money on things that don’t work, simply because I work to hard for money to just throw it away.

You see, now that I’ve had approximately fifteen years to start to shake off the effects of schooling, I’m starting to see why I was forced to go to school. And it wasn’t to foster wonder and curiosity, which is the real meaning of education.

I’ve learned the system of schooling was unintentionally (according to some thinkers it was intentionally), designed to teach us how to wish away the most precious gift we’ve been given: our time. That is why the clock is the most important piece of technology in the classroom. How many times did you, or do you, look at the clock wishing for that bell to ring?

We only have so much time here before we die. And time spent doing one thing is time lost that could’ve been spent on another. That’s the way the economy of time works. You can spend time doing something you love or on something you hate, it’s up to you.

When the tragedy arises is when you don’t get to choose how you spend your time. This is what the system of schooling does so well, it chooses how your SUPPOSE to spend your time. Eventually we become so accustomed to this that we forget we actually have a choice in the matter. Before we know it most of us are then spending our time at jobs we hate to pay the bills. And more sooner than later were looking back on a life that could’ve been lived another way. This is one of the reasons why I think some people are so afraid to die; they haven’t truly lived life to its fullest, so they end up in hospitals being kept alive by machines. It’s a sad story for many.

When any system denies an individual their basic freedom of choice they don’t last long. And I’m not talking about “false choices” here. As philosopher Derrick Jensen writes, “There is an important difference between making a choice and selecting an option from artificially limited alternatives. In order to make a choice, that person must be free not to choose.” In an extreme example, lets say you’re given a choice to choose as to which one of your two best friends should live and which one should die, if you pick neither you die yourself. That’s an example of limited alternatives. The alternative of not participating in some type of schooling doesn’t exist for children.

Why spend money on a system that limits how children spend their time? I will be checking both “NO” boxes on the April, 3rd school referendum vote.

No comments: