It was partly the girls’ comments for my last post on the significance of home educating and partly the sad journey back to the train station as they were leaving that made me think of Sat Nav’s.
Sat Nav’s are very useful. But the girls’ remarks about ‘obedience’ and ‘permission’ were still buzzing around in my head, like that automated voice that says; ‘turn around where possible’!
It made me think that although Sat Nav’s have a use, the downside of them is that they can both condition us in a tendency to be obedient and inhibit the growth of our independence, if we’re not on our guard.
Think about it: you soon become a slave to the Sat Nav if you don’t have either the skills to understand a map, or the knowledge that there are other routes and choices should you wish to make them.
The schooling system does the same; it can inhibit you from knowing that there are other routes and other choices in life ahead than those the system would have you obedient to! And the system wants everyone obedient. It much easier for them. Much easier for them to perpetuate their strange ideas about what kids need. Much easier for them to perpetuate their own glorification!
Much easier for them if you have to seek permission to think for yourself, as the girls observed in some people.
It’s one of those words that always comes up in Life Coaching or inspirational workshops and techniques? When you’re supposed to give yourself permission to do the things you love, live the lifestyle you want and not be a slave to convention. How many of us are actually unquestioning slaves to convention, so much so that we never even realise? Never even realise that we don’t make many of the choices that we could because, firstly we don’t know they’re there and secondly, we unwittingly feel we haven’t the permission to make them?
Right from being small we are conditioned to be so. Schooling certainly conditions us to be obedient to a certain way of learning, obedient to a future they would set out for us. And before you know what’s happening we’ve lost the skills and the independence to learn any other way (and there are lots of other ways), or the skills to live a life with independent thought and independent choice.
Sat nav’s can be useful. Schools can be useful. Curriculum, courses, workshops, route planners, convention, can all be useful – at times, maybe even a lot of the time.
But we must always encourage our children to see the multitude of choices – some that might be less conventional, to keep a broad and open mind, give them the thinking and reasoning skills to use it through conversations, explorations, experiences, varied activities and exposure to a range of ideas.
And show them how obedience and route planning of any sort is only useful when it is an explored and valid CHOICE.
And when you know that you do have the choice to turn things around when possible, whatever those things may be?