I want to make it clear that these utopian frameworks and structures do not negate or destroy what currently exists as our world. In creating these utopian frameworks I am not turning my back on humanity or what humanity represents. I am not dictating that all of humanity must conform to these utopian frameworks. These frameworks do not deny or limit what is from continuing on its current course. In fact, I need what exists and what existed to develop these utopian frameworks. I view what currently exists and what existed as the parents to these small utopian upstarts. The greatest gift these parents can bequeath to their children through love is their knowledge and altruistic support. The parents, if they truly love their children, want them to reach greater heights and fulfillment than they themselves achieved. Humanity has much to offer their children or utopian frameworks. Humanity has fought so many battles, reached great heights and also plummeted to great depths, and continues to fight with all of its existence to push forward. And, as other people have pointed out in comments on previous posts, how do we know that this current human construct isn’t absolutely perfect or exactly as it should be? Perhaps what exists is complete, natural, as it was meant to be. As such, I am not destroying what is, I am merely offering a small skip and alternative path that can be possible because of what was and what is.
The greatest gift humanity has to offer these utopian frameworks are history and knowledge. History and knowledge encompasses all – art, history, philosophy, religion, architecture, music, language, economics, science, technology, engineering, and the list goes on and on. I am so grateful for all that humankind has endured and recorded in the form of knowledge and this is the greatest gift we have to offer our children. So many utopian frameworks attempt to deny what is and what was. I on the other hand, fully embrace these things and in fact define these things as the ultimate gift, right up there with the earth, the rain, and the sun. I thank you noble humankind for your ultimate treasure, and I kneel before you in gratitude.
Now, just as you find that altruistic strain to help the poor, the weak, and the suffering, I also ask you in a similar vein to employ that altruism to support the potential of a strong, healthy, and vibrant upstart culture. I am asking you to play the role of parent, where the children are given all without expecting money or a return on investment. Indeed, in time, they will be in a position to become self-sufficient and fly from the nest, but in the beginning, these upstart frameworks are going to need your support on all fronts that involve creating, building, nurturing, and maintaining a small town full of infants and youthful beings. The key assumption is that money is not part of this construct and the return on investment cannot be measured in terms of financial theories. All that I ask is that this support come from the most talented and worthy individuals society has to offer, with particular focus on the teachers. For the teachers would be the most admired, respected, and noblest of professions in these upstart frameworks.
My key principal for Generation Skip, which is the first generation to occupy these upstarts, is that Education is continuous from birth to death. Education is the primary goal for Generation Skip. In order for this goal to be achieved, money and profit cannot be a part of these utopian frameworks. There must also not be an expectation or defined point where one is pressured to go from learning to doing. These beings must be given total freedom to absorb, explore, and contemplate the gift of knowledge that we lay generously before their feet — the books, technology, and art that will fill their schools and libraries. In fact, I wouldn’t impose a time restriction on any one of the following generations in these utopian frameworks where they are required to transition from knowledge absorption, contemplation, and thought formation to action until they have reached a point where they believe they ‘re in a position to begin acting. For they have much to absorb and contemplate. It may take several generations to come to terms with what is and what was before they can formulate an intelligent response. Not only must they absorb what was, what is, but they also must absorb what their previous generation recorded as thoughts about both. In fact, one could argue that Education is in fact action. Now we must attempt to describe Education in a very broad sense, for I have already mentioned in the previous post that I do not in fact have answers to the questions posed there.
I envision an educational construct that not only begins at birth and continues up until death, but also one that is extremely broad and open. Broad incorporates not only a varied curriculum (philosophy, world religions, art, music, math, languages, literature, engineering, economics, astronomy, anthropology, chemistry, et cetera), but also practical and hard work. Open incorporates not only the education methods where the students constantly learn to ask why am I learning this right now, but it also includes outside excursions, travel, and exposure to real life learning. I do not envision this generation to be locked up in a temple reading dusty old books isolated from all that exists in the outside world; rather, I envision book reading supplemented with a traveling classroom throughout the world that observes firsthand history, science, art, religion, people, culture, language, nature, and current events. Education will become life, breathing, exhaling, smelling, touching, seeing, hearing, observing, absorbing, and then ample time to contemplate and compose thoughts in leisure, pleasure, beauty and solitude.
Education will also incorporate physical work and activities. They will participate in collecting and disposing of garbage, cleaning dishes, working on farms and ranches, constructing or maintaining buildings, plumbing – they will learn and know how to use their hands as well as their minds. There is no such thing as child labor laws in these utopian frameworks. These children and young adults will learn to work to maintain and create the society in exchange for living and learning in that society. Not only will they learn by doing, but they will also gain an understanding of how things work. Each one of these beings will be fully capable of surviving on their own if needed but will also develop a sense of how much more can be created when they work in groups or as a whole. One man can build a house over a certain period of time, but a group of men working together can get the job done in less time to enable additional time to be allocated to other individual or group pursuits. In practical pursuits, man does not become specialized and focused in one field to serve man; rather, broadly trained men and women tackle practical matters together to free eachother to pursue higher levels of education and or leisure.
Given this broad and open education, it is clear that these beings will not be confined to prison like structures for eight hours and then returned home with a back pack full of homework which is tossed aside in favor of the TV or X-box and a bag of chips. These beings will go to some sort of freeing and spiritually uplifting structure for instruction but only for the number of hours that these beings can fully concentrate and absorb what is being taught. After those instruction hours are complete, they then go about their practical and physical education within the community. Of course there would be ample time for playing, sports, martial arts, or what have you, but these things would be balanced with other community needs and responsibilities. The pace of life does not run to a time clock or rigid structures loaded with stress and deadlines; rather, the pace is relaxed, productive, and self-willed. The time clock is the sun rise and the sun set, the incoming and outgoing tides, the position of the earth relative to the sun. Beings learn how to take the time to communicate and interact with one another, how to savor a moment, how to work and learn together and as individuals for a slow and steady progression forward. People know one another. People know what makes each one of them who they are. People recognize each other’s faces and observe behaviors and deeds which define who each individual is within the community. People smile and say hello or frown and ignore and mean it. There isn’t anywhere for a free loader to hide.
The family unit doesn’t consist of three or four beings in a house isolated to pursue their direction behind closed doors with lightly tied relations with neighbors or friends. The family unit is expanded to in fact include the community. As mentioned before, the father and mother are really considered guests in this utopian framework at the upstart. They serve their roles and contribute like all the other outsiders, but they don’t serve as the primary influence on these young supple beings. They aren’t taking them to church on Sunday, or to the temple, or to the mosque, or influencing them to pursue practical and safe careers, or mocking their imaginative or misfit notions. They are present, they are there, to give love and support to promote these young beings pursue their open and broad education.
The next post will discuss the types of questions these educated beings will confront including their potential impact or involvement with the outside world and other upstart utopian frameworks.