“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school”– Albert Einstein
Its ironic: we live in the age of information, yet we are exceptionally uneducated.
We graduate high school with no practical life skills and completely unprepared for real life; socially inept, highly confused, and completely misinformed, we have been robbed of our imaginations, individuality, and the best years of our lives. Forced to mindlessly memorise propaganda and useless facts we will likely never need to know and trained to blindly follow orders without question.
Innocent children are systematically having their creativity, individuality, curiosity, enthusiasm and courage squeezed out of them, for a very sinister reason. One that most people don’t want to hear about, to the point that as soon as I mention one word about it, they quickly grab the nearest spade so they can bury their head back into the sand.
School also robs us of our imaginations and opinions; it squeezes the individuality out of us; all our curiosities, unique view points and perspectives are almost completely shut down because subconsciously we learn that our opinions don't matter.
Think about it: when you have almost no say in what you get to learn or how you want to learn it, and are often graded down for giving an opinion that's different from the norm, doesn’t it just discourage you from having an opinion at all?
Our bright, enthusiastic and gifted young children are being put through an education system that’s barely changed since the industrial revolution.
The mainstream education system we have in place today was developed during the industrial revolution when the world needed good little order following factory workers who understood basic Maths and English, so the school system was set up to prepare us for factory life (hence the bells for lunch and recess breaks). Today, the world needs very different things than what it did during the industrial revolution and yet our school system has barely changed.
Its not rocket science: our world is fucked. We desperately need to make some serious changes, and fast. And carbon tax and having shorter showers isn't going to change a damn thing. It is how we educate our children that is paramount in creating a better new world.
Our mainstream school system is a streamlined process where bright, brave, self-motivated, curious, enthusiastic, and naturally & effortlessly themselves six year olds are squeezed out 12 years later into socially awkward, insecure, immature, and highly confused order followers who have forgotten how to use their imaginations, have no clue who they are or what they want to do, and are almost completely unequipped for real life, and to top it off – you paid for it.
And we are so scarred from the experience that we keep ourselves distracted for the rest of our lives with television, work, and play (getting blind drunk on the weekend) so we never have to think about it again.
And thank god we are so distracted from thinking about it too deeply for even one second... otherwise we would be fucking outraged. If we really thought about it for long enough... we would be rioting in the streets.
And that’s why I have written this article. Because I want you to get mad. We need to; it’s time we did something about it. But rioting in the streets isn’t going to help us; we will just be pelted with tear gas like anyone else that steps outside the square, no matter the cause.
What we really need to do is educate ourselves. Because knowledge is power, and it will set us free from our psychological cages of ignorance.
In the last century, and especially thanks to the birth of the internet, the world has changed so rapidly, that most of us have been too distracted to even fully comprehend just how much we are actually living in almost a completely new world. We are pioneers of a whole new world of opportunities never seen before.
Opportunities that we are not taking full advantage of.
Opportunities we may not have forever.
With the answer to almost any question only a click away, how come we aren't asking more questions?
Education has always been incredibly important to me, and thats why I loath the mainstream school system. I love to learn, and teach; I crave new information almost as much as a caged animal craves freedom, but what I learnt in school could not satisfy my ardent curiosity. It could not answer all my questions, so I keep learning outside of school, and what I found was remarkable, and criminal.
Our schools are doing the opposite from educating us. And here is the tricky part to accept: on purpose.
“conspiracy” “theory” or divide & conquer
Sorry folks, but we live in a world of polarity; it's science; there is up and down, left and right, hot and cold, love and the lack of it; shit people exist. And unfortunately, our world is run by an elite few who don’t want us to think or be educated. It's not a paranoid delusional "conspiracy theory"... its the cold hard and butt ugly truth, and the evidence is everywhere, if only you would look for it.
Our masters don't want us to be curious, intelligent or informed. And they definitely don't want us to be united.
This is why our school system is set up to divide us and encourage competition rather than teamwork, collaboration and equality. This is why our schools are rampant with bullies; our schools are breeding grounds for judgement and anger. Our children and adolescents are angry and rebellious because instinctively they know that something is very wrong.
Think about it... like being forced to mindlessly memorise absolute shit that we will likely never need to know isn't outrageous enough... being forced to sit still in a chair all day is utterly diabolical. It is nothing less than an unnecessary torture. Forcing children to sit unnaturally still in a chair all day while their bodies ache and fidget in an attempt to communicate with that it needs to move, means that in order to survive they must learn to ignore the wisdom of their own bodies, and as a result, become disconnected from their most essential, most important navigational system: their feelings.
