Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Children's Education: Short-Sightedness of Parents

I am constantly amazed by the short-sightedness of most people. I have many acquaintances who obsess daily about their children's educations: 

1. Which nursery school is the best?
2. Private school versus Public schools.
3. Which College Board prep courses are most effective?
4. How to maximize grades and extracurricular activities to give their children an edge to get into that college, that grade school, ad infinitium.

Then the same cycle will start with their grand children.

But these people think that this world is frozen in time, that future will be a replica of the present.

If continue to chop down our forests and destroy oxygen sources, what will these children breathe in twenty or thirty years? If we poison our water system and food cycles, what will they eat? If we blindly continue to overproduce fluorocarbons and other organic wastes and blow holes in the ozone layer, will they be able to live outdoors? If we overheat this planet by some greenhouse effect and ocean rise and we flood our coasts and overstress oceanic and continental fault lines, where will they live? And the children and grandchildren in China and Africa and Australia and everywhere else are just as vulnerable because they are all inescapably residents of this planet. And consider this. If and when you reincarnate, you will be one of these children. 

So how can we worry so much about SAT tests and colleges when there may not be a world here for our progeny?

Why is everybody so obsessed with living longer? Why squeeze a few more unhappy years out of the geriatric end? Why the preoccupation with cholesterol levels, bran diets, lipid counts, aerobic exercise, and so on?

Doesn't it make more sense to live joyously now, to make everyday full, to love and be loved, rather than worry so much about your physical health in an unknown future? What if there is no future? What if there is no future? What if death is a release into bliss?
I am not saying to neglect your body, that it is all right to smoke or to drink excessively or to do abuse substances or to be grossly obese. These conditions cause pain, grief, and disability. Just don't worry so much about the future. Find your bliss today.

The irony is that, given this attitude and living happily in the present, you will live longer anyway.

Our bodies and our souls are like cars and their drivers, not the car. Always remember that you are the driver, not the car. Don’t identify with the vehicle. The emphasis these days on prolonging the duration of our lives, on living to one hundred years of age or more, is madness. It’s like keeping your old Ford going past 200,000 miles, past 300,000. The body of the car is rusting out, the transmission has been rebuilt five times, things are falling off the engine, and yet you refuse to turn it in. Meanwhile there is a brand new BMW waiting for you right around the corner. All you have to do is gently step out of the old Ford and slide into the beautiful BMW. The driver, the soul, never changes. Only the car.
And, by the way, I think there might be a Ferrari down the road for you.

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