If you are like me and are over the age of forty then you probably remember solving school yard issues yourselves without any adult intervention. It was simple, if a fight broke out it was resolved between the students themselves and no one ever thought of running and tattling to the teacher. So imagine my dismay when I woke up this morning and read this!
Firstly, I will admit no one I went to school without ever would have thought about, let alone acted upon, bringing a weapon to school. Second, I am not blessed with children but if I were, then I would hope my child would behave precisely like the school yard hero in the story. When did schools become the place where we teach (and I use that word loosely and begrudgingly) children that the best solution is to do nothing?
I FEAR for the future. We have generations of children now raised in fear. Fear that any hint of a weapon means that the person is maniacal and out to kill. Fear that thinking and solving problems yourself will only lead to more trouble and greater personal jeopardy. Fear that failure to conform and be like everyone else will single you out for ridicule and special treatment by those in authority.
The First World has raised one generation already and another is currently in school, of children that are perfect conformists incapable of thinking for themselves. Social pressure to conform is everywhere and is a disease which we have failed to eradicate. Adults are no better off then the younger generations. We live in subdivisions with houses and yards that all look identical because any sign of difference or individuality will potentially drive down the price our property is worth. Americans are spoon fed the newest Apple product like it is manna from heaven and like sheep they rush out and purchase it, believing that it is the greatest thing around.
Growing up there was no hint that I would become the free thinker, non-conformist I’m turning into the older I become. Seriously never thought I would say this but given a choice between living in a notoriously Hippie community like Berkeley, CA or a perfectly immaculate planned community anyplace else … I’d pick Berkeley! Yep, Berkeley without a second thought. I would rather live in a community like Berkeley than one without any individuality. I miss brightly colored houses, varying styles of landscaping, toys scattered in the front yard while children play, and that one house that was always the creepy, unkempt house of the neighborhood.
Admittedly, the world has changed since I was a child and is a more dangerous place. But when the potential of danger is more of a threat than the actual danger, then we as a society have lost any sense of perspective.