|"If you hold the mirror, I can see myself and the world"|
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John Stephen Veitch has maintained a journal of interest for more than 30 years. That journal has taught many lessons, but the key idea is this. All real education is self directed and self motivated. More-over it takes a long time even for the most willing student to learn new things that are contrary to the indoctrination that we received in childhood and at school. It takes years and years, firstly to recognize that you've been indoctrinated at all. Then to slowly unpick that misdirection and to replace it with something more worthy.
Most adults are well into their middle life when they first understand that most of the promises made about who we are, and how our community is special, and what the rewards for industry and hard work will be, are based on wishful thinking and cannot be honoured. The real world is much less stable than we were told, and corruption is rife in most countries, even in our own. So it's time to take off the rose tinted glasses. There are problems in the world, in my own country, in the business where I'm employed, and sadly I'm not perfect either.
But as Gregory Bateson said, "there are two prime tasks, to develop people and to develop the environment". We must begin by developing people. If adults can learn and can keep on learning, many of the problems in the modern world can be resolved. I begin by doing what I can to further my own development, by actively seeking ways to de-school myself. Can I rely on you to recognize the need and to begin that work for yourself?
Sadly our track record in helping adults to learn is poor. Thomas Kuhn, in his landmark study on the nature of change in science, "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", concluded that even scientists faced with good evidence find it very hard to change their minds. Unlearning our old indoctrination is a painful thing to do. We tend to die with of outdated bad ideas firmly in place, insisting that change isn't needed. So can we learn? Yes, but it's slow and difficult. It's up to us. Both your personal future and the future of your family and business probably depends on your ability to succeed. Presumably you don't want to die with all your early indoctrination unexamined and firmly in place. Particularly if that's the barrier between where you are now and where you need to get too. Each of us has to unpack that puzzle for ourselves.
Brazil 2006Everything is connected to everything else. The crisis in our society is evident in the failure of our systems, justice, medicine, business and education; all our systems have become disfunctional. There is a deeper crisis, you and I and our faulty thinking. We have the ability to change, but we usually default to the old way of thinking. There are no easy answers except to look at yourself and how you think. You have the ability, but do you have the will to change that for yourself?
|John Renesch is a leading writer and thinker on matters of social transformation. (9 minutes)|
Fortunately there is help. We now understand that learning is a social activity. We learn best from people like ourselves, but who have different training or experiences. With the Internet it's possible to meet such people and to engage with them in conversation and problem solving. Because they don't quite share your indoctrination, you might be surprised at some of the things they say. That might open you up to recognize how your own indoctrination has kept you blind-sided to certain understandings that you need to know. There is a great deal of help in social networks and communities of practice of all descriptions.
Open Future Limited has been developed this site to get you started on a journey. If you have lots of tenacity and ability and time to spare, a few years, begin to keep a journal, join some communities of practice, become engaged in social networks both online and in your local community. Take responsibility for your own real education.
If you lack time or confidence, or if you want a helping hand, look at our services pages. Find a way to engage with us, and we'll find lots of ways to help you along in your journey.