July 28, 2021
By: Jennifer Nelson
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“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
I would like to bring awareness to the importance of discernment. As always, if this resonates then rock with it, and if it doesn’t then it wasn’t for you.
I am completing a Master’s in Education. It’s been an enlightening experience because throughout this program I’ve found myself disagreeing with most of the concepts that are presented as facts.
This became especially apparent this term where I am enrolled in classes that are essentially instructing teachers on how to align their curriculum to UNESCO’s education for sustainable development goals.
On the surface, it seems harmless. Most people want to see a better world where people are treated fairly, and harmony flows effortlessly. Yet, I feel it’s very important to think critically before jumping on any bandwagon.
One reflection question presented was how would we encourage our students to become “social justice change agents”? I found that question to be quite presumptuous.
It is not everyone’s job to work for social justice as change agents. I believe in being a lot more specific than that because people define these terms differently.
Some people want to protect the environment and ensure that everyone is treated fairly. Those are the only kind of changes they want to promote, and there is nothing wrong with that.
However, there’s also a version of “social justice change agents” that seek to control people’s thoughts, word choices, and actions. In some cases, the changes are so extreme that some may find them to be inappropriate. For example, “Toronto parents were incensed to learn that the Toronto District School Board web page promoting health education included a link to an organization that suggested kids explore their sexuality experimenting with sex toys and vegetables” (Reynolds, 2012).
Some parents might feel that those practices violate their religious beliefs, or that they could encourage sexual addiction, or that it could compromise the integrity of the family produce at dinnertime. Yet these suggestions are made in the name of being a “change agent”.
There are also cases of trying to be so inclusive that it leads to absurdity. For example, “a U.K. school banned “best friends” because that made other kids feel left out” (Reynolds, 2012).
In order to be free, we cannot ban people from saying things that make us uncomfortable. What we can do is encourage kindness, while focusing on our inner strength and self-love.
It is not unkind to use the term “best friend”, and therefore I would suggest that we need to learn how to heal our own emotional issues without projecting them on others.
There are a lot of things that I disagree with, and a lot of terms that I find to be vulgar and undignified – but I’ll always defend people’s right to say what they feel. I don’t have to agree with someone to support their right to free expression.
My main problem with “social justice change agents” is that the underlying foundation seems to be based on tyrannical control that’s disguised as peace. Therefore, I will not be facilitating any opportunities for students to develop in that regard.
What I do facilitate is using critical thinking skills and understanding the concept of personal autonomy, and how that fits together with unified cooperation. For example, I teach a class on leadership skills where we compare leadership advice given in books like The Art of War and The 48 Laws of Power with leadership advice that’s not based on controlling and manipulating people. The points of discussion are – what do you think about this advice, and which style do you prefer?
We go on to discuss the difference between a service-to-self leader and a service-to-others leader. This is simply about stating facts without imposing any sort of preference towards one or the other. This allows students to honestly evaluate which type of leader they want to be.
I’m here to bring information and choices. My role is to promote self-leadership, human sovereignty, and kindness being an example of that. It is not my role to promote whatever agenda that dominating organizations have decided to implement in order to further their goals.
We all have to know what our role is in life. That’s what I want my students to know. If it is their role to be a “social justice change agent”, then great. But that has to come from their own inner knowing, not from me trying to force it under the guise of it being in the best interest of everyone.
It is quite shocking for me to see how people think that they have the duty to superimpose their will and beliefs upon others for the greater good of all. That’s not compatible with freedom. Educators are supposed to help students reach their highest potential; not indoctrinate them into a belief system.
Some take offense to the terms indoctrination and brainwashing, but that’s just what it is. Organizations clearly tell you their angle of using the educational system to indoctrinate the younger generations with a belief system. It is just phrased in a more digestible manner which says, “It is through education that the next generation of citizens, voters, workers, professionals, and leaders will be prepared for life-long learning about sustainability” (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, 2012).
The problem is that we need to ask more about what is exactly meant sustainability and what are the repercussions of that. That is a part of having the critical thinking skills that we wish to teach our students.
In his book Green Tyranny, Exposing the Totalitarian Roots of The Climate Industrial Complex, the author suggests that the point is not to fix environmental problems, in fact the goal is to “utterly subvert democracy proposing top-down “solutions” to exaggerated problems, replacing the electorate’s will and interests with their own” (Whaples, 2018).
It is my opinion that those interests are in line with building a world based on technocratic totalitarianism. That is why we are encouraged to see ourselves as global citizens ruled self-appointed global overseers. I do not consent to that, thus my work as an educator will always reflect my passion for a peaceful and loving world filled with truth, disclosure, and respect for human sovereignty and dignity.
The intent of this newsletter is to increase awareness of available educational options in order to encourage environments where students can align to their true gifts and talents.
When people are aligned to their true nature and in touch with their loving hearts, they are able to co-create a harmonious world.
Remember to love yourself and to always follow your inner guidance. Therefore, take what resonates and discard the rest.
Reynolds, C. (2012) Why are schools brainwashing our children? Macleans. https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/why-are-schools-brainwashing-our-children/
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. (2012). Education for sustainable development: Sourcebook. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?page=view&type=400&nr=926&menu=1515
Whaples, R. (2018). Book Review Green Tyranny Exposing the Totalitarian Roots of the Climate Industrial Complex. The Independent. https://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?id=1363
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