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silence photo

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

I trust that the thrust of this article will resonate with the readers of the Asian-based alternative media outlet which I write exclusively for these days. Building “a strong and robust public school system” along the lines delineated in Satvinderpal Kaur’s recent posting has much in common with the efforts I’m engaged in throughout the multiplicitous/duplicitous realm of U.S. education

I’ve finally hit pay dirt with a divine vice principal of two middle schools in northern California, and I intend to make optimal use of his welcoming telephone chat yesterday. Without scaring him away because of my unbridled enthusiasm respecting meeting the challenges of our collective crises. In fact, I’m writing this piece, in part, to provide an attractive presentation spotlighting select issues… with the hope that our bonding will proceed expeditiously. So that we can address issues of mutual concern post haste, wasting no time carving out new inroads sorely needed in schools. We have collective deadlines not being acknowledged.

I had been conducting educational outreach in and around Sacramento for awhile to get my foot in the door somewhere in the area, when– last week — an older gentleman associated with one of the local churches in Lodi, California finally contacted me; none of the religious groups, non-profit organizations or municipal workers I targeted had. He, apparently, serves the incarcerated in some capacity in nearby Stockton. His ministry includes hospital care, hospice work… and something else I can’t remember at the moment, but which I look forward to learning about once I’m fully relocated to his realm at the end of this month. I look forward to blending my work at the local schools with civic engagement all across the spectrum.

I say “all across the spectrum.” Why? Because — without any doubt whatsoever — I can see how educational institutions all across the U.S. — on all levels — are dropping the ball when it comes to calling a spade a spade. Meaning, they are NOT addressing the most vital issues of our time in a sufficiently meaningful way. Not in any way that can be considered — by any standards — truly proactive. And that goes for the vast majority of both public and private schools. Their positive aspects deserving grand praise notwithstanding.

This is a function, to a great degree, of educators simply not knowing or not wanting to know (the former known as ignorance, the latter as stupidity) what is coming down the pike, what is spiking the increase in suicide, ecocide and all else. It is also a function, in part, of well-meaning, highly educated and deeply experienced folks actually believing — truly having embraced — the delusion that academies, schools, institutions, colleges and universities — whatever — can isolate themselves from deep engagement with our collective crises, the major issues of our time. They can not.

But… to be more specific… everything that’s happening (and isn’t happening, but should be in gear) in and outside of the formal centers of traditional learning in the U.S. is a function too of the overwhelming desire to not rock the boat. To not threaten one’s personal position. The inclination to play it safe on all scores… above all other considerations being embraced without embarrassment.

And that leads to silence. Like what we witness among the general public in The Emperor’s New Clothes, a so-called children’s book.

In Genetics, to silence is to interfere with the expression of (a gene or gene segment) so that its biological function is suppressed.

The mess we’re in begs — if we are to honor Life — for the Grand Silence to be suppressed.

Richard Martin Oxman can be reached loud and clear at aptosnews@gmail.com. He’d LOVE to hear from you, for you can engage with him from any distance to make this a better world.

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