“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”– Epictetus
What if the opposite is true? “Wealth consists not in having few possessions, but in having great wants.”
Martin Luther King Jr said
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.– Martin Luther King Jr 1963 “I Have a Dream.” (The part I can remember.)
…I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”2
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!– Martin Luther King Jr 1963 “I Have a Dream.”
Reading this today, it was surprising how I missed the spiritual tone as a child. In my school, we all had different religions and the teachers were careful at not favoring any over the rest.
We were shown videos of the riots, nice looking people throwing acid to blind other nice looking people…
We were encouraged to adopt Martin Luther King’s ideas of harmony and equality, but devoid of their spiritual basis I’m not sure they stand alone.
I think it’s hard to divide a person into peices.
Martin Luther King Jr was a reverend, son of a reverend, I didn’t realize that, it wasn’t advertised.
I guess I’ve grown more interested in spirituality after having children, you wonder if you will be gone forever after death or be there watching or guiding them from somewhere or simply transform like a butterfly sheds it’s body again and again and someday the extreme transformation occurs. Many laws of physics seem to conclude that energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed, but are “we” energy? Or what are we? Are we individuals at all or is it an illusion that we have “selves” apart from the whole of humanity, or the whole of life, or the whole of the universe?
I just found out fungi/mushrooms eat rock and that is how soil forms, that they connect the entire forest with a landline trees use to talk… that the red of our blood (the iron) comes only from supernova deaths of stars much larger than our own, that we all had a common human mother and father. Much of this information was available for some time, but it’s only being digested and combined in my mind the past year.
Most of my life I was a student and in being a student I was prevented from thinking or learning what I find relevant by mindless busywork being due. Even if I don’t focus on reading or learning the pace I learn for enjoyment, the amount I learn of myself, my self-worth, my life balance, my life quality, the amount of original thought, the amount of problem solving ability I have have all gone up exponentially since I left school and was allowed to explore “divergent” (a problem may have many solutions) rather than “convergent” (a problem only has one possible solution).
I think the rise in depression in children is related to a danger of toxic beliefs built into conventional schools, I think most traditional schools are idea prisons, that verbal and emotional abuse are inherent and also protected by the systems. The grading system where you are belittled for not knowing the answer is perverse and anxiety causing in itself.
I’m not an advocate of unschooling, but I would give it a second place to the kind of public schooling I grew up with.
We all know schools teach misinformation, lies and punish independent thinking, but no one does anything to help, it’s too big of a monster to go up against directly.
But on a small scale we can, we can support the children one by one, let them know that the school is there to offer them skills, but when they are told they are “wrong” because they have different ideas it may or may no be the case. We can’t fix the whole public school system overnight, but we can support each child one by one and offer information to combat misinformation.
It was only recently that I learned poverty is considered mental, rather than financial, that poverty causes an illusion that there are no resources, no cause for hope, no solutions for problems, no reason to dream.
I grew up like that, mentally poor, financially middle class, but very limited in beliefs of an abundant world.
I began teaching Economics, thus learning it a few months ago, it seems criminal that children are not taught economics when it affects their lives so deeply. Scarcity is part of economics, it’s a reality, it refers to the concept that there are unlimited wants and limited resources (great resources are still limited). Abundance is also a truth of nature, each plant gives so many seeds, so much can be produced, limited combinations and amounts in the future (but what is currently on hand is not limited, it’s finite).
So abundance and scarcity are related, interrelated and true, but imaging either is fake shows a deep misunderstanding of economics.
The abundance of the Earth to grow food in every climate is true, but the scarcity of droughts producing less is true, the idea water can be de-desalinated is true, but the scarcity of clean water available to certain regions and people is completely true. Both are true as left and right are true.
