It is unfortunate that the art, music and movies reflecting the values of our society are blamed for the behavior of kids and adults, when the behavior of kids and adults are reflecting the values of our society. Our children do not spend the majority of their time listening to music and watching movies.
Instead, our children spend the majority of their waking hours in schools learning what we as a culture believe is vital to human development and the development of our culture. It’s not music or movies that are a home away from home, it is schools, and schools are funded by a government that is failing to provide the funds, structure, support and freedom that schools and their staff need to take great care of the people teaching and being raised there.
NO… we don’t need more money for metal detectors but we need a complete change in the system to encourage, inspire, nourish and give we teachers everything they need to be their best and brightest. We don’t need schools to be isolated from the outside world. Instead, we need schools to be at the center of our communities to connect past, present and future generations. We don’t need core curriculum, standardized testing and a strict grading scale, we need physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational health and development to be at the heart of every class, every activity, every sport, every meal and every adult on school grounds.
We need schools to be a safe place where kids are learning who they are and how they are designed to take care of themselves, others, their community and their world, and learning how to develop and then give away their time, talents and truth.
Schools are our greatest opportunities to right many wrongs and to heal, help and protect our most vulnerable.
If the only place kids can go for 900-1000 hours a year is void of nutrition, imagination, nature, outside play, exercise classes, art classes, music classes, inspiration creativity, personal and relational development, love, encouragement and teaching that creates thinkers, then we are going to have adults, art, music, movies, TV shows, social media, careers, businesses, politicians and government embodying and reflecting what they learned as kids.
Even worse, we are going to have leaders who can easily divide and control us with our pocketbooks, pharmaceuticals, addictions, handouts, fears and hate. The results of which would lead to epidemics of depression, suicide, poverty, obesity, diet related sickness and disease, stress, loneliness, addiction, disconnection, relationship breakdown, crime and low self-esteem. Look at what is happening now…
- 74% percent of all Americans are either overweight or obese.
- Obesity is also plaguing 18.5% of America’s youth. By the age of 10, 100% of kids raised on the Standard American Diet are in the first stage of atherosclerosis.
- Diet-related disease and sickness, such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, are the leading causes of death in the U.S.
- One in 10 Americans now takes an antidepressant medication and one in four women in their 40s and 50s
- We are a nation in despair. U.S. suicide rates have reached a 30-year high.
- We are a nation in pain, 2 million Americans had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 591,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.
- We are a lonely nation, 20 to 43 percent of American adults over age 60 experienced “frequent or intense” loneliness and as a predictor of early death, loneliness eclipses obesity.
- We are a nation leaving organized religion, 65 percent of churches have plateaued or declining in attendance.
- We are a nation unhappy in our workplaces, Employee unhappiness and disengagement costs companies in the U.S. $450-550 billion a year.
It’s time to stop blaming and start rebuilding an educational foundation that sets teachers free to be their best selves and teach from a place of love not fear. It’s time to set kids free to be instructed through love not fear.
It’s time to create spaces that are full of truth and love where kids can be known, accepted and encouraged to become who they are designed to be.
It’s time to focus more on imagination, inspiration and encouragement than testing. I do believe where there is truth and love- there is hope for change and transformation; and where there is truth and love -there is protection from being harmed by selfishness, greed, pride, anger, guilt, shame, pain and fear.
It is time to go a different way and create the space to become good human beings who know how to love and care for themselves, their neighbors and communities.