July 6, 2018 at 11:40 am #88709
I’ve recently come into a situation where I am with a group of people, most of which are “homeless”, which is a word I despise as it lumps together people of widely varying circumstances into a stereotypical “group” of only those who are drug addicts and loudly mentally ill. Some are, most are not.
I have found that most are very poorly educated and have basically no direction or goals to achieve.
Basically, these are people who have never been taught what it means to be a citizen of the United States. They do not know their rights. Tragic. They do not know their responsibilities. Horrifying.
Most have made mistakes in their past and present. But with their lack of education, plus being homeless, they really have little chance of obtaining a survivable wage job and with a lot of luck, a lousy, poorly paid job. This creates little incentive to work hard, since they do not have enough education to even imagine their true possibilities in life.
Here where I am at, the nightstick of Law Enforcement is the very nasty club of trespassing charges. They use it very heavily, which then produces a criminal record with multiple charges of trespassing. Which, of course, then rules out forever any real chance of getting a good job or being able to end their homelessness by renting due a bad criminal record.
Flat out, there are no activities available here for anyone to usefully fill an empty day of just wandering around desperately trying to find something useful to do. You can guess the rest.
OK, this sets the stage for what I am about to talk about.
I see a frantic need to start teaching not just these people, but all of the people who simply just have not been taught the basics of citizenship, how and why our country was fought for and founded, plus why our constitution was written the way it was.
I studied Biochemistry (my major was in Physics, then Chemistry and finally Biochemistry when it started being an actual major halfway through) at the University of Texas at Austin. I screwed up by too much partying and failed to graduate when I didn’t have enough money to pay the last two classes necessary.
I then ended up doing residential construction, which quickly induced me to open my own business first with new houses, but quickly changed to remodelling, which was far more challenging and satisfying.
So I see the problem fairly simple. In both chemistry and construction, a foundation is 100% necessary in order to accomplish anything else.
Our population is lacking that basic foundation from which to build themselves upward.
Although the task seems, at first glance, a rather difficult thing to accomplish, it is not.
All of the writings at the time around the founding of our country involve very educated and well thought out ideas in a slightly archaic English. This would seem to be too big of a task to teach, but it is not. People like to use the ugly phrase “dumbing it down”. But that is a misguided idea. The overall picture can be brought out into a broader perspective that contains all of the feelings, passions and ideals using current English. As the student finds understanding this bigger picture, inspiration comes to continue studying and the realization that other topics can also be understood, which can lead to greater studies in whatever the student can now seen as something that can be accomplished also.
Thus, a true citizen is developed and the missing hope of reaching much higher can be started.
What better way to try to save our country and show what the Oath Keepers are swearing to uphold?July 21, 2018 at 7:15 pm #89247
Reach, Teach & Inspire! Two weeks ago I found myself outside the NYU Book store mentoring students and employees about adjunct professor Sam Lavigne who was responsible for releasing ICE agents personal information to AntiFa.
Two years ago I spent some 40 minutes mentoring two AntiFa members at the Boston Commons.
In both cases I found good, but misinformed, people who were willing to listen to my calm logical arguments. I’d like to think I made a difference in their lives. So go for it!
MattOctober 13, 2018 at 11:41 pm #91224
Some people are where they are due to cognitive dissonance and wont change when you give them information. With them, it is best to leave them with questions they must research themselves, so they feel they discovered the information, and this changes their cognitive dissonance.
Some people just need to have new peers, who are a step above them in life. people naturally wish to be at a minimum, equal to those they surround themselves with and will work to educate and lift themselves up to that level.
Some people never improve, you can help them and open doors and they will never walk through the doors, never improve their situation and are a waste of time.
Yes, we live in a country that allows you to go from living a negative life with past mistakes, do a complete 180, and be able to make a positive contribution to society, but this has to be a personal desire.
Make sure you know what type you are dealing with and how to help them, so you dont waste valuable energy on those who will never change or improve. Having the will to improve is the difference between success and stagnationOctober 18, 2018 at 7:38 pm #91357
Thanks for the reply. I did not know what cognitive dissonance was. The little bit I looked up explains lots of things people do beyond just education. I would have replied sooner, but my laptop was in my storage room temporarily.
I have been studying the people around me in various places and settings before really making any effort “towards” them. Right now I am educating myself so that I might have something and some way to teach. You are right on the money about how many people are not and will not be willing to even listen, much less learn something. Honestly, I still haven’t been able to come up with a good answer in how to “find, locate, select, recruit, entice, offer, etc.” the people who can and are motivated to learn. I’m don’t even know if there is a target group to hit. In other words, is there a set of people I can reach who will be useful with what they learn (if they learn) and will have some people that might carry on the effort.
I do see value in being able to use the Internet to spread info. I rent a server and own several domain names. Having a server means being able to do all kinds of things. Websites, email, etc.
I had already decided before this to use the domain I own capuchado.com for doing writing and teaching. I need a different career now that I’m older. I left Washington state to go back to Texas, but I had appointments with some specialists up here. I found out that I will need to replace my right hip. The surgery is scheduled for December 3rd. Since my medical coverage here in Washington is far superior to Texas, I’ll be staying here for a good while. Trying right now to find a place to move to that will work out with recovering from surgery.
