Saturday, April 4, 2009

Teach your children well

Yesterday brought the awful and disgusting news of yet another deadly shooting rampage. This time 13 or 14 people lost their lives in an "immigrant services" center in Binghampton NY. I could go on about how easy access to firearms in this country makes such tradegies more common here than in other parts of the world. Or I could talk about how many media outlets turn events like these in to "entertainment" for the purposes of making money. But my thoughts turn to something else today. Why is it exactly that some people "snap" and go off like this? A lot of experts have a lot of theories about it. I am sure you have heard many of them.

Well I'm no expert, but here is my take.

To reduce it to it's simplest terms we, as a nation, need to do a much much better job in basic freakin education! In our school's we teach math, english, science etc.. and these are mandatory for all students. Why don't we also start teaching kids, from the earliest grades, about how to live life? We should have required classes with names like... "Coping Skills 101", "Alternatives to violence", "How to handle dissapointment", and "valuing differences" etc...

Some people might argue "that's the parents job!" or something like that. Well...why can it be societies job too? What is wrong with teaching people how to understand the causes of their rage, their anger, their hopelessness and then giving them tools to deal with these problems effectively?

I quess, sadly, the answer is probably that this would take too much work. In the final analysis it's much easier to just label people "monsters" and wash our hands of the whole business.

Or maybe not. Maybe we could just start with ourselves, look at the hatred and disfigurement in our own lives, get a grip on things, and then maybe share with someone who is struggling about how we began to let that negative baggage go....

Maybe then the idea could spread. And (dreaming big) before you know it one day little Johnny comes home from school with his report card and he's got an "A" in "Practicing Kindness".

Yeah, that's sounds better.


talandisjr said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Mike. What a sad thing! It's so hard to imagine why someone would want to do that sort of thing, but it happens everywhere, not only in the States. I agree with you that better education is a vital piece of the answer.

Brenda said...

Right on Mike! Wish the education department would listen. You should aim higher than executive director of TSA and go straight to Commisioner of NYS Education.

Blue Spectral Eagle said...

Unfortunately, your idea kind of violate the separation of church and state. The idea of practicing kindness is doesn't exist very well within the secular or scientific world. But I agree, there is a lot that can be taught to children in our schools that is left out. Learning how to be happy, or live well is one of them.