Looking at the state of the crazy world we live in, it seems to me clear that whatever we have been teaching our children and ourselves doesn't work.
Oh, we are great at understanding and using technologies, but we are really crap at living together. Which one is more important to you?
Basically, we don't learn what it means to be an individual human being. Have a look at some of the definitions of the term "Human" offered over the internet - everything I came across is basically a circular definition or along the lines of "not an animal". So if we don't know what a human being is, what are we going to teach these creatures?
One of the most fundamental facts about us, is that we humans can learn from experience. That may well be true, although what exactly we learn and from whom is something that needs to be carefully considered. An experience which humans have had for Millenia is war. What has that experience taught us? To make better weapons and to be constantly vigilant - trust no one. We have a lot of history lessons but all we learn about war is the dates, the number of dead and the weapons used. Is that education? Not to me. If we haven't learnt to live without war, we haven't progressed at all.
Another fundamental fact that isn't clearly taught, is that we have a limited lifespan and we don't know what that span is, but we definitely know that there is an end for each being on the planet. Of course, many religions offer an insurance contract: keep supporting us and you'll be alright when you're dead. That is not a deal to inspire confidence. Those telling us that, are alive, so they certainly don't speak from experience. The best case a religion offers is that Jesus was resurrected after three days dead. Well, if He really showed up, then He wasn't dead. There are plenty of documented cases where people were assumed to be dead, but suddenly woke up, occasionally in the Morgue! If He was dead, then he stayed that way. The only person who absolutely claims he saw him was /Saul/Paul. Mary wasn't sure and thought He was the Gardner! Saul/Paul was totally against him, but saw his opportunity to take the gang over, by claiming he actually chatted to Jesus on a road somewhere with nobody present. Again, there are a lot of people who have since claimed to have seen Him. Well, I haven't and nobody I know has. The world is full of religious crazies all of whom claim to have the real Truth. My view: prove it so everybody has the same experience, but without drugs! Why this little rant? Because knowing, really knowing you have a very limited time - and for that there's plenty of proof - fundamentally affects how you perceive your life. Ask anyone who has come very close to the exit door. They all tend to say something similar about realising how valuable life is.
On top of that, there's Maya, the illusion. Again, nobody wants to look the facts in the face, but how can we progress if we ignore the facts. Of course it's all illusion! Every creature on the planet is in a different location and therefore has a different perspective. Everyone has a view and nobody agrees 100% on who or what is The Truth or The Right Thing? We use language which is an abstraction of individual and personal experiences, so almost nobody means the same thing when using the same words. Now enhance that with the fact that there are countless numbers of objects from the size of a particle to the accumulation of particles which make up all the objects in the universe all of which are in constant change and movement. How can anyone not see that they are not in control of anything or have any kind of complete perspective of anything at all. We pretend to know what we are doing and that we have stuff under control, and that is as good a definition of Maya as you can get. The reality is that we have no idea what reality really is. We have learnt to manipulate bits of our world to produce certain effects, but it always goes wrong at some point. Nothing stays the same forever.
Here's a quote from a professional educational institution looking at child development:
"Children are already learning at birth, and they develop and learn at a rapid pace in their early years. This provides a critical foundation for lifelong progress, and the adults who provide for the care and education of children from birth through age 8 bear a great responsibility for their health, development, and learning. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8, a 2015 report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, explores the implications of the science of child development for the professionals who work with these children.
Young children thrive when they have secure, positive relationships with adults who are knowledgeable about how to support their development and learning. The science of child development and early learning makes clear the importance and complexity of working with young children from infancy through the early elementary years. Research during the past decade has revealed much about how children learn and develop. Studies have shown that early childhood is a time when developmental changes are happening that can have profound and lasting consequences for a child’s future. While people have long debated whether “nature” or “nurture” plays the stronger role in child development, recent studies reveal the importance of how the two influence each other as a child develops: what a child experiences and is exposed to interacts with his or her underlying biological makeup. Research has also shown that much more is going on cognitively, socially, and emotionally in young children – including infants – than scientists or care and education professionals previously knew. Even in their earliest years, children are starting to learn about their world in sophisticated ways that are not always reflected in their outward behaviour. Learning and development for young children is both rapid and cumulative, continuously laying a foundation for later learning. These and related insights emerging from research have strong implications for settings where young children are cared for and educated. This booklet provides an overview of this research and its implications for what educators and other adults who work with children need to know and be able to do in order to best support children’s healthy development."
Given that learning process starts so early, we need to help our children, not by ignoring reality and only thinking of people as work fodder, but by being conscious ourselves as adults and realise that there is very little we can teach, other than fundamental truths, such as: the gift of Life is a fantastic opportunity to experience life in this environment and that it doesn't last. Realising that life is a gift one did nothing to get, should make us aware of just how fantastically precious it is. With it you have everything, without it, nothing. Thems the facts, kiddo. I often think about birth and how suddenly you arrive. Not even that makes sense. A total overload of impressions and experiences and somehow we have orient ourselves. That seems to be instinctive. But it's quite a staggering though what those first moments of life contain.
My hope is that if we truly understand the value of our personal life, life as a one-time opportunity, then we automatically realise that each human has the same value and requires the same loving conscious care. So far, I'm not impressed by what we refer to as the educational process. It needs to be rethought and in particular, set totally different priorities for that learning. Teach children the wonder of it all, teach them to strive to be a better, more conscious Human Being. Don't teach them to be better than others, but better at being their own, completely unique self.