The other day, one of our long time fans, Bruce Brodeen made me think about a subject very near and dear to my heart… Learning.
In a comment Bruce made on our last post he included a link to a Kick Ass Article about a young renegade valedictorian’s feeling betrayed by America’s educational process.
Here’s the brilliant story she opened her speech to her class with…
“There is a story of a young, but earnest Zen student who approached his teacher, and asked the Master, “If I work very hard and diligently, how long will it take for me to find Zen? The Master thought about this, then replied, “Ten years . .” The student then said, “But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast — How long then?” Replied the Master, “Well, twenty years.” “But, if I really, really work at it, how long then?” asked the student. “Thirty years,” replied the Master. “But, I do not understand,” said the disappointed student. “At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?” Replied the Master, “When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.”
Here’s another snippet of this renegade princess’s speech that further illustrates what this means to her (and of course, she’s ONLY talking to her class because no else reading this has ever suffered an educational system, right?)…
“I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave.”
Wow! Quite an advanced level of thinking from what most of us would call a kid. THIS is a level of thinking I don’t believe most adults will themselves access and benefit from.
Does this hit home for you?
It does for me.
My brother is a brilliant guy. He graduated high school, college and grad school with no less than a 3.5 grade average all while doing close to zero studying. He was so good at knowing what the teachers wanted and knowing just what was gonna be covered on tests that I believe outside of MAYBE a few of his classes, for example, the History of Rock & Roll, he was never wide-eyed, soaking in knowledge for the sake of passion.
All of his effort was poured into gaming the system and learning just enough so that he could pass tests.
Now he’s “certified” to teach but I get the sense that the only reason he’s moving in that direction is because that’s what his degrees “supposedly” give him the best shot at earning a living in the world. I feel like he dreads the idea of doing that work (never talked to him about it) and that he feels forced into a corner by the sheepskin handed to him by the business guys running the universities. Can’t very well abandon a profession you aren’t passionate about after tens of thousands of dollars has been dumped into your becoming “Qualified” to pursue it, just because you aren’t juiced about it, can you?
Me, I stopped doing that kind of learning when I was in 7th grade. That’s about the time I dropped out of school. Not physically, but mentally. At the age of 16 at the beginning of 12th grade is when I finally stopped showing up to school just hang out with and get high with friends and started working.
Now while I may need to consult a calculator for advanced math I have no use for in my daily life and use google for “Trivia” like, “Who the 18th President of the United states was?” or… “What year the French-Indian war ended or began?”… I’ve never had either of those “marks of ignorance” hold me back in the real world.
Only in the opinions of people who are proud of themselves because they can answer questions on Jeopardy has my value as person been questioned. People like my dad for instance. He was a teacher.
What’s more is that I feel my real education started when my formal education ended.
This is when I started learning everything the school DOESN’T teach… persuasion, influence, why we make decisions the way we do, wealth strategies and mindset, stuff about the New World Order, humor, on and on and on. Without self-education I’d have only relied on here say from peers who I could feel wouldn’t judge me in a harmful way, who learned anything new they know from network television. Not a pretty sight.
And what this girl’s speech made me really think about is how I’d like my kids to view traditional education vs. becoming valuable to the market place. I think we all know that just because someone, kid or elder, has a piece of paper they can show you that says they’re “Declared Competent” on a topic… doesn’t necessarily make them so.
Kids start out in their professions at square one and the pro’s unless they’re in the top 5% of the elite people in their field are usually recycling the same 1-5 years of experience over and over again, never growing, never expanding.
What’s Inside of You Waiting To Be Un-caged?
This article makes me REALLY want to learn how to let my kids get in touch with what Thomas Leonard, the author of the magnificent book, “The 28 Laws Of Attraction” calls “Inklings”… you know, your intuition nudging you in a direction it knows to be true for you and your nature.
I wish for my children to first and foremost be proud of who they are and love themselves more than anyone else could. I wish for them to be imperturbable, immune to the criticism and praise of anyone besides themselves. Even mine and their mothers.
If we can’t trust ourselves, why should anyone else? If we don’t love ourselves, why should anyone else?
It’s my belief that only when we are free from bullshit programming installed into our minds by “Well-meaning” people in our lives, can we achieve fulfillment of the highest order.
As a man, I declare it my duty and mission to my children and anyone who values my opinion enough to ask it, to de-hypnotize them from the thinking of herd, of the followers, of the authorities, and live what they believe to be true to them down to the very core of their being… their essence.
Three of the most valuable resources in helping me discover what’s true for me have been Tony Robbins, Ayn Rand and Robert Dilts, and as an extra, Hale Dwoskin/Larry Crane (If you can’t stand the voice of man who, as my grumpy old dad would so kindly say, “Has a voice that sounds like he takes it up the ass,” I say you should lean towards the rough, gruff voice of the native New Yorker, Larry Crane) .
If you’re unfamiliar with them, check out the links above and experience and judge for yourself the power of their message. And as always feel free to ask me any questions you have about anything I’ve talked about today, below in the comments.
Note Taking Nerd #2
UPDATE: I just posted a comment on the All-Star Copywriter Ryan Healy’s blog post titled… “Perpetual Students, Perpetual Debt”. I didn’t speak to the issue of overwhelming debt place on students and in this post Ryan and some people who commented reveal what damage this can reap to a young and confused person. Read it here… http://www.ryanhealy.com/perpetual-students-perpetual-debt/