Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Columbus Day, Yup I said it ....

To EXPLORE … A willingness to set off into the vast unknown in search of adventure, reaping the subsequent benefits of knowledge and yes, sometimes material reward in the form of “treasure”, but I would argue that the general motivations behind the quest to explore are by and large noble in both their origins as well as their subsequent acquisitions.  Witness advances in modern medicine, physics, engineering and technology.  In medicine alone, we have modern-day vaccinations which have nearly eliminated the vast majority of devastating diseases suffered by generations past, and today we have large scale organ transplants, not to mention cancer treatment advances which have prolonged and saved hundreds of thousands of lives.  And could you really live without your smartphone or the internet?  These types of advances were pioneered by the brave explorers who willingly embraced the risk of venturing into the unknown, seeking new insights into the world in which we live.  Moreover, the achievements of these explorers have, more often than not, gone on to benefit the world at large.

I truly believe that a large, not to mention important, part of the human condition is our need to explore in an effort to better understand the world around us.  We are born into this savage world with a natural proclivity for exploration and how brilliantly this desire to embrace exploration burns within us as children.  Yet sadly our modern-day progressive society seems too eagerly geared towards the diminishing of this childhood inclination towards exploration under the guise of “protecting the innocent” and facilitating “the greater good.”  We paint our children into corners, surrounding them with boxes and lines, giving them the blinders of “politically correct answers” instead of giving them the age-appropriate facts and then equipping them with the tools they need in order to sort out the answers for themselves.  We seem to have replaced a need to explore and question with a need to belong, to conform and to not make waves.  So gone are the dodge balls and swing sets on playgrounds, gone are the scoreboards at youth sporting events, gone is the healthy expression of emotion --now we “use our words”-- gone are multiple opportunities for kids to make basic (not long-term detrimentally harmful) bad choices and then learn from them, gone is “Columbus Day”, gone is the pledge of allegiance at the start of each school day and soon gender identity will be gone as well as children will now be addressed as “purple penguins” in many of our nation's public classrooms --are you kidding me?!  It’s no wonder we’re raising a generation of mixed-up followers who can no longer think and reason independently.  

Sadly, I think, our well-intentioned coddling and social manipulating winds up back-firing on us as a nation, in the long run, by producing future generations --if we haven’t done so already-- of apathetic, self-obsessed, instant gratification adults who are ill-equipped to function in an adult world where not everyone gets a trophy, where sometimes the words people use aren't so nice and where life will all too often knock you flat on your ass, not to mention the fact that our method of teaching has become less exploration-oriented and more indoctrination-orientated, thereby stamping out children’s innate ability to question and explore the world around them.  Maybe its just me, but I’d rather have my children face not-so-pleasant facts about the reality of the world in which we presently live --as well as our past history in its entirety-- and then have them sort their way through the facts with my/and or other immediate “in-home” caregivers loving assistance in the here and now.  I want my children to run, jump, sing, scream at the top of their lungs, laugh and play, make lots of messes --which believe me: they do!-- work out social conflicts with their peers for themselves and to learn to strive for victory while humbly learning from the agony of defeat.  I want my children to first and foremost develop a strong sense of self-identity, which they can then merge to into the world at large, hopefully as leaders and not per-ordained followers.  The way I see it, the fall is not so far to ground when you’re a child, so you scrape a knee and you learn --with the loving assistance of family and mentors—that you can get up, face the world again and carry on.   

Information is truly power, but information can all too easily be used to in order to manipulate and misguide.  Two sides there are to every truth and it’s about time, when it comes to our nation’s history, that we begin to teach our children both sides of our history so that our children will be equipped to find their way through to the other side of a more thorough, non-manipulated understanding of who we are as a collective people in this amazing nation. Perhaps from this more enlightened perspective our children will gain new and invaluable insights which may equip them to avoid repeating the same mistakes we, as grown-ups, have made all over again, while realizing that the best way to move forward is to focus on the good we can do for the world in the present day.  And hopefully, a truthful viewing from both sides of our nation’s history will enable our children to reconnect with a now seemingly absent sense of pride in our nation for some of the good things that we have done in the world at large and can yet continue to endeavor to do in service to others (e.g., most recently rendering assistance to Yazidi Christian captives on Mount Sinjar, helping to secure the release of Miriam Ibraham and her family to the United States, sending U.S. ground troops into West Africa to help secure vital infrastructure necessary to contain and treat the Ebola virus outbreak in that country).

So today, let us celebrate by remembering the man, Christopher Columbus, and his crew who embodied the very essence of pioneering human exploration in their willingness to embrace the untetherable desire to set off into the vast unknown in search of adventure, reaping the subsequent benefits of knowledge and acquisition --the merits and detriments of which can, and will likely, be deliberated for generations yet to come.  “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” and with his discovery he nearly doubled the European view of the world, for better or worse unleashing the inevitable torrents of change.

Tomorrow, or any of the other 364 days of the year, we can celebrate Indigenous People's Day (And I happen to have Native American blood in my family heritage).


Michelle (Isabelle) said...

Thank you for the like Joey Britemist and All.

Michelle (Isabelle) said...

I don't have a Google+ account just yet, so I can't see who may liked this or any comments (if any) or thank people individually.