We are #StrongerTogether: Let's Start With A Dynamic Revolution in Education
“We are duty bound to carry the torch of liberty in our time, to defend it from modern attack and to preserve it for our children and for their children.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
It is few and far between the finding of a trained intellect steeped in the valuing of fairness and righteousness onto others with measures of altruism, impartiality, and also enjoys an understanding and appreciation of the historicity of past civilizations and singular intellectual accomplishments. John Adams was this man and he tempered, admonished, shaped, and brought gravity to the critical thinking process of that congress of intellectuals long ago. Realizing he was surrounded by not simply intellectuals, but also politicians jockeying for preeminence, Adams spoke for the simplest of colonists, bringing a sober mind and heart that called God the Bishop of his soul, and the rule of law— the precepts on which the new country would flourish.
The training of intellect is a civil practice for the common good of all, yet it appears it is all too often relegated as impractical idealism in the always, immediate need of an American economy. However much labor may be afforded to the importance of keeping the immediate economics of a local, national, and even global community afloat, if it were not for fifty six impractical idealist individuals who went without pay in forming that first Continental Congress government in 1774, we would continue to be British America. No motley of unruly mob ever achieved a critical thinking thought process necessary to establish a country based on justice and equal liberty for all.
Trained, critical thinking minds are all so necessary in every age for the rigor of forming and guarding a government based on justice and equal liberty for all. These become defenders of liberty as sentinels of justice, fueled with love and understanding for the American founding ideas that bind us all. The parents of Thurgood Marshall understood this— and their son went to the U.S. Supreme Court as a lawyer, entrenching his resolve to challenge the reigning interpretation of justice and equal liberty for all, and he was successful twenty nine of his thirty two visits there.
Martin Luther King’s parents trained him up within the love of a church congregation, a CONGRESS of God’s people, strengthening his boldness to start and never stop his voiced and his march of justice and equal liberty for Americans of black skin color. The non-violence of Mohandas Ghandi, another lawyer, further ingrained his determination to style his non-violent, civil challenge in the continual invoking of Jesus’s example—loving one’s enemy, but not their evil deeds, choosing to endure suffering rather than take on the mantle of revenge. He won the admiration of Americans, and eventually, President John Kennedy.
Frederick Douglass, was a trained intellect in his own right, and the first man of any skin color to shake America to its core. He wasted no time once he understood that it was reading, writing, and speaking that would be his most formidable tools in practicing liberty. He was adamant to shape a new world through the immediacy of his work of justice. On train, horse, ship, and foot he spoke to hundreds of thousands of Americans and English citizens in his lifetime, earning the admiration and heart of countless citizens and ultimately, President Abraham Lincoln.
Being just, John Adams would not suffer the pressure to acquiesce to an incited colonial mob in 1770 and sided with the rule of law, successfully defending unpopular British soldiers, and expressing that the way forward would not be through riotous example, but in the work of justice for all. He won the admiration of the King of England, and was also invited to be in the Continental Congress. The establishment of civility in our interactions with each other and the idea of justice as the highest ideal in the formation of a new country trumped the legacy of the riot as a means of civil disobedience.
It remains to say, the training of intellects is the duty of parents and Educators, and of this we have not done our duty as we should; we have not regarded or have been ourselves trained to understand the dire importance of raising up brave, critical thinking sentinels of justice and liberty. We do not have legions of ordinary Americans adept at being watchful and ready to use the power of the word in bringing down the ploys of those who would seek to curtail our liberties with new visions that prop against our simple founding idea that we are all created equal. Our liberties are always being challenged by unprincipled characters who have no qualms about manipulating our system of government. Instead of being these balanced American citizens, we are trained to think only of getting a job, of joining the economy, and of settling down. Our ‘sentinels’ end up being people who have news shows supported by very political corporate networks on television.
Of such importance is the call to action upon ordinary Americans that even from within our very government, our present U.S. Supreme Court Justice has sounded that alarm on “…the growing social and political apathy toward the principles of liberty on which are country is founded.” Being lulled into a comfortable peace will not serve our nation’s founding ideas for our way of life, or honor those who have given their lives to wash clean and refreshen this spirit of liberty. Justice Thomas continues and lays a monumental charge at a crucial point in the matter of liberty, our 4th Amendment liberties:
“This is particularly true as providing security appears to be displacing the protection of liberty as the government's purpose.”
As benign as our government may be, knowledge and its application is power; and shall we always be blessed with having moral and just sentinels of liberty in our government who uphold the rule of justice as written in our Constitution? or may there be times when powerful entities may act in their own regard, and according to their own political inclinations to stay in power?
A trained intellectual pool of American citizens require the ability to labor both in the safeguarding of their own individual economy and in the regard of being active, advocating Americans.
How do we make that happen?
What role do parents and Educators perform in this function?
Wherein does the local, state, and national government play
in this application of safeguarding liberty?
Why does it need to be an immediate work of necessity?
Parents and Educators have to favor a desire in children to care for the community, the environment, and an an appreciation of how our government works. There needs to be a realistic underpinning of political science perspective that begins to take root in grade school. It takes time and energy to care about one’s community. It takes time and energy to think critically about the issues that beset our nation and world. It takes time, energy, grit and training to form a response, an initiative, or a financially self-sustained organization that addresses an issue or matter of consequence to the citizen.
Learning of people who have made a difference in the life of our community, nation, and world is already part of the school curriculum, social studies is a part of this, but the focus of culling together; of extrapolating the learning onto a clear final, cohesive goal is not understood as an end product by teachers or parents. What kind of response should be brought forth? What have others done before as ordinary citizens? As children grow up, their idea and expectation of what life can be is being formed on a daily basis. Seeing the goal line is important. The student has to realize that they have options to be leaders, and creators of their own adventures. School curriculum can prioritize the shaping of Americans in a manner that allows them to creatively begin their own destinies, rather only than wait for an employment application to be responded on. Do both!
Our country of families and individuals needs more people who care to leave their comfort zone and make a difference in the life of others. A musician can start a community venture that also allows them to earn a living, and an electrical engineer can become a teacher in their own workshop to high school and college-age young adults. An actress or a singer can begin an open-air civic organization in a town of need, and a lawyer can begin a community class wherein youth are educated on the process of how the law is used to defend the liberties of people.
This is just the beginning. What is important is that the school curriculum and the parents support the idea that the goal is not simply to grow up, get job, and settle down, but to retain one’s liberty and mind to go forth into the community, to speak up on issues, to write and share intellect, and maintain the necessary independence required as a critical thinking citizenry to be sentinels of good.
We must meet the culture of apathy with unrelenting empathy. Our American spirit for good is not, nor should ever be blind patriotism for our flag, but an informed sentiment that each of us feel we can take ownership of. This is your land and it is my land. Increasing the number of ordinary Americans who ‘do for their country’ is not an exercise in patriotism, or any ’ism’ for that matter, but an exercise in the caring for others, in the caring for bringing not just our hearts, but our minds forward also, that the works of those first fifty six delegates of 1774-76 be not in vain, nor be a finished work that we can rest from, because our freedoms are not free, and justice in America is a continual work that is best when the labor thereof is distributed amongst all of us, as duty-bound citizens caring for our way of life.