Inspiration

“They taught us in school about the human brain. They taught us that it stopped growing at about the age of twelve. Yet now, at sixteen, we were still treated as if we had only half a brain. How could adults believe that people of my age would think more clearly, once our freshly developed minds had been pushed through the education machine and filled to capacity with the doctrines of the elders? It was now, while we were still young, that we had to think; it was now that we had to hurry and judge, if we were not to be drugged into accepting blindly the seats offered to us on the engineless train of the elders.”

Thor Heyerdahl

*

“The secret message communicated to most young people today by the society around them is that they are not needed, that the society will run itself quite nicely until they – at some distant point in the future – will take over the reigns. Yet the fact is that the society is not running itself nicely… because the rest of us need all the energy, brains, imagination and talent that young people can bring to bear down on our difficulties. For society to attempt to solve its desperate problems without the full participation of even very young people is imbecile.”

 Alvin Toffler

 *

“We are all creative, but by the time we are three of four years old, someone has knocked the creativity out of us. Some people shut up the kids who start to tell stories. Kids dance in their cribs, but someone will insist they sit still. By the time the creative people are ten or twelve, they want to be like everyone else.”

Maya Angelou

 *

“The young, free to act on their initiative, can lead their elders in the direction of the unknown… The children, the young, must ask the questions that we would never think to ask, but enough trust must be re-established so that the elders will be permitted to work with them on the answers.”

 Margaret Mead

 *

“The dominant systems of education are rooted in the values and demands of industrialism: they are linear, mechanistic and focused on conformity and standardization. Nowadays, they’re buttressed by major commercial interests in mass testing and by the indiscriminate use of prescription drugs that keep students’ minds from wandering to things they naturally find more interesting. The tragedy is that meeting the many social, economic, spiritual and environmental challenges we now face depends absolutely on the very capacities of insight, creativity and innovation that these systems are systematically suppressing in yet another generation of young people.”

 Ken Robinson

*

“Mass education was designed to turn independent farmers into docile, passive tools of production. That was its primary purpose. And don’t think people didn’t know it. They knew it and they fought against it. There was a lot of resistance to mass education for exactly that reason. It was also understood by the elites. Emerson once said something about how we’re educating them to keep them from our throats. If you don’t educate them, what we call “education,” they’re going to take control — “they” being what Alexander Hamilton called the “great beast,” namely the people. The anti-democratic thrust of opinion in what are called democratic societies is really ferocious. And for good reason. Because the freer the society gets, the more dangerous the great beast becomes and the more you have to be careful to cage it somehow.”

 Noam Chomsky

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