I guess I should spend a little time on the concept. What, exactly, does the title mean? The concept about bread is an analogy to our decision making process. Everyone, everyday, makes decisions, both big and small. Those hundreds of decisions plot the course we take through life. The decisions are made using the blueprint of our root philosophy. How do we form that blueprint? Upbringing, family, friends, past experience, and especially education. I mentioned education specially, because today the majority of people spend their 12 most formative years in the government’s school system. we’ll talk more on education later, back to the wheat metaphor.
If you went to a company picnic, and amid the bustle of hamburger buns, mustard and smoking bbq’s, you saw an individual pull out two rocks and a bag of wheat to make flour, you would not be curious about his abilities. You would probably question his philosophy about life, (admit it, you’d think he was loony). That’s the challenge we’re faced with here, changing the way we think about things takes discipline. Our nature resists changing our philosophy, it’s worse than admitting we made a mistake, it’s like saying we really don’t know what we’re doing.
Another problem arises, the majority of people today are working with a philosophy that is a patch-work of many different ideas. The ideas are cobbled together from the many sources listed above. Many of these ideas conflict with one another; that’s called cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance leads to confusion, fear, anger etc. Checking over a blueprint before construction is a tedious, laborious, boring job. To an observer, watching that person, they’re just sitting and staring at a big piece of paper (maybe punching a calculator or scratching with a pencil once in awhile). To the builder, checking that blueprint over is very important; he can catch the mistakes before they are cast in concrete.
So many blueprints (personal philosophies) today are spliced together with scotch tape, after having been cut from a plethora of other blueprints, then roundly defended as a sound building practice. In the bread analogy, it is much easier to open that plastic bag and grab a slice. Your friends do it, that’s what they do on T.V, that’s what you were taught, and that’s the way you’ve always done it. You’re bound to defend that slice of convenient cotton, even though it’s tasteless, textureless and probably unhealthy. You have no idea where that bread was baked, what went in it, or how its formula was derived (probably for longevity, eye-appeal and maximum profit).
“So a baker of yesteryear would spit it on the floor” I can hear people saying, “ I’ve always eaten bought bread, and who are you to judge!” No judgement from me my friend, you eat what you want. I’m just trying to make the point that the weirdo with the two rocks and a bag of wheat probably really knows his bread.
Convinced? Wanna get started? Ok, one has to start at the basics, but first a few warnings. This is going to take time, it’s going to be tedious, and that bag of sliced white fluff is going to be awfully tempting before the end. There are endless types of grinders, varieties of wheat and many bread recipes to decide on, your going to have to do your homework. In that vein of thought, let’s go back to school. We can take a trip down the hallways of our education system as our first study into what makes up the blueprint of our life’s philosophy.
I have no professional degree in education, no letters after my name. My credentials are as follows: My mother was a teacher, I spent 12 years in the government school system (plus 2 years of technical college) and I home-schooled my two children grades 1 through12. If that, in your opinion, is not enough “education” for me to be able to think and write about this subject, then tuck these papers back under my grinding stones and be on your way.
“We must put more tax dollars toward education, our future depends on it!”, is the oft heard phrase today, usually from the teachers unions at the bargaining table. Our society is pouring huge amounts of tax dollars into a system that just keeps asking for more, while giving dire predictions of a bleak, ignorant future if austerity is even suggested.
Results? Bad and getting worse, one doesn’t have to research deeply, just ask the average teller to make change when the cash register doesn’t work. Talk to college profs that have been around awhile, the honest ones will tell you each new generation of students starts college with less knowledge (and a poorer attitude), than the previous one. I have a grade five text on my shelf from 1913; the level of literacy required to read and comprehend its contents is shocking. Too many high school grads today can’t read or do simple math, and the government school system keeps demanding more money to fix the problem.
I am not going to pick on teachers, many are wonderful people with a true calling in life (some are just left-leaning union thugs on the take, only resorting to teaching because they washed out of engineering or something). I suspect that the government education machine chews up and spits out many of the sincere teachers.
That’s what I want to focus on, the machine, let’s check out that blueprint. I could do a long drawn out dissection of the beast, but I think you’ll get the Idea if we just take a walk into the past, and check out the birth of the system we call “public education” (the only thing public about it is the forced taxation that funds it).
Let’s take a look at the good ol’ USA, land of the free. Before the 1850’s, education in the US was a conglomeration of private community schools, church schools, and home education. Were the people uneducated and ignorant? Some were, much like today. Some were uneducated because they didn’t have the money for private schools and their parents didn’t care about “ejimucation” anyway. The masses, however, were not ignorant, a peek at the political flyers of the day (you know the ones they handed out to the common man, fishing for votes) show a surprising level of required comprehension and vocabulary in order to understand.