To imagine that scarcity is made up by “negative people” is insanity. Popular insanity. But also the idea that there are no options in life is also insanity, one that I think public school breeds by accident – sit down, quietly, wait, don’t do anything, don’t say anything, pay attention to the teacher – don’t think anything other than exactly the way we tell you to, when we tell you to. It’s really soul crushing for creative individuals like me, I hope I’m in the minority, but if I’m not then that explains why the mental health is so poor in my country. What if there was a soul crushing place, that breeds depression and anxiety, and we legally required all children to go there, if that was true we would have a massive amount of depression and anxiety.
Depression and anxiety have increased over time“
Ever having been diagnosed with either anxiety or depression” among children aged 6–17 years increased from 5.4% in 2003 to 8% in 2007 and to 8.4% in 2011–2012.4
Mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders begin in early childhood
1 in 6 U.S. children aged 2–8 years (17.4%) had a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder.5Article
What if depression and anxiety are valid signs that people hate their lives and their lives are unhealthy for them overall? What if there isn’t anything wrong with kids other than constant emotion abuse inherent in the system, which many kids hate, but some can’t cope with at all? What if our shitty schools are killing our kids, crushing the souls of others and diminishing the potential of the ones that handle it best?
Big claims, with not much evidence, but if it was true the result would look a lot like the reality that does exist.
Anyways, in school it felt like there was point to the day, to those years, if you had to write a paper, it had to be unoriginal, meaning you needed to cite other people’s thoughts, therefore you couldn’t write anything original, mostly the topics were controlled, you were given two choices of unoriginal content, you didn’t believe in or want to do, then you had to read books to support those other people’s onions. Rather than enjoying your day or finding a topic that felt relevant to you.
It was horrible for me, most adults that I know who can remember it, remember hating it (not all), but we all kind of expect the kids to have a positive attitude about it.
If 1 in 6 U.S. children aged 2–8 years (17.4%) had a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder, if they are “cracked eggs” then who cracked them? Maybe school, maybe parents, maybe both, but who guarded them was surely no one.
The even distribution seems to me like an indication of life gone wrong more than a particular problem of a specific mental health abnormality like schizophrenia.
Why are so many kids crazy? Sub-optimal families and or sub-optimal schools.
If your life sucks, perhaps depression is rational, perhaps these kids have phones and money, but if no one really gives a damn about your well being doesn’t life still suck?
If you don’t know you are safe, or know you are not safe, doesn’t anxiety make sense?
If you are always told to be someone you aren’t and be happy in a life you hate perhaps you are angry, defiant, isn’t that ration then?
Are these mental health problems just life balance problems? What does life balance consist of for kids? School and family, maybe church and friends, maybe sports and hobbies, but pretty much always school and family.
Are our schools and families broken profoundly, I think so. But everything can be improved, all life is constantly improving.
One thing that would help is encouraging divergent thinking, and that’s free.
One thing everyone can do is start adopting and modding divergent thinking, it’s contagious (in a good way), kindness is as well, one kindness often lasts a life time to the recipient.
I think it’s a lack of free thinking and kindness killing these children slowly, those are free things, but perhaps they need to be taught in action rather than lecture and who knows when that will happen.
But it does seem like (from Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech) that many good changes take place, however slowly, and we are overall better people now (in regards to tolerance) than we were, but tolerance will never be harmony. Grudging acceptance isn’t team work, there is still room from growth, but like Hitler, I believe change most strongly begins in the minds of the youth and like Hubert Humphrey I believe “The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”
I’m trying to allow myself “great wants” again, as I did as a child, dreams of changing the world for the better, doing something that matters to me, being a good enough person, fighting for good, and in doing so, I wondered where and how did I stop being a dreamer, and upon discovering my truth, I found it was easier and less mysterious to find the answer than I thought it would be, I hope my kind of mind, so easily crushed by public school is the vast minority, but I fear that it isn’t, and I hope more creative schools can be made to house the students that need it, whether that is 2%, 20% or 100% of the students. It would cost us a lot in admitting we are wrong and not too much in changing, for in my opinion, we don’t need to buy much, but we need to throw out much of what we already possess.