I have been thinking a lot about rules lately and their role in how we (our children) learn. You all have heard me claim that I don’t follow them - just for the sake of it. If something makes absolutely zero sense and no one will get hurt, I will find another way. I believe that creativity, outside-the-box thinking, flexibility, exploration, experimentation, empathy, and modeling are essential to learning.
Nonetheless, I usually end up having to explain. Yes, we need to abide by the laws of society that keep us all safe. I would classify most of these as “duh” regulations. You know the ones: Stop at red lights, drive the speed limit-ish on the right side of the road, and follow all of the rules of the road (with a driver's license). Do not burn your trash or throw pollutants into the water source (rivers and streams), and wear a mask when there is a public health crisis that has the potential of killing off portions of the community...
But then there are the arbitrary laws that have the outside appearance of being good for all, but were probably created because some special interest groups lobbied (and lied to) lawmakers and convinced (paid) them to pass the legislation. Case in point: On Wednesday morning, I went to the grocery store before 7:30 to pick up the few items on my list. The older gentleman ahead of me at the checkout only had a 12-pack of expensive IPA. The clerk told him she could not sell him alcohol before 8am. He shrugged and simply said, “I will have to come back after work then,” and left. I did not say anything to the cashier – instead, I politely conversed with her while she scanned my groceries and bagged them. But, in my head, I was thinking, what in the actual #*&%? How in the *&$% is this helpful? Anyone who wants to drink will. Not being able to buy it between certain hours will not stop someone from driving drunk.
Let me take a step back. The science is clear - modeling (showing, not telling) is one of the ways we humans learn best. Yet our actions and behaviors pretend this is not true. Think about the thousands of unspoken messages our children receive every day. And the hypocrisy held within each.
We have a law that says someone of legal age (even that is ridiculous compared to the rest of the world) cannot purchase beer before 8 am on a weekday morning, and yet… fill in the blank with all of the things that should be legislated but are not. And you know that the very same dodgy, unethical methods are being used by the smugly pious, self-riotous powers that be - to keep those laws off the books.
When will we use common sense and ethical and equitable ideals to shape the laws of the land? It obviously is not going to be determined by how many people (children) - die senselessly. Or by the number of people who - have to fight institutional racism every moment of their lives, are refused justice and go to prison for minor infractions, go hungry and homeless, are denied female reproductive rights and equality, don't get timely, quality healthcare - including mental healthcare, and are traumatized by the system itself. Not to mention the multitude of folks who struggle daily to fully be their authentic selves in this biased (sanctimonious) world.
Our children are watching closely. They understand that our very lives are being manipulated for the sake of wealth and power or to phrase it even more succinctly - the power that wealth commands. Changing our culture takes on new meaning and importance when you comprehend the lessons being learned by our youngest citizens, and all that is at stake.
Weekly Creative Meditation
Summer Programs will be held at both Centers. DRC-East offers three weeks of themed programming in July. DRC-Canton offers Imagination Station for three weeks in August. Register today.
As mentioned last week, DRC has created a sponsorship program. Each level provides specific thank yous. I have started painting the base for Gratitude Mural at the Canton facility where those contributing on the Mentor level will have their name and chosen quote (or business name and logo) painted in. Those donating at the Explorer Level will have a stair riser painted with their name and chosen quote. Learn how you can help change a life, here.