Educate, Not Dominate

(Warning:  usage of full racial epithets in this opinion piece, because I don’t believe one is more important or blatant than the rest in this point of view).

Our truths are largely based on what side of a fence we grew up on. One side, one truth is largely equal to merely indoctrination as education, and this is not restricted to religion.  It’s about everything we grew up to believe about the world.

Education is not about only learning more about our side of the fence, it’s supposed to be learning about all the other fences too, or as many as we’re able.  This should be a lifelong effort, and if not, why not?

Education has always been key in resolving conflict and ignorance of intents.  The process gets all muddled up with the yeah buts, if you knew what he/she did, we need this or we need that.

So what’s really needed?  What is really needed to live ably and in relative comfort?  The big questions are, what is worth killing children for?  What is worth demeaning their value as people?

What’s worth a walk up to a child and looking her in the eyes to  call her dirty, a camel jacker, a nigger, a redskin, a chink, a honky, or any other of the demeaning terms we need to make up to dehumanize another person?   Nothing?  Thank the Universe you have not descended into madness.  Yet.

Childrens eyes 2I say ‘yet’ because I wonder how many people wouldn’t be able to do that, but do remark loudly and viciously about the lowness of those children’s parents when in disagreement. These are most noticeable in the comment sections of news stories like those about children dying in the Middle East, resources on someones land, or for the change of an American football team name.

Would these same people kneel down to this child and look her in the eyes and tell her that the purpose of their gain is worth her loss of worth or life?  We know there are some who will, and have.  They have become madness embodied.

This is what’s meant to be feared.  They say they do this on behalf of all the people, their people, and unbelievably, they are believed.   What fear is the madness based in?  Loss?   What fear of loss is so great that it’s worth dehumanizing or killing a child over?

That madness spreads like dust, but dust can be cleaned away.  How do we stop the advent of madmen?  We educate all of our children now.  We all have to stop, whenever it’s made possible, to ask if we’ve truly made an effort to look over the top of our fences.  Have we really searched for the reasons behind our fears and anger about something, or most importantly, someone?

If not, why not? It’s never been easier.




29 thoughts on “Educate, Not Dominate

    • Yes, the news, again. I think we must have had more compassion overcome the madness over history or we wouldn’t be here in mostly peace. I just don’t know why we haven’t been able to eradicate the worst of the worst yet though. Maybe in the next century we’ll be a step closer by being able to understand intent via immediate direct thought. Or not.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Despite my comment I am an optimist and have hope. And you are right, I believe most people have more good in them than bad and we all have the capacity to do good. When acceptance and tolerance of those who are different form the core of the world’s beliefs, violence will be greatly diminished.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think anyone who saw what you’ve been creating with words or pencil will know that you are inherently optimistic. Let’s hope our hope will help to wash away some of the intolerance.


  1. Whew Robyn, you sure have a knack for putting your finger on the crux of big problems. And then stepping back with a smile. If you want to talk kids, there is a statistic of which you should be aware. Every year there is a competition to see which country is the highest in this category and the #1 and #2 spots are always held by the US and Iran. They switch back and forth for first and other countries are not even in the running. And the statistic is….which country has the most children under the age if 18 imprisoned per capita? To the best of my knowledge, no one has promoted a theory as to why this may be.

    This statistic can be interpreted in many ways. My personal favorite is that there is a serious lack of care and protection for our children. In the name of individualism, we are dumping them on the alter of sacrifice for our own selfish benefit. It is nice to say that they are given the basic needs like food and shelter but are we giving them the moral and ethical guidance, the love, the discipline necessary to shape them into decent human beings? I don’t think so. And I think part of that reason is because morals, ethics, empathy, understanding, are becoming less and less important to the adults in our society. And individualism and the pursuit of wealth is becoming more important. No doubt that the children of our world will act as the canaries in this poisonous atmosphere and will fall by the wayside first. And so they are.

    As far as your statement, Robyn, that we should educate not dominate, I couldn’t agree more. The problem is that I suspect the issues are far, far deeper than the normal definition of eduction will cover. Personally, in the current atmosphere, I think that the basics of respect will have to be legislated (i.e. giving First Nations a say over how their cultural icons and beliefs are used by non-First Nations for profit) and act as the iron fist in the velvet glove of education. This is a common paradigm when it comes to making large social changes. As a Christian culturally, I see it in the Bible, where Moses was dispatched with Commandments and then Jesus was tasked with educating. Rules with consequences, then empathy and training. I was the Safety Director of tanker company and the same paradigm was used. The rules (which had been established through centuries of experiences) were pounded into everyone’s head and breaking them had real consequences, up to and including termination. Then the concept of team work and empathy was layered over that: the ability to interpret the rules to understand intention and to maximize the effectiveness.

    We’ve discussed this before Robyn and I’m of the same opinion – we have to support what is acceptable and what is not, with a fixed set of laws, then we educate. In a perfect world education would be the perfect answer – however, I think a big stick needs to waved to convince people to take the education seriously. A sort of two-pronged approach.

    Liked by 1 person

    • … and as usual, in return you send me a reply that gets me thinking harder about the big picture.

      Although, in this instance, it isn’t just the Aboriginal issues that I’m speaking of. I think it’s as much about what’s discussed around dinner tables as in schools, but since you mention it, one of the specific educational efforts I would like to see is the addition of our true history to school curriculum. Currently it’s very limited about Aboriginal culture and that’s true for even within the extra Aboriginal programs that are in play now. (My son has been in the program since Gr. 1). This history would include the details about reserve creation and the rules for living on them, the residential school details, the actual facing of a nation’s pain along the same lines as any abused past, in order to truly heal. They are reluctant to call it attempted genocide, but it sure meets all the criteria. Enough of that willful blindness and let’s get on with true healing and moving forward.