There is much wisdom within our feelings; and if you learn to understand them, listen to them and learn from them, you will always be guided towards the fulfilment of your desires. Its how your soul communicates with you (they definitely won't tell you this in school). Check out Esther Hick's work if you are curious and unconvinced.
This is partly why we live in a world full of sick, obese and unhealthy people who are completely out of touch with the needs of their bodies.
This torturous and uncomfortable school system also ingrains a very dangerous subconscious belief system into children's impressionable young minds: study, work or learning just isn’t meant to be enjoyable. No wonder so many people stop learning or educating themselves altogether after they graduate: they are still traumatised and don't even realise it.
But learning is meant to be fun. Einstein was right: "play is the highest form of learning".
Do uniforms unify?
There is much debate over whether uniforms have a positive or detrimental impact on children, and personally, I believe uniforms are just another overlooked violation to our freedom of expression and only further disconnects us from our sense of identity.
Some say the purpose of uniforms is to create an identity for the school, to show you are part of an organisation; that they give students a sense of belonging and increased sense of school pride and spirit. That they can increase self-discipline, minimise economic and social class barriers, reduce the risk of bullying and take off the pressure off figuring out what to wear.
And I can see their point.
If children were allowed to wear whatever they wanted to school, would they really be running wild and out of control, bullying and teasing each other relentlessly, with nothing that unites them?
Perhaps they might actually be less rebellious because they would have less to be subconsciously pissed off about.
Of course creating a sense of unity and community is important. Its paramount. But look at our society; there is no community or unity. Nobody knows their neighbours anymore and when I go into public places, I don’t feel a sense of unity, I feel like I’m trying to dodge a minefield of judgemental looks.
There are plenty of other more positive and effective ways to stop bullying.
Perhaps it's a catch 22. Perhaps the reason we are all so critical and judgemental of each other's differences is because we are robbed of our right to express ourselves when we are young and encouraged to try and be the same. Perhaps thats why, when we do differentiate ourselves in even in the smallest of ways, we become a target for criticism and bullying.
It's almost hilarious to hear people defend uniforms by claiming they can "improve learning by reducing distraction, sharpening focus on schoolwork and making the classroom a more serious environment, allowing students to perform better academically.”
Um.. maybe children having trouble focusing because what they are learning is a load of shit that is unnecessary, irrelevant and boring as fuck. Maybe its because they aren't meant to sit in chairs all day, because they should have more time outside in the fresh air, enjoying their lives. Maybe children deserve to have a say in what they wish to spend their time and energy learning about.
Take Finland as the perfect example: their students have the highest academic record in the world, and they only go to school for 3 hours a day and have no homework.
Our students aren’t the problem, it’s our outdated and corrupt school system.
individuality, style + personal freedom
I am no superficial showpony fashionista; I don’t follow trends, and I dont care what other people think of me. But I believe that what you wear is an essential part of self-expression. Of course, you are so much more than what you’re wearing, and no outfit could ever define you; you are a forever changing, expanding piece of art. But your outfit can certainly tell people a lot about you, if you let it. Fashion is one of the ways we tell the world who we, and we should not be robbed of this right when we are growing up and figuring out who we are.
Grades, competition + Self esteem/self worth
School also absolutely destroys our sense of self esteem and self worth by grading us.
If you do your research, you will discover that our current grading system was originally designed so that we could differentiate between those that are "special needs" and those that are "normal". It was never intended to be a measurement of intelligence. The grades you get in school in no way reflect how "intelligent" and "capable" you are.
“Oh but people need to be competitive”... Yeah, but making children feel shit about themselves is unnecessary and traumatic, and affects their sense of self worth for the rest of their lives. Couldn’t we teach children to be competitive within themselves? To keep improving themselves and be better than they were yesterday, rather than better than your friends?
"Modern education is competitive, nationalistic and separative. It has trained the child to regard material values as of major importance, to believe that his nation is also of major importance and superior to other nations and peoples. The general level of world information is high but usually biased, influenced by national prejudices, serving to make us citizens of our nation but not of the world." - Einstein
This is why we live in a society that is so divided, where most of us try to compete with each other over who is the coolest or richest, rather than wanting to make real and genuine friendships and help each other - because we are all still traumatised from being labelled as “stupid”, "loser" or “trouble maker”, or simply given average grades.
