Propaganda and basic psychology have been used brilliantly to convince (dupe) an entire culture to avoid and fear those things that, in fact, hold no menace for the majority of us. You know – the “bad” stuff – the unusual, risky, offbeat, and kooky - from germs, contraband, and dirt, to unorthodox concepts, individuality, and (weird) people who look and sound different from us. We now know that exposure to bacteria and soil help to build a healthy immune system, for example, while an openness to new ideas as well as differing views and opinions can bring about revolutionary transformations that benefit the entire community.
While those everyday things (processed food, chemical cleaning products, and over prescribed pharmaceuticals, as well as social constructs), that reside in our cupboards, closets, and minds, are the things we should worry about - they are perceived as safe, ordinary, and, yes, conventional, simply, because they have been sanctioned by our government, and, more importantly, by cultural norms.
The real threat comes from those same cultural rules that state being smart is good, but smartness is only acceptable when it can be tested with a confining set of finite and prescribed answers within an unimaginative, traditional, and standardized box - that intelligence, as defined by the ability and desire to seek out and disseminate information and a willingness to break the rules, is taboo. Conformity, blind obedience, and homogeneity are cloaked in the disguise of duty, morality, wisdom, integrity, and goodness.
Life outside that culturally approved, regulation filled box may appear scary, daunting, uncomfortable, and undesirable; however, many of us have learned by expanding beyond our comfort zones, trusting our instincts, and embracing our individuality, the world is not nearly as dangerous or terrifying as we once believed.
DRC - FAQ (a new feature of the weekly DRC blog post) Q - I have heard of Deep Root Center, but what exactly is it? A – Deep Root Center (DRC) is a small, safe learning community designed for any student (ages 5-19) who is dissatisfied with their current educational situation and is looking for a chance to create their own learning plans based on their interests and questions about the world. DRC is a completely non-coercive learning environment that provides a multitude of opportunities for group and individual classes, as well as space and time for independent study, hands on projects, nature study, and social interactions. Each youth has access to a mentoring session each week to discuss their progress as well as their ideas and goals for the future. If you know of someone who has questions about Deep Root Center, please share this post. Thank you - MLC