      You may have me coming around to the idea of legislation yet, Paul. 😉


      • In my mind, Robyn, it was attempted genocide or even genocide. I’m from Eastern Canada and there are tribes that have been completely eradicated by Europeans.- like the Beothuk. It will be interesting to see the result of Aboriginal education in Aboriginal history. Definitely eye-opening. I really like that approach as it gives power and strength to the community to address wrongs and forge ahead while being truthful to their history. Europeans (or for that matter any dominant culture) always lie and interpret history in a way that most benefits them. Any culture, Aboriginal or otherwise, that wants a bright future has to start with an honest study of the past. My only concern is that when Aboriginal students realize just how poorly their ancestors were treated and how many treaties were broken or ignored by Europeans, they may become angry and incensed – and rightfully so.

        Like I said Robyn, you certainly know how to put your finger in the big issues. Thanks for a great post!


        • I know that learning about how history really played out made a huge difference in my feelings, which were initially very much about anger and hurt. If I didn’t feel that, I would think that something quite critical in my makeup was possibly irretrievably broken.

          It still makes me angry sometimes, especially when I see or hear some of the responses to those stories I mentioned. However, I found the information to be an impetus to learn even more and keep the process going for my family too. It also made me realize that most people still don’t know the reasons behind the issues in the news, and they need as much, if not more, education as me. I believe that really has to start in schools, which I believe will help at least some of the students to move forward in bigger, better, healthier ways.

          Interestingly, we just had a guy print an opinion on that in the local paper. He concluded it was just an attempt to “guilt-trip the students” or as the headline read:”Aboriginal Education or Victim Studies”. I had to write him back to say he was the perfect example of why we need the education even more filled out, in society as well as schools.

          Thanks very much, Paul.


  2. “That madness spreads like dust, but dust can be cleaned away. How do we stop the advent of madmen? We educate all of our children now. We all have to stop, whenever it’s made possible, to ask if we’ve truly made an effort to look over the top of our fences. Have we really searched for the reasons behind our fears and anger about something, or most importantly, someone??

    If not, why not? It’s never been easier.”

    Brilliance, pure and simple, my dear Robyn. I don’t know what Ned Hickson is talking about, you seem perfectly sane and coherent to me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Aw, thanks so much, Hook. Those are some really nice words to be reading at the moment. Wait. What? Ned said that? Why that jacket losing, scaredy cat runner better start running from this even scarier mama bear. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know what he’s talking about, Robyn. I’d never say anything disparaging about a woman with a beautiful mane like yours. Not after what happened to me and my jacket… 😉


        • Oh wow, oh wow. Well, I will have to re-state that Tim McGraw needs to listen to every word of advice he can get from you!

          Now, excuse me. It’s time to condition my mane.


  3. Agree with all, really good stuff Robyn. It’s so interesting how the innocent mind of a child works, and how easily we can corrupt that purity. Even when we grow into thinking for ourselves, it’s never quite the same because of innocence lost.
    You got me thinking girlfriend…good one!


    • Thanks Christy… I’ve seen a little too much lately. It is good to get perspective back with the awesome mentalities of my brilliant visitors. Hope you’re having a lovely summer.


  4. Great points, Robyn. Your post makes me think of Rum’s quote ““Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” Sometimes I get really tired of hearing the same battles being fought decade after decade like a never ending argument. And it really is up to us to stop the madness- or fifty years from now our grandkids will seem the same battles and wars of words fought.


    • Love that quote, Diahann! Will be stealing that, of course.
      I will be hopeful that the same technology that spreads the bad news like fire, will also serve to speed up the understanding that we are all more alike than not.


  5. Excellent post… 🙂

    Education should be training – training to tackle the challenges we face in, our personal way – that is a tool to handle the world and manage our own world – at the same time respect others to have the same right – our world needs creativity, imagination and courage from the environment and not at all copy people but genuine people – much (much too much) education today is training in doing so that others want and expect their favor too.


    • Thank you so much for this comment! I couldn’t agree with you more – there is so much about life that we need to be teaching, training, educating, and learning – when it comes to respecting rights. Creativity, imagination and courage – indeed!


  6. A very thought provoking piece Robyn. I agree education is key. I also think that part of the challenge is that no matter how much we educate our children, they are influenced by their parents at home. Hatred & discrimination is transferred from generation to generation, regardless of how tolerant we think we have become. Why is it so difficult for us as humans to respect one another’s differences & cultures?


    • Why – is the next big question, Lynn. At least, I think so. Finding the answer to that as an individual has also been made so much easier now then ever. As I mentioned to Diahann, I’m hopeful that the same technology that spreads the bad news like fire, will also serve to speed up the understanding that we are all more alike than not.


  7. Amen, Sister! I was watching one of those “Court TV” shows the other day and the judge (who was black) was talking to the Plaintiff (who was a gay man) and he said something so prophetic, I just wanted to preach it to the world. He said, “It’s not about tolerance. I don’t need people to tolerate me. I need them to accept me.” Isn’t that beautiful? Lovely post, my friend! ❤


  8. So very eloquently put.
    When a child’s parents are disparaged, it is the child who suffers the consequences. An adult can brush it off, more or less, but a child internalizes it and, after hearing it enough, believes it – and so begins another generation of hate and war. If we stop feeding the weeds of hate, then the flowers of love will have space to grow again.


    • Aw, thanks so much Melanie. Coming from a very eloquent person, I take that as high praise. And I sure do appreciate the solidarity – especially after reading too many of those other kind of comments in the papers.


      • I wonder how many of those other kind of comments come from people who have been hurt/disparaged and now only know hate.


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