It feels like adults are allowed—and will be further allowed—to do anything, regardless of whether or not it hurts the environment, diversity, the poor, or others who are not making the most money.
The President wants to deregulate. Deregulation is, I’m sure, a good thing in some areas and for some reasons. I’m sure some level of deregulation of some things would do more good than either short term or long term harm.
But, I’m sure deregulating everything for big business and energy and pharmaceutical companies for the sole reason to get those businesses more money is wrong. Of course it is under the guise of increasing employment and improving communities that have few jobs.
Give adults all the freedom to permanently harm the environment and impoverish diversity so long as it’s done under the shroud of attractive sound bites like “bringing your jobs back.”
Is it not a time when people can move, when people can find jobs where today’s jobs are? Do people really have the right, are they given some unearthly right, to do one thing and one thing only even when it doesn’t need to be done, or it can no longer be done, or it is simply harmful—and now we know?
Then there’s the grade school my kids attend. Now, I know kids need rules, sometimes lots of rules to mitigate unfavorable behaviors or the uncontrollable-child-energy.
But some of the rules my kids experience are as ridiculous as the lack of rules I’m starting to see in our government…I mean big business…I mean…wait…they’re the same thing now, right?
Anyway, one of my kids is not allowed to write comic strips in his personal journal during free time, which is awarded for finishing required work. Why? Why can’t my kid write a comic strip? Does writing comic strips in personal journals tear at the fabric of something? Morals? I don’t know.
He is also not allowed to tell his friends to “shut up” when they annoy him.
Now, I know it isn’t good to say “shut up.” But, come on. If someone is being rude or annoying to you and you are trying to focus on something you believe is important, is it really that bad to tell that person to “shut the fuck up?”
Is this a new utopian standard I’m unaware of?
Obviously adults don’t need to abide by the never say “shut up” rule.
Or how about a couple rules outside the classroom like, “You cannot sit right next to another student at lunch. You must sit one seat apart.” Why? Is this common?
Is it wrong to be close friends or enjoy a private conversation at lunch? Do kids smell worse than they did when I was young? Would sitting to close make some kids feel left out, and therefore it is unfair?
Or how about this one, “You are not allowed to run on the playground.” What!? Or this, “You are not allowed to run on the pavement when it is damp.” What are these people afraid of?
Are the playgrounds and play areas at our schools live and active Pokémon-like beings whose only purpose is to attack and fight?
Are they afraid someone might scrap a knee or learn how to move their body under a variety of conditions? Does this have something to do with diversity?
We can’t live with a child crying for 30 seconds because of a scrapped knee, or getting too chummy, or writing something clever with pictures, but we can live with permanently damaging our environment or continuing to ignore things like women’s equality and black lives?
The little world I live in feels and looks mixed up right now. What we hold our adults to is becoming drastically different from what we hold our kids to. It seems like two extremes drifting farther and farther apart.
This makes me think metaphysically. It makes me think that in our current little world the distance between adult and child is increasing.
The values we want to instill in the child are allowed to be erased more and more the older you get. That’s what it feels like to me.
And for me, it’s a sign of a time that will scare creative folks. It’s a sign that, right now, our little world is stifling curiosity. It feels like we have so many rules in school, and even at home, that only serve to ease the work or worry of parents and teachers, and that these rules prevent a child from experiencing a child’s hardships and dealing with a child’s problems.
It feels like the willingness to screw the environment and ignore diversity allows us to ignore creative and, yes, beautiful solutions to problems that I’m pretty sure need creativity and compassion.
I hope people remember to be creative and inspiring and tolerant. I hope people remember that children should be encouraged to explore, make mistakes, and learn how to fall. I hope people remember that we still live in a world that is a natural environment that makes it possible for us to live, and that environment can flourish or die depending on how we treat it.
I hope we keep a closer eye on big business and come down hard on them when they make a mistake and comfort our children when they make mistakes but don’t know why. Rules can be great. Rules can be awful. Please, let’s try and think more carefully about the rules we make and the rules we remove.
Maybe it will help if we think about whether or not a rule allows for creativity, freedom, and compassion.
— By Keith Wain