The call for equality, whether it be based on race, gender, age or such is based on the fallacy that it’s about fairness. On the contrary, it’s anything but fair, and what we really need is equity, because unlike absolute equality, it takes into account individual needs.
A patient belonging to a race that would not do well on a certain medication would be foolish to demand a similar prescription as a patient of a different race that it’s suited to. A woman suffering from menstrual cramps would not do herself any favours by insisting on standing when a chivalrous man offers her a seat on the train.
Fact is, we are all different, and even being the same person, from moment-to-moment we vary in physical and emotional characteristics, various abilities and circumstances. We aren’t even equal to ourselves!
I have come across educators who have been exceptional people, which I believe is what made them good teachers or principals, as students imbibe more from a teacher’s actions than their words. When actions don’t corroborate words, then comes disillusionment.
One of my first memories: I once found a wad of money while picking litter from the school grounds, which I dutifully handed to the supervising teacher, specifically stating that someone might have lost it. The teacher shamelessly pocketed the money right before my eyes! The incident has stayed with me for several decades as I write this. I had the morals to not keep the money, but a teacher who is supposed to be one teaching them had none.
The most consistent issue I have encountered with educators is ego. I have experienced, seen or heard of everything from a student being reprimanded, to being hit or caned, because a student bruised a teacher’s ego. It could be called by any name, from setting a precedent to punishment or discipline, but it is about fixing the teacher’s self image, not about the student.
A teacher’s ego was once so hurt, she blatantly said that there is no democracy in school, that it is a dictatorship and the student has no rights! And that seems to more and more be the case. A vice principal might say things like, “You have to respect authority”, without himself earning the respect of or giving respect to the student; and give the example of traffic police, as in, “Would you challenge the authority of the police or not follow traffic lights?” They miss the point and are comparing apples to oranges. The other teachers, support staff, vice principal and principal all have each other’s back and misuse authority whereby they lose all respect as students are very perceptive. Whereas in the real world, power is divested between the police, judge, jury and prison warden. A judge would not be automatically inclined to issue a warrant just because a police officer believes someone committed an offence. As such they are held to a much higher standard of conduct. Schools are not held to the same level of accountability and try to protect theirs and themselves.
Often teachers become loud, obnoxious and obstinate in the face of reason, in an attempt to assert their authority. The only thing it affirms is their frail ego, insecurity and poor character. Personal baggage is likely another form of low sense of self worth and corresponding efforts to feel good about oneself, that results in the unfair treatment of students.
A pseudo-feminist teacher reprimanded a male student for so much as defending himself from a larger, tougher and older female bully, stating that a boy can hit a boy, a girl can hit a girl, a girl can hit a boy [and they would look away], but never can a boy hit a girl no matter how extenuating the circumstances. Does that not just go to create misogynists?
Another teacher viewed an innocent drawing of a girl, reproduced from an anime character, as being, “degrading to women” and asked the student to change it; whereas when shown to another, older teacher, as a [true] feminist she had absolutely no issue with it. As a consequence of telling on the teacher, the teacher prohibited the student from ever handing in reproduced art for her class. This once again demonstrates that the student always pays for the teacher’s insecurities. A female teacher who carries her sentiments with respect to patriarchy to school and punishes students to feel superior, is what is really degrading to women.
Picking on a student is extremely abusive. If a student disobeys, a teacher makes his life miserable. A student used a laptop to accomplish a task instead of paper. The teacher retaliated with revoking his privilege to eat or drink anything (except water) or listen to music, or talk in class. Yes, the student should be following instructions, but the teacher should not be punishing him with power play either.
Teachers seem to forget that it is us taxpayers that put food on their table, and they not only fail to do their job of giving our children a quality education that includes imparting good human values, but are also abusive and hurtful towards and disillusion them. Being rude to students seems to be the norm, like they are cattle to be herded, not young people with feelings that get hurt. Like a student said in jest, “You [the teacher] are like the dominatrix that is paid to dominate us at school”.
It’s said that “power corrupts”, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.
While job security, generous health benefits, a safe environment, perhaps even a love for teaching all attract teachers initially, what keeps the damaged ones is the ongoing ability to feed one’s ego, and they are the ones in turn damaging students.
If I say, don’t think of a flower, definitely not a rose, what are you going to think of? First a flower, maybe even a rose, then definitely a rose. So what do you think will happen when you are told that you need to be thoughtless and that is meditation? Your mind will run rampant as you try to not think of anything, and you will be frustrated. So how to meditate?
With meditation being cited as the universal cure-all and solution to every problem in every religious and spiritual discourse, without ever being told how to go about doing it, dissemination of unhelpful one-liners like it being ‘a state of no-mind’ or ‘being thoughtless’, and worse still spiritual elitists saying it is not something one does but rather something that happens, it can be confusing and frustrating to the point where one just gives up.
Thought substitution is more doable, as in exchanging negative thoughts for a relatively pleasant one. Just like we distract ourselves by watching a movie. I find thinking of something I like and which scenario I can play in my head works very well for me to go off to sleep. In day-to-day work, it is easier to be mindful; single-mindedly consciously thinking of only the performance of the task at hand and not what I am going to do next or another such stray thought, but that is definitely easier said than done.
The second technique is ignoring. The thought comes, you know it is detrimental, so for example, I would say, “Okay, hello thought, thank you, but I need to move on”. That way I am kind to myself, not reprimanding myself for the thought and not dwelling on it either.
