Thursday, 4 February 2010

Blogging, Cycling and The art of Experiencing Life

It seems that the number of people Blogging is decreasing. The reason for this decrease it seems it that percentages, a growing percentage, of students prefer to use social networking sites to leave short messages. Reading it seems is not fun. This is at a time when the number of young people continuing in full time education is growing rapidly. This little piece of information came at a time when I was noticing the number of people appearing on television quiz shows claiming to be students could not answer simple everyday questions. One yesterday asked about the name of the Russian President responsible for the breakdown of the Iron Curtain given his first name answered Lenin. Probably the only Russian leader the person knew.

This is not a new phenomenon. I was aware while teaching that the number of families never watching news broadcasts was increasing. The head of the school I worked in at an open day revealed that she never bothered with news or newspapers she preferred to start her day listening to an inane morning television show. I find this worrying because it goes hand in hand with a large decrease in the number of people using their democratic right to put their cross on a paper. The reason given when asked is, “All politicians are the same it does not make a difference.” Well it is an argument, but not a valid one for letting the country be run by the so called morons. I suppose when they then go on to cheat on the finances for their own benefit we deserve what we don’t vote for.

It seems if it is not fun now it has no value. When I was part of education I watched it year on year being dumbed down to ensure more students left with a certificate. The learning process has to be made “fun”. The number of times students would say to me, “Mr T. your no wanting us to write today are you, writing isnae fun Mr. T”.

What concerns me deeply is the knowledge that the things in life that have given me the greatest sense of joy and achievement was not always fun along the way until we arrived. Think of a painting. The preparing of the canvas for me is never fun. There are always times during the creative process I want to throw a stomp. The cleaning up at the end is far from fun. All of this pales though when you see the finished work., and all the emotions that come when somebody wants to own it and give it space in their life. A friend was telling me of her learning to ride her first bicycle made up from bits from a scrap yard. I can see her learning to ride it; I am willing to bet there were times when that were not fun either. But once she had a sense of balance it led to a feeling of freedom she had never experienced before.

No, not all reading is fun. Not all learning is fun. But if we do not have the less fun times how can we ever fully experience real wonder? In fact in this day and age of instant everything when fun is the goal it seems to be there is less joy around than ever.

It was written in the 6th century BC, To know yet to think that one does not know is best; Not to know and think that one knows will lead to difficulty. It is by being alive to difficulty that one can avoid it.

Can I say at that this blog never ever sets out to upset or offend but to open up routes for discussion. Ralph

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