“What I really want to do is be a representative of my race, of the human race. I have a chance to show how kind we can be, how intelligent and generous we can be. I have a chance to teach and to love and to laugh. I know that when I finish doing what I’m sent here to do, I will be called home. And I will go home without any fear, trepidations, wondering what’s gonna happen.”
“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.”
Alan Wilson Watts
The Gift of Mortality For the simple reason of mortality I am doing exactly this. I hope it is not too late. Like everybody who shares the human condition, I do not know how much time I have left in this life. I will do my best to make it count. What I need to share is the best and most valuable part of me. Insights, learned through pain and courage - both my own, yet even more so of others. The latter brings with it a special responsibility. My ability to be moved by someone else's story - to empatize, as we sometimes say - survived against the odds. Not everybody is so lucky. Yet that is exactly the question you have to answer for yourself: is it a blessing or a curse to feel? I tell you today, that I would rather die feeling than living numbed and buried alive - even if it would be forever.
“Don't be trapped into accepting shame from someone who is trying to keep you from doing something you have every right to do.”
Against All Odds
We should not compare fates. Looking back at my life I do not believe that I faced especially tough odds - but well, that is a relative statement. Yet, I wish to be remembered for one thing especially: taking your Becoming in your own hands. Education is an element of your "Becoming". The becoming who you are - who you can be, the grown, mature version of yourself that is capable of things you - and others - might not even have been able to imagine. That is exactly what the world needs you to be, to become. And that is what you need to be - and become. And it is what I needed to be and become.
The Education Myth
Education is constantly displayed as the solution for every problem. It is not education that solves problems, it is the right approach to education that solves problems. The most prevalent forms of K-12 and higher education are rather contributing to social problems rather than solving them. I am aware, that this is a very broad statement and a lot has changed and is currently changing in the educational sector. But still the field is full of pre-enlightenment notions about the nature of the child or adolescent. Children are naturally curious and eager to experience and understand their environment. Designing a system that is based on a premise that is the opposite of that will never work - and never did. Sit still and do Algebra.
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