I want to talk more about all of this.October 19, 2018 at 5:23 am #91368
Agreed, many people suffer from cognitive dissonance (Conflicting Thoughts) and what I call, ‘Willful Ignorance’, i.e. With knowledge comes responsibility, so I don’t want to know. Their opinions are based in feelings not reason or logic. Feelings are easy; logic and reasonable thought require work! As a result people who feel truths are not able to hold an in depth civil conversation on a hot button topics. When presented with a reasonable and logical counter argument they resort to defensive feelings. In a way, I believe this culture war is, in many ways, between people who use applied logic/reason and those who use applied feelings. It takes a secure person with an active inquisitive mind to work through an end to end, possibly multi-threaded, process to find truth based on logic and reasonable thought. This process can be dangerous to ones perceptions, feelings and motives. Finding a truth can be time consuming, painful, and may involve admitting that one may have been wrong. It’s easy to feel good, it’s hard to do good!October 19, 2018 at 1:27 pm #91378
Yes, the emotional side of things can really get in the way. Of course, it can also pave the way too.
I’m really not sure how many people share with me what I have regularly done throughout my life. Every so often I take some topic that I know I’m right about, and then throw out the window even the possibility that I’m right and re-examine it as best as I can without resorting to my previous assumptions. More often than not, I find I was wrong and reset myself to thinking what I have decided is actually correct. If my change was really correct or not is anybody’s guess, but I do it and it is emotionally tough. I also find it satisfying to expand my world view and at least think I see things more clearly for what they are. I also find myself dissatisfied with just sitting around doing nothing. Too many people are happy not doing anything useful. “It’s easy to feel good, it’s hard to do good!”. The flip side is that many people have so many problems assaulting them at once that they find themselves a bit lost in what to do about anything. But, not everything has actual time limits. If you can read 10 pages a day from a book, you can read a 400 page book in 40 days. Which may be the best way to learn something new and difficult to deal with. Slowly. Let it slowly percolate in. Argue with yourself about each side.
But human beings (necessarily) need to be motivated also by “what do I get out of learning about this”. We’ve really got our society totally twisted and warped about both the ways of getting things and services we need or want; and what methods do we have the rights to use to get those things. For a good example, I’ll present my own medical situation.
What I need:
I’m stuck in the nasty Obamacare crap. I don’t want to be living in Washington state. The environment has gone. Every summer everything from California to British Columbia is on fire. All of the plants here in Western Washington are sick. They live, they survive, but they just feel ill when I look at them. There are very good people here. But the bad people here basically overwhelm the work of the good people. The bad people here are particularly evil and proud of it. I’m a Texan. I want to live in Texas, get healthcare in Texas and enjoy all of the things I love about Texas. Nevertheless, if I want to live and not be a cripple in terrible pain, I have to live here in Washington. OK, I’m getting some of what I need by sacrificing being able to go back home to live. That’s not OK. I shouldn’t have to abandon my home just to move to another state in the USA just to get healthcare.
How it’s paid for:
Not by me. Since I first came up here, I have had one “disaster” after another. I’ve had to move to about 6 different locations. I’ll just mention my thrilling arrival. Rented a room before I flew up here. Thought I’d have a month to orient myself. Wrong. She was severely mentally ill and asked me to leave after 2 1/2 weeks. I was thrilled to leave. Horrible start.
So, obviously, I’ve not been able to work, which means I am not paying for insurance out of my wages. So that means all of YOU are paying my insurance. That’s not OK in anyone’s eyes. I don’t want entitlements. I want to pay my own way. This sucks! Sorry everybody was “forced” to pay for this. Thank you for paying. You might have even shown me charity if I had been living in a system where I could “ask you for help”, but you didn’t have any opportunity to even decide.
Here is a perfect example of an extremely polarizing, emotional, ethical, political topic that is important. It’s a problem in search of a solution. It must be solved. People are dying, suffering. They have rotten teeth. Yes this is medical. Rotting teeth emit poisons from the bacteria that kill you.
Is it ethical to force you to pay for my care? I don’t think so.
Is it ethical to ask you to pay for my care. Asking is ethical. You have the right to say no.
But then there is the tougher one. What is ethical to do about care of those who truly are incapable of caring for themselves? The overwhelming mentally ill. The truly disabled (not the leeches we have all over the country). My mother and many people I have met lately were severely mentally ill and did depend on charity/insurance. Insurance does not want to provide full care for the mentally ill. You can get care for neurological problems. Disturbing, if you have a problem in your brain that causes seizures, no problem. If you have a different problem in your brain, you’re screwed, since you’re classed as mentally ill.
Tough topic to even discuss. Worse, it’s really tied into the big picture. So just talking about healthcare alone won’t lead to any actual problem solving. Our country has gone the wrong way. It’s time to back out of the mess and go the right way or at least a different wrong way. Societies also learn by making mistakes. We did a pretty big one.
When I mention the big picture, I really mean the whole big mess.
I also want to talk about things like minimum wages. They sound, in general, like a good idea. They aren’t. I’ll bring that one up later. Having had my own small business really gives me some insight into the right way to fix this. Some new laws about independent contractors really being employees is heading even more in the wrong direction.
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