It is utterly outrageous that a student should spent twelve years in school and still not be able to answer the most basic and essential questions like, 'who am I' and 'what do I love the most'? This mere fact alone shows how much of a failure the school system is.
This is because, instead of being taught to figure out who we are and discover the unique gifts within us, we are trying to be "good enough"... to be like everybody else and fit into a model thats flawed, unrealistic and soul destroying.
Wasting Our Time + minds
Instead of learning about things that will actually help us thrive in the world, we are forced to learn virtually pointless things for the purposes of competition and grading. Instead of learning about things that are actually relevant to what the world needs, like innovation, kindness and creativity, we learn about war and complicated Mathematics. Instead of reading books we like, we must read the ones given to us. Instead of teaching our children to be sharp thinkers, we are training them to switch off. This is why there are all these new diseases like Dementia - we are so under-stimulated that we are literally starting to switch off.
Why are we not taught about basic psychology so that we can develop healthy communication and relationship skills? Is this not relevant to all aspects of life? Why don't we all have a basic survival skills and an understanding of good healthy living practices, preventative medicine and first aid? Why do we learn almost nothing about true health and nutrition? With all the knowledge available to us, how can people still think that a bowl of cows milk and wheat bix is healthy? Why do we not learn how to read and understand ingredient labels?
Why is it that we learn about certain parts of our history and not others? Why don't we all have at the very least, a basic understanding of how our government, legal and financial systems work? Why does nobody understand how the Federal Reserve was created? Why don't we learn how to make wise choices with our money? Why does nobody understand how money is created and what this really means? Why aren't we informed about outrageous laws such as "planned obsolescence"?
Why do we not learn about the amazing transformative power of our own breathe or the absolutely incredible life changing benefits of meditation?
"If every child in the world was taught meditation, you will eliminate violence within one generation" - Dalai Lama
Why don't we learn about the importance of sunlight, instead of being taught to fear it? Why do we use sunscreens that have cancer causing ingredients in them?
Why don't we learn about the simple yet relevant things to us such as the amazing truths about colour, sound and water, their relationships and what they are truly capable of? Why don't we learn about the absolute importance of uninhibited self expression?
Why are we trained to think we must choose one thing "to become"?
learning from children
Instead, we should be learning from children.
Einstein understood this; he was always hanging out with children. In a way, children know more about who they are than we do. This is because children are naturally curious and brave. They aren't afraid to participate and try new things, and that's how they discover what they like and what they don't like. They are still connected to their innate sense of self because they work with the simplicity of their feelings - if it feels good, they do it, if it feels bad, they don't. It is a simple philosophy to live by, which is why it is so over-looked, but a wise one: it is absolutely crucial that we be connected to the wisdom of our own feelings if we are to live truly fulfilling lives.
Imagine a world where every child was treated with absolute respect and told that they are already amazing and gifted; where they were all treated equal and encouraged to work together doing what interests them the most so they can explore their unique gifts and talents and express them freely in a judgment free environment, without fear of failure or rejection.
What if the teachers role was not to discipline, grade and boss the children around, but instead guide and support them to do what is naturally inside them. What if teachers paid attention to their children’s needs and interests, and let them explore what they were most passionate about? What if instead of getting told off for fidgeting, you were encouraged to go have a dance? What if you were not punished for laughing or talking with your friends, but encouraged?
Instead, by the time we graduate high school, many of us have no clue who we are or what we love, so we decide to study business for a lack of better idea. We then get a job in the city, wearing the most impressive suit we can afford, with some shiny shoes and cufflinks to show the world we mean to be taken seriously, while secretly we spend all week waiting for the weekend so we can get as drunk as possible to forget about the fact we feel completely lost and unfulfilled.
Once upon a time, university was people's only option for receiving an education. But now that we have the internet, the idea of paying money to study something at Uni is absolutely ridiculous (depending on which course/profession). Even the idea of paying to study business doesn't seem reasonable when you consider all the resources now available online and in books. If you want to learn about art, go and do some art. If you want to work in media, buy a camera and start your project. All you need is passion, determination and a burning desire. All the resources you need are out there, and not just the information, but the contacts too; with all the social media available now, there are platforms everywhere that are designed to connect like-minded people.
Chances are one of the main reasons you are prepared to pay $50k and wait three to ten years is because you think you aren’t ready. Or perhaps it is to please your parents. If you aren’t 100% sure what to do and don’t have a burning passion that gets you out of bed in the morning: go travel, or simply explore your own city and community. Try new things. Meet new people. Step outside of your comfort zone. Have some fucking fun. Don’t just do a business degree for a lack of a better idea! Isn’t twelve years enough time wasted on our brain-numbing education system? This is your life! Don’t waste another day.
