Renault’s excellent book The Persian Boy shows the difficulty of learning, and of teaching. Both would probably be easier if our society understood what it takes to teach a person a useful and neccesary skill from start to finish. Hence my proposal for a modern universal
Adult Rite of Passage. What we need our children to prove, upon recognition of adulthood, is not their prowess in battle or the hunt, not their virility, not their adeptness at social maneuvering, but their ability to contribute meaningfully to society by teaching another member of the community, from level 0, how to do something that is both difficult and absolutely neccessary in our society today. By requiring our children to teach some other person, child or adult, a needed life skill, over the course of about a year, this pre-adult shows persistence, perseverence, discernment, and of course, the key skill in question. A useful side effect of this is also that it would effectively increase (dramatically) the number of available tutors, and also lead to every adult in our society coming away with an understanding of the challenges involved in teaching anyone anything non-trivial. Thus we provide an esteem building excercise and respect building accomplishment all in one go. We then reward that accomplishment with full adult status, whatever the age of the pre-adult in question. This obviously assumes that the pre-adult has had opportunity to prove his or her good judgement in other ways as well, prior to seeking said recognition. This might help as one step of a series of steps implemented by and through local communities which could lead to more long-term thinking in society at large, given a critical mass and good faith in the ability of human kind to rise above our instincts, and learn to cooperate. In other words (from Lenier in Bablylon 5): to be better than we are.
Community Cooperation Shira,
Gregorian Date: Saturday, August 30, 2014
MEOW Date : Wednesday, August 29, 12014 H.E. (Holocene Era, aka Human Era)
(ShiraD.livejournal.com Subject was: “Generating more respect for teachers requires cultural change” … )