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RenBloggerMar 13, 2020, 5:13:27 PM

I hate to break it to you but all of us are going to die at some point.

Most of us will not die in a way of our choosing.

Most of us will not die peacefully in our sleep.

John Taylor Gatto, in a speech exposing the well-documented principles on which our compulsory education system are based, had this to say:

"If children could be kept childish beyond its term in nature, if they could be cloistered in a society of children without any real responsibility except obedience, if their inner life could be attenuated by removing the insights of History, Literature, Philosophy, Economics, and Religion, if the imminence of death and the certainty of pain and loss could be removed from daily consciousness, if the profound reflections on one's own death could be replaced with the trivialized emotions of greed, envy, jealousy and fear, young people would grow older but never grow up and a great enduring problem of supervision would be solved. For, who can argue against the truth that childish and child-like people are far easier to manage than critically trained, self-reliant ones?"

Now, think of how sanitized our society has made life for children. Think about the fact that a person isn't considered legally an adult until 18 and even then they're not given full responsibility for themselves until 21 - both in the matters of substances they can consume and, the more current changes, in the matter of remaining on insurances and medical coverage provided by parents and the raised minimum ages on credit cards and loans. Think about high ages for compulsory education attendance and overly excessive child labor laws that prevent young adults who are ready to leave academia in favor of pursuing a trade.

Now, think about most of human history, when women were considered marriable when they began to bleed because that was nature's term for the adult responsibility of childbearing. Think about cultures that have ceremonies recognizing manhood or womanhood, as having left childhood, in ages anywhere from 12 to 15 or 16. Think about times when children were considered old enough to be apprenticed in their future jobs by those ages. Think about times when family businesses of all sorts thrived on including children in the work as soon as possible. 

Our education system certainly has obtained its goals.

Having lived in a community of faith most of my adult life, I really couldn't tell you how many funerals to which I've gone. That experience taught me to do what our society has removed from the experience of children. Think about war-torn countries or countries where the rule of law has not made for so peaceful and secure a community. Those children have the opportunity, sometimes daily, to understand the brevity of life. And, while I wouldn't necessarily wish an atmosphere of violence on my community, I can appreciate the benefit of a serious and realistic view of life to which those children are exposed.

Understanding and accepting that life holds the certainty of pain and loss and that one's own death could be imminent tends to cut out a bunch of bullshit in our life choices. It causes us to reflect on what really matters, what is most important.

There are several examples in my life, of late, causing these thoughts. One notable is the hype over, and the resulting near marshal law response of the world's governments, to the coronavirus. We're watching our fellow citizenry respond like childish and child-like people, whose habit of trivial living is being challenged with certainties of pain and loss and imminence of death, respond in fear to media hype and with a disturbing willingness to submit to a breach of their freedoms for the sake of a feeling of security because we have not trained critical thinkers and self-reliant people as a whole.

I have a hope of being involved in efforts to change that among the willing, but, for now, I wish you a happy evolution into adulthood through making your peace with life's certainty of pain and loss and the imminence of your own death.