Wednesday 21 May 2014
I’m having one of those can’t-think-of-anything-to-write-a-post-about moments. It’s a consequence of being tired, and trying to deal with a mind that usually goes a mile a minute that then hits super slo-mo when weary. But that’s a whole other post . . .
Somewhere in the fog, a thought actually bothered to cross my mind: in the not-too-distant-future, there will be generations of people who don’t have a lot of the general knowledge that we have today. Sure they’ll have knowledge in other areas, like . . . well . . . the entire back catalogue of Miley Cyrus, the hottest member of One Direction, the ability to ascertain which member of 5SOS is suited to you, Zac Efron’s vital statistics . . . I could go on, but I don’t want to dumb us all down. Allow me to digress.
As kids, a lot of the people I went to school with were avid readers. We were encouraged to read anything and everything, but admittedly, we were encouraged to get stuck into reading books, fiction and non-fiction. Today, however, people appear to be less inclined to enjoy reading, and sadly, also learning. Now, I’m not implying that people who are younger than me are non-readers, or thick as two short planks. I’m suggesting that some of them are. If I’ve offended anyone by making that statement, well, I’m not going to apologise. What I see via my day job backs up that statement.
Educators today deal with a percentage of kids who don’t like learning, who have no interest in any of the subjects that are studied at school, who hate reading, who would rather be seated in front of an iPad (no longer a computer), iPod or iPhone playing mindless games. They have no lust for learning, and they appear to be uninterested in bettering themselves. These are the generations of people who will be our future leaders, and when I consider that there is the potential that some of them might eventually decided that they want to get around to learning, and maybe become say, doctors or nurses, I want to run for the hills and become a hermit.
There is a certain level of apathy in the up and coming generations, and in some of the generations not far behind mine, that I find terrifying. They have lack general knowledge, common sense, and motivation. However, they expect everything, and yet avoid any sort of hard work regardless of the fact that it potentially could result in them actually achieving exactly what they want most.
Before you get your knickers in a twist over my opinion, I’m not stating, implying or assuming that everyone in the younger generations is reflective of this apathy, but I am suggesting that in comparison to my generation, there is a greater percentage of people demonstrating that apathy. Sure, when I went to school there were at least a couple of kids in each year group who didn’t give a rat’s bum about learning. The difference between them and the people who don’t give a rat’s bum about learning these days is that back then, when a teacher told you to do something, you did it. Lord help you if you back chatted them. Now, we deal with all manner of excuses for not doing work – everything from ‘I don’t have to do what you say because you’re not my mum’ to ‘I’m tired’ to ‘I don’t want to be here’ to ‘No, I’m not doing it’ to ‘You can’t make me’ to ‘F@*k off’, and many, many more.
Guaranteed, at least some of you will think that educators probably deserve it, or that everyone has their rights, or booger eaters should be taught to question everything. I’m not going to get into a debate about what educators deserve, other than to say that not every educator is a wanker. My views regarding the quality of educators are a separate concern. I will say, however, that it’s not an easy job to have to deal with people who don’t want to learn, who believe that they have the right to disrupt the learning of everyone else in a class, who think they’re entitled to do as they please.
Our society is screwed if it is burdened with growing numbers of people who don’t take an interest in education and bettering themselves, in investing in making the community better, in fighting for important issues, or those who believe that they are right all of the time and their opinion is the only one, or those who think that if you have something that they want they can simply take it from you, and worse still, those people who have no respect – for others, the property of others, or respect for themselves and their own property.
Sure, there are exceptions to everything. There are the wonderfully intelligent people who will strive and achieve better than those who have gone before. That’s a given. There absolutely are the people who dedicate themselves to learning, leading, creating, building, and so forth. But they seem so few and far between.
I know it’s a ranty post, I do. But I’ve been pondering over the fact that so much history will be lost to upcoming generations because they have little interest in learning it. Soon, people like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Martin Luther King Jr., Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, William Shakespeare – inventors, writers, artists, activists, humanitarians, Nobel Prize laureates, the great people of history will be ignored and forgotten. And as terrifying, the dastardly like Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Jack the Ripper, the Boston Strangler, Charles Manson – the likes of the truly evil people that the world should never forget because we need to be aware of them in order to prevent their atrocities being repeated, they too will cease to be within the realm of the general knowledge of future generations.
Those are the things that tick through my mind at the best and the worst of times.