Several things to finish off February and embrace March (finally!).
First of all, I am momentarily at a friend's house, dog-sitting her adorable two canines, which has kept me quite busy over the past days.
Additionally, I am only a week away from starting a master's degree in English Lit and media, so, full failure-mode on...No, seriously, I know for most people it would not count as "failure" to start their higher degree, but, believe me, for me it kind of does, but let's not dwell on it now and I will tell you more about it when I have actually started with it.
I had some thoughts on education...profound, right? I know, I am annoying, but it really fascinates me how rotten our school systems are and how hardly anyone seems to notice. The past days I looked through my teaching material and, among spotting the many mistakes I committed as a young teacher, found that I had a pretty good approach to teaching English and sometimes wonder why regular schools fail to come up with more inspiring and motivating education which led me to think about it in closer relation to my present situation.
The problem of my life now is that I am so paralysed by choice that I actually prefer standing in the middle, doing hardly anything, than taking a step and make a decision. However, the reason why I - and so many other young people - seem incapable to make decisions is a) the immense fear of rejection and failure and b) the unwillingness to take up real responsibility. I believe I have already written about this phenomenon in a previous post but it seems to haunt me - and not only me but from what I hear from conversations of people my age it seems to be a problem concerning the whole generation and, probably, all humans.
Recently, I read a very fascinating article by a psychologist, stating that people in the earlier days knew exactly what was expected of them, their limits and possibilities. If born a farmer or miller, you knew becoming king was out of the league; if you were born into the aristocracy you knew you were expected to be married off to some other rich person and couldn't date a working class member.
I am not saying class separation is a good thing, on the contrary; however, as the psychologist stated, in their cases you could blame the system for unhappiness and limitations whereas now - with our world with seemingly endless possibilities and choices - the only person you can blame for a poor choice is you and you have to take up full responsibility for your choice as making a decision always bears responsibility in itself.
I would never say that having choice and possibilities and attempt to equal everyone's possibilities is a bad development. I think, however, that there are some flaws with this system which should be tweaked such as the lack of teaching how to deal with the vast amount of possibilities and choice and helping young people to make the right one. Second, possibilities always mean trying something out and we can only try if we're willing to experience a possible failure. Trying is the very essence of assuming the possibility of failure, after all. Now, however, we live in a world with school systems which teach in a way that makes failure the worst thing possible to happen. Every misstep is immediately punished, whether by grades, detention or public humiliation. As failure is to be omitted in our school systems, trying becomes eradicated and, therefore, choice and possibilities a burden instead of the blessing they should and could be.
This leads me to the next point. I actually don't believe that our system gives equal possibilities and choices as it pretends to do. Saying everyone has the same chance and realising it are two completely different things. It is impossible to make the chances for everyone the same - especially if you chose one single path from all the different paths and put it above the others. We perceive the academic path (school, university, higher degrees, manager jobs, etc) as the only successful way of life and therefore there are a lot of people who are doomed to fail, even if they needn't to. Not everyone needs to go to university and instead of trying to find ways so that everyone can go to university, we need to leave the idea behind that only the academic path is successful. University is just one of many life paths which can be pursued and it is not superior in any way to becoming a carpenter, florist, tour guide or secretary. So, the only way, as I see it, to achieve equal possibilities for everyone is to embrace all possibilities and don't subject them to hierarchy but regard each of them as equally important and valuable.
This is just the opinion of one individual out there in the world. Thank you for reading.
Writer. Editor. Blogger. YouTuber. Freelancer. Traveller. English fanatic.