Meditation is the third technique. Now I say technique because the practice of instructions to train oneself to be in a meditative state is commonly referred to as meditation. Hence the debate about what meditation is. The purists say, “meditation cannot be done, it happens”, and mock those trying to practice a discipline. That is not helpful; it is demoralizing. Recognizing that meditation is a commonly used term for a practice and not for the meditative state itself helps bridge the gap – just as ‘medicine’, while a discipline, is a word commonly used in place of ‘medication’.
Meditation is not the exclusive domain of people who consider themselves spiritually accomplished either, just as breathing is not. It is not difficult; just different from the other two techniques. It is observing. So, say you close your eyes and these random thoughts begin. Observe the thoughts like a third party witnessing the goings on. Being thoughtless, in a meditative state, should follow as a consequence of merely being that observer.
One cannot really try and meditate. One can reach a meditative state by observing one’s thoughts. Such a meditative state is a temporary respite. In that sense too it is a practice – towards constantly being in a meditative state, being an observer, whereupon the practice is no longer needed.
If you are lost in thoughts, then that is agitation.
If thoughts are lost in you, then that is meditation.
— Swami Tejomayananda
The mantra about ending a marriage based on, “It’s better for children to not grow up with their parents in an unhappy marriage” is typical feminist pork for putting one’s happiness before that of one’s children, to divorce women from the responsibility that comes with being a parent. Despite anti-male activism and exalting pro-divorce, anti-children values, these feminists call for mother-headed households!
Marriage and children are a commitment — it can be joyful, challenging, stressful or even downright miserable; but that is life itself. When there are marital troubles such feminist-minded women seize the opportunity to manipulate the man to believe that it is his fault, then capitalize on his guilt to broker a deal on marital assets to become financially independent and exit the marriage to lead her dream life built upon the graves of the well-being of her children and ex-husband.
Why do we ask WHY? It’s because we want an explanation to justify to ourselves why we need to accept a certain happening. However the pursuit of an answer overshadows and envelopes us, keeps us engrossed to the point where we lose sight of the reason we asked WHY in the first place.
We get entangled in a quagmire of questions in the pursuit of answers.
The question WHY, while thus starting out as a means to an end – the end being, getting an answer in order to be satisfied, and as such being able to move on – ends up becoming an end in itself – as in getting an answer becoming our focus, preventing us from actually moving on – and thus becomes an impediment to our happiness.
Any way we justify them, all explanations are just that; explanations; and are worthless as their pursuit detracts from being happy, regardless of what the answer is to the WHY.
The definition of failure follows one’s ideas of what success is. I believe that success is being happy, yet unhappiness isn’t failure; it’s a temporary, passing condition, so recognize it for what it is.
Money may not be the answer to all problems but it does make life a bit easier. Knowing that you don’t have to choose between feeding your kids or yourself, you aren’t one paycheque from being homeless and your car won’t be repossessed, has to make you feel a little happy. But beyond that, there are completely miserable and bitter wealthy people. Many truly believe (even if it’s subconscious) that the diamond ring will make them happy, that luxury goods will make them happy, the big house will make them happy. It doesn’t.
The problem is that people don’t seem to realize that no amount of money or “things” will ever bring any kind of real “life satisfaction”. It will bring some comfort, luxury and ease of living (maybe), but nothing more. Not even if money is simply considered a form of security, because they are tons of financially secure miserable people.
While arrogance or lack thereof is all about character and not how much you have in your pocket, money and/or the stuff, anything from a 2-carat diamond ring to placate the wife at home to the women at the strip club that you buy with that money, does exacerbate the problem. He who has the gold, makes the rules. Sometimes the money maker is not arrogant, the people (family members, friends) around the money maker, using his/her money are arrogant.
Then people crave something more, something priceless that money can’t buy. Like love. But unfortunately, once they find love, they forget why they sought love in the first place; because money and everything it could buy, bought them no happiness. So they look for money to complement the love, which is reasonable to the point it fulfils one’s basic needs, not numbs one to reality and brings one back into the situation where one was willing to swap money for love.
Do not seek to be loved at any price, because love has no price.
The biggest destroyer of oneself are one’s beliefs, if such beliefs lead to other than one’s happiness. We emotionally cling on to and defend our beliefs as defined by our observations, deductions and experience, even contorting logic to support and reinforce them, so they become irrefutable facts. Our reality then becomes how we see and interpret the world through this window.
“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
— Alan Alda
If you lack or want to change something in your life, ask yourself what that is – what would be the perfect scenario for you, whether the cooperation of others is needed and if so are they willing to cooperate and what are the terms on which you want to lead your life. Most importantly reflect on whether it would lead to your ultimate happiness.
Make choices in your mind; your life will then begin to align itself with your goals. You would have made your mind work for you by carving a path for yourself, rather than you being an instrument of your mind.
A sense of trust allows us to connect with people and share intimacy of thought, which is key to happiness.
Most people are so closed that it bothers me; such as when I talk to a little girl and she does not answer, feeling awkward or hesitant likely due to the conditioning of her parents and friends about not talking to strangers or worse, being afraid of pedophiles. Such closed people may never be harmed by another person in their lifetimes, but they are certainly harming themselves on an ongoing basis, like dying a slow, painful death in anticipation of one’s death, rather than living one’s life to the fullest for however long one has to live. However people don’t realize this and spend their lives in pursuit of one special relationship with a significant other, to the exclusion of people at large, and then wonder why they feel lonely and disconnected in the absence of that one person.
People who are uninhibited spread joy to others who are similarly open to connecting with people. Beyond an open mind, radiate a warmth; initiate or respond with a smile, wave, handshake, hug or conversation; all work wonders to make us happy as a collective.