Sports – competing, winning, losing, betting, taking sides. Winners and Losers.
Has our discourse become sport? Is a tweet a pitch across the mound? Have our opinions become serves we lob out to score against someone? Do we share information to ‘win’ an appearance of being smart or good or better? Do we gossip to elevate ourselves above those idiots who lose points with us by doing/being/looking off side? Of course we do!
We score with our righteousness we earned by reading some news story or listening to some juicy tidbit. We have banners and mascots and images and fashion and colors for our side. We gather our sound bites as wins and once a point has been scored you can’t unwin it. That would be unfair! Unfair to the game we are playing.
Well life isn’t a game. It’s a dynamic biological interaction that our consciousness rides on. But we can make it a game. By choice. We all need air and water and food and community. All that other stuff, opinions and religious beliefs and political alignments can be changed. But we often hang onto ideas as if they are air, fight for a point like it’s food. Can we keep our love of sport in the world of sport and deepen our discourse and listening? I don’t know.
The following is an excerpt from my podcast #5;
Time for a horror story. Nothing has shaken me to the bone more that what I am about to tell you. You are about to hear a super sad tale of horror and woe.
A friend of mine teaches grade six science and math in a public school. Every year she teaches a three week block about fractions. She has them learn very hands on, a looking, touching, practical approach that leads into the abstractions of the number system. She has never had a child fail the test in her fifteen years of teaching. This year, all went as planned, lovely involved kids, enjoying the learning, except that not one student passed the test and the same thing was happening to these children in their other classes. It was a mystery, a sad horrible mystery.
And I wondered what could possibly have happened to these children that was not apparent during instruction, why not one of these active, participating students could pass a sit down test.
And then it hit me.
Now, I hope I’m wrong but – could it be that these children are the first generation of children to reach grade six who were raised with both themselves and their parents spending large amounts of time on cell phones, decives and computers. Because with deep sadness I can explain how that could be the cause.
A child learns through modeling. Not runway modeling, modeling means that their developing selves require them to have another more mature biological entity spending time with them, performing mature brain operations, to give their brain a template of how to branch out.
Now you know what the experience is of having ‘devices’ how they can own you. How we become like dogs in a park full of smells. We most certainly live in blocks of distraction. Distraction is a state of being that is expressing how our neurons are firing…and they fire according to how we are using them.
I know you know this state of unsettled distraction.
And here is something else you know. You know what the feeling is to have an idea, it’s a physical sensation. and you know what it feels like to ‘hold an idea’, yeah? This ‘holding of an idea’ is essential to abstract learning. It’s being able to grasp a concept with our inner world and hold it there, to build it, nurture it, come back to it, question it, wonder at it.
Children can learn by mimicing in the early years but the power of learning through mimicing fades and the being is designed to grow into the glory and joy that is holding and interacting with abstract ideas.
So what if, as a child, this modeling of this essential ability ‘to hold an idea’ was not nurtured at the right time due to parents and children being disrupted on devices.
Watching screens is not holding an idea within yourself. You know that because you know what the physical experience is of having a place inside yourself where concptual ideas live and you know what it’s like to be on screens.
Can you even imagine what life would be like without this ability to have an inner container for an idea. Scan yourself and imagine that there are no containers for lovely ideas and concepts just the ability to hop from bit to bit of information. That’s horror.
Thinkings purpose is to be used to think on an idea. Thinking longs to be in service of an idea. Using thinking to bung up your random thoughts is stressful because thoughts are meant to come and go, to inform us and fade away like the scent of a flower.
Thinking is for ideas, not creating anxiety and panic launched off false premises.
One of the great joys of being human is to be at play with an idea, a concept, to share and discuss ideas with others, to have and develop your own ideas. It’s brain sex, it feels that good. It can feel better than gossip.
And of these children? The brain can find a work around. Meditation can certainly help them, adults conciously modeling how to hold an idea can help them, limiting screen time will help , and art can help – playing and expressing themselves in music, painting, gardening, crafts, dance, theatre, poetry – art is essential food, today more than ever.