Be Your Own Teacher
If you don’t know who you truly are and what you love the most, beyond any doubt – go find yourself a rabbit hole and find the fuck out. If you don’t ask questions and search for truth, you will never find it.
My true education began long after I left school and college; I learnt more during my 8 months of solo world travel than I did in a decade of living a "normal life" within the system. Learning about yourself is the most important, most rewarding thing you can do. But here's the catch: it takes time. And you have to make it. This is why, when I worked part time over the past few years and people labelled me as some "lazy hippy slacker", I would just roll my eyes. I knew that I was buying myself the most precious commodity: time. And I can tell you - it paid off.
Perhaps "Me” should be the main subject at school, with everything else based around it. It’s not selfish or self-absorbed, its practical and essential that we should know who we are and what we are capable of.
What many people seem to forget is that many schools are actually businesses. They are in it to make money off you. And they won’t tell you about the other cheaper options. If you can learn something naturally, why pay someone to teach you? Im guessing because you believe that you are not good (or smart) enough (you can thank our diabolical school system for your deeply ingrained lack of self-esteem and belief in oneself)
Not only does school brainwash us and waste our precious time, it also puts most of us off learning altogether. It destroys our sense of curiosity, and so we stop asking questions. Not only this, but we are also ingrained with the idea that once we graduate, it means we are now officially "educated". And this is a very dangerous belief indeed.
Education Never Ends.
“The fool believes himself to be wise, and the wise man knows he is a fool” - William Shakespeare
To think that so many people graduate school or university believing they are now officially an "educated" "intellectual", and that continuing their learning is unnecessary (especially if they have a large income) is concerning. To think that most people believe that by reading the newspaper, listening to the news or by subscribing to National Geographic, that they are an "informed intellectual".
Oh now that I have brought the media into this I’m really starting to sound like a “conspiracy theorist” aren't I? I understand that some of you may still be quite sensitive to the idea that you are a slave and that your masters don’t give a fuck about you and are intentionally dumbing you down and distracting you from what really matters, so lets lighten the mood with an innocent little game shall we?
Lets use our imaginations and pretend: what if you suddenly realised that your education was corrupt and virtually pointless.
That you were turned into to a good little order-follower who won’t question authority or the status quo, that has been so put off by learning that you can't even be bothered looking up the information to see if its true.
Imagine that this programming continued long after you graduated in the form of the mainstream media and the social "ideals" presented to us left right and centre about how to be.
Imagine you barely knew yourself, because your values/the lens through which you see the world, was chosen for you.
That your education didn’t prepare you to succeed and flourish in the world, instead it was a streamlined brainwashing program, that tag teams with the media and our entertainment industry to turn you into a money making machine for the 1%. That you are actually highly uneducated.
Now here is the important part of this game: if that were true…
what would you do?
I’m guessing that after you get over the initial shock and rage, and have calmed down, that one of the first things you would do is start seeking out knowledge and get yourself a real education!! Am I right? Suddenly the world would seem full of mystery again. Suddenly you would have a desperate thirst for knowledge.
Well, I’m telling you right now... regardless of whether you believe there is any truth in my theory, it is in your best interest to keep a healthy level of curiosity and hunger for information alive within you. Seek out and uncover as much truth as you can.
We know the top 1% own at least 60% of the worlds resources. Have you ever really thought about what that actually means for us in our daily lives? It means they run everything. They control our politicians, laws and therefore the school curriculum. And they purposely withhold information from us.
And the question is: what do they know that we don't?
They know things we can’t even imagine. They have technologies and abilities we can’t even dream of.
And to those of you who don't believe what I'm telling you: Im not telling you to believe me. Im telling you to go and check out the facts for yourself. There is more factual scientific evidence to prove this is true, than there is to disprove it. The only reason you have not come across it is because it will never be presented to you; you have to look for it, and it’s as simple as a google search away. The only difference between me and you is that I looked for it; I was curious.
All the evidence is there... life changing information at your finger tips. But be quick now, “they” are beginning to tighten their grip on the internet too.
"to be nobody but yourself In a world that's doing it's very best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting" - e.e cummings
Figure out who you really are.
Because the truth is more amazing than you could possibly imagine.
And for the love of god - send your children to an independent school like Steiner or Montessori.
and for those of you who are extra extra curious - a great talk by Sir Ken Robinson...