In 1852 governor Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, forced government compulsory education on all citizens of the state. From there the system was forced throughout the country with blood, tears and gunfire. I am not kidding. Was the system forced because of the massive level of ignorance and illiteracy? No! The rally cry was similar to todays “no child left behind” excuses, but that wasn’t the real reason. The government of the day was worried about the Catholics, the Mormons and the Cherokee. These people were “different” than the rest of society, and they had their own education systems. The government desired a more controlled standardization of the population (with an eye toward “assimilation” of those “different” people) But there is an even more mind blowing reason that governments all over the world fell in love with the “system” for education we have today; blame the Prussians.
When the Prussians were whipped by Napoleon, they decided they needed a system that would turn out subjects that could take battle field orders more reliably. You know, march over there, stand in a row, get shot at. The Prussian professional soldiers and conscripts tended to bolt, fancy that. So the Prussian ruling class got together and came up with an idea for an education system that would guarantee a more “orderly” society. That system worked like a charm, turning out all the classes of people with the proper attitude toward taking orders from their “betters”.
One half of one percent of the population had the bucks to privately tutor their children. The fading monarchy, high brow military, and rich industrialist’s children were groomed to rule, they were the “elite”. These children had a “classical education”, they were taught to think contextually, strategically, and learn complex processes. Everything they learned was useful and fit together in the “whole”, so as to be able to master and command. They were drilled on history, read extensively, wrote exhaustively and were always, always, taught to debate everything with their tutors.
Five to seven and a half percent of the population (the gifted and connected) went to the “good schools”, paid for by the government. These kids learned some contextual thinking, but were mostly taught to be problem solvers. The teaching in these schools leaned heavily towards the technical, and concentrated on memorizing large numbers of facts. These students were groomed to be doctors, lawyers, managers, upper civil servants, etc. Their place in this “ordered society” was to be managers of men, materials, and situations.
The majority of the population’s children (92-94%) were placed in government schools called “peoples schools”. These children were taught cooperation, obedience, and correct attitudes. There was great emphasis put on patriotism, teamwork, competitive sports and obedience to authority. There was teaching in rudimentary literacy and numeracy as well as mythical patriotic history. None of these students were taught to apply value or context within the framework of their knowledge; just given bits and pieces of needed facts. The patchwork knowledge the students graduated with, was meant to be interpreted by their superiors. When these students graduated they were slated for the factory floor, battlefield, and lower levels of government bureaucracy.
Sounds very class discriminatory doesn’t it? But, my oh my; did it ever work. Gone was that pesky individualism that gives the hee bee jeebies to those leaders who think they have the plan to run everything. It really is a form of brainwashing, and it dominated the 20th century, and it looks determined to carry on into the 21st.
I made this “brainwash” comment about government schools once, and a lady nearly bit my head off. She stated that the idea was ridiculous, and the school system wouldn’t put up with it, even if it were remotely true. I think she had the idea of a “stage show” type of brainwashing. You know, a magician on a stage convincing an audience member that they’re stuck to their seat, or have peed themselves, that’s not what I am talking about. I am talking about long term, systematic brainwashing. Big buildings, institutional classrooms, always changing teachers, students separated by age group (not ability), multiple subjects taught in one day, stay in your group, line up here, heed the bells, this is a test, here’s your mark, etc, etc. Is it any wonder that kids learn to hate education? Is it any wonder that the students are disillusioned with learning, and instead become infatuated with their social standing amongst their peers? The kid’s entire “educational” experience, for twelve long years, is one giant social meat grinder! Don’t believe me? Well let’s look at the system as defined by the men who helped create and shape it.
Edward Ross, at the end of the 19th century, one of the men who helped shape the government school system in the USA, called children: “little plastic lumps of dough, taken from private households, to be shaped on the social kneading board.” That’s in the past you say? William H. Seawell, University of Virginia professor of education, in the 1980’s stated:
“Public schools must promote civic rather than individual pursuits….we must focus on creating citizens for the good of society… each child belongs to the state.”
Any young person that takes the red pill, and begins to see the little man behind the curtain in the educational land of OZ, is labeled a trouble maker, and slapped down; or drugged. The social experimentation continues, to the detriment of literacy rates. Environmentalism, socialism, moral relativism, multiculturalism, feminism, and every other fad “ism” popular today is what is being crammed into the kids, until they are no longer an individual, just an insignificant member of the organic matrix.
If you are reading this, and have children in a government school, you could be feeling defensive and angry. Take heart, I lean toward home schooling, but many children learn in spite of the crushing educational machine. At the same time, be aware of the system your kids are in, talk to them about it, encourage them to learn on their own. Children are born with a GOD given, brightly burning light of curiosity. A child’s need to learn is natural, they are sponges for knowledge and ideas. Young people have a desire to grind their own intellectual flour, a little encouragement and guidance is all that’s required. You were once that way, we are all born with a desire to know things. Then the system convinced you, that the only smart thing to do, was to rely on the availability of factory made wonder bread…..it’s the only thing that goes with the government kool-aid.