I should wish to see a world in which education aimed at mental freedom rather than imprisoning the minds of the young in a rigid armor of dogma calculated to protect them though life against the shafts of impartial evidence.
I think it's only in a crisis that Americans see other people. It has to be an American crisis, of course. If two countries fight that do not supply the Americans with some precious commodity, then the education of the public does not take place. But when the dictator falls, when the oil is threatened, then you turn on the television and they tell you where the country is, what the language is, how to pronounce the names of the leaders, what the religion is all about, and maybe you can cut out recipes in the newspaper of Persian dishes.
I've always believed in education and in good teaching that is guided by truth. But after a lifetime of educational pursuit, I now ask, what is true education and who decides on what is good teaching? This search has taken me through the spiritual, the delusional, social, physical, the psychological, the philosophical -- and back again. And I have made the most important educational discovery of my career, the most important discovery of my whole life: It is only through kindness that any true lesson can be taught and that I'm only here to help my students find that kindness. They are all my education, they are all my good teaching, they are my truth, they are my kindness.
If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man's future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual's total development lags behind?
If warring is human, then why not declare a new kind of war: A waged War of education, love and friendship to win universal human well-being? I propose a brutal conflict against poverty, disease, ignorance, limitations. Imagine the troops, the regimens, the commanders, the soldiers, the discoveries, the heroes, the life! humanity and our planet, victors.
If you sincerely desire a _truly_ well-rounded education, you must study the extremists, the obscure and "nutty". You need the balance! Your poor brain is already being impregnated with middle-of-the-road crap, twenty-four hours a day, _no matter what_. Network TV, newspapers, radio, magazines at the supermarket... even if you never watch, read, listen, or leave your house, even if you are deaf and blind, the _telepathic pressure alone_ of the uncountable normals surrounding you will insure that you are automatically well- grounded in consensus reality.
Innately, children seem to have little true realistic anxiety. They will run along the brink of water, climb on the window sill, play with sharp objects and with fire, in short, do everything that is bound to damage them and to worry those in charge of them, that is wholly the result of education; for they cannot be allowed to make the instructive experiences themselves.
It is against the grain of modern education to teach children to program. What fun is there in making plans, acquiring discipline in organizing thoughts, devoting attention to detail, and learning to be self-critical?
It is because modern education is so seldom inspired by a great hope that it so seldom achieves great results. The wish to preserve the past rather than the hope of creating the future dominates the minds of those who control the teaching of the young.
It is because modern education is so seldom inspired by a great hope that it so seldom achieves great results. The wish to preserve the past rather that the hope of creating the future dominates the minds of those who control the teaching of the young.