School is Soul Crushing
School robs you of the opportunity for spirituality. For many in our country, Sunday is the one day where we try and connect to our spirituality or a higher power. It is also a day for family bonding, or at least it used to be. Now family bonding often means sharing the latest Buzz video with each other. #Alone together.
The typical week for kids goes something like this. Monday through Friday, waste energy and most of the time sitting still and trying to pay attention to some common core nonsense. The afternoons are filled with after school activities, sports, homework or chores. Friday is the social day where some will watch the local football game or hang out with friends. Saturday is the one true day of freedom. Free from obligations to school, free mentally from the responsibilities or homework and all the stress that comes with it. Sunday, we are meant to rest, but that has been robbed from most of us. Some of us are reluctantly or guilted into attending church, or some other form of worship that may or may not really have any special meaning, depending on the person. Some are sleeping in late and nursing hangovers. Most of us struggle to enjoy the day off as mentally we dread school, or if we are in the workforce, our jobs.
So basically, we have one free day each week where we can clear the mental clutter and just be. For those who paid attention in school, that is roughly 14% of our days. It is so rare and so difficult to just be. Our phones have become constant reminders of the horrible news stories of the world and of our obligations with the notifications going off daily. Maybe we enjoy our job but few have this luxury and even those fortunate few are still locked into doing that job throughout most of their lives. Hence the fulfilment and spiritual crisis in many lives. We spend over a decade beating spirituality and fulfilment out of the youth, then question why they are unhappy when they grow up.
Is this how we are meant to live? Advertisers, society, peer pressure has us convinced this is a “successful life.” Apparently, money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy success and respect of our peers.
It is no coincidence that the typical week for kids in school parallels the typical week for adults with jobs. School parades itself as education but one of its original purposes was to condition the youth for work in factories as they got older. Hence the bells, walking in lines and the unnecessarily long hours. Today, factory work has largely been replacing by office jobs where you sit still in a cubicle from 9 to 5 so the new battle being waged on school children is restlessness which has been renamed Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder in this form of newspeak. This is how they indoctrinate the kids. They take any eagerness, excitement, or enthusiasm and squash it so that they can be more malleable and ready to enter the corporate world. The nail that stands out gets hammered. Many kids figure all of this out and just keep their head low and try and get through school. Some remember to be themselves when they grow up. Others never again regain that enthusiasm they once had.
It is not natural for us to sit in a desk all day long. School expects this and treats normal behavior like it is a disease that needs eradicated. Physical education, depending on the state, doesn’t get the time it deserves anymore. The youth have all this pent-up energy and physical education can be a constructive outlet for it, but apparently state legislators don’t see the importance of physical health. Kids spend 7 hours at school, yet the argument is that there isn’t enough time? Maybe that is because school is so hung up on memorizing obscure facts that are largely useless in life as an adult. Yeah, I know who Paul Revere is and I know D-Day was on June 6, 1944. All this focus on names, dates and locations, but so little time spent on reflection over the causes and effects of these historical events. Never mind the fact that I was never taught how to file taxes, or how to form a personal budget. I was about 23 when I started to figure out how to budget and that really is only because of the internet. I had to seek it out on my own. Twelve years of education and no time to figure out how to keep a personal budget? Well if more people learned that, then maybe we would all spend less money and this Ponzi scheme we call our economy would fall apart. Maybe school should teach more about spirituality? We love our separation of church and state, but would it be so bad to just give every student the opportunity and encouragement to seek something of their own choosing? Let them have ten minutes to start their day and have them focus on reflection or quiet? They could pray if they so choose, or they could meditate. Maybe school just needs to acknowledge that spirituality exists but leave the meaning open ended for each student to have their own self-discovery.