Thoughtful Thursdays: learning, teaching, and adulthood?

Winning glory on today’s battlefield: The Modern Mind

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 necessary 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 necessary 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, perseverance, 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 exercise 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.

Action Items:

1.)   Think of how you, personally, showed that you were an adult: did you go through any sort of ritual, rite of passage, or testing period?  How did you feel about that process?

2.)  Do you know of others who went through rites of passage, and how did that seem, to you?  Did you get to see the process from the other person’s point of view?

3.)  What do you know of any currently used rites of passage (Bar/Bat Mitzvah, the cutting of the T-Shirt for soloing student pilots, etc)?

4.)  What do you think the above suggested Modern Adult Rite of Passage would accomplish for our society, and why? 

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four key parts of our #PublicDomainInfrastructure:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare , and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !

In Service to Human Community,

September, 12020 HE

2 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursdays: learning, teaching, and adulthood?

  1. Do Better, on Wondering Wednesdays, deals with this issue in chapters 3 and 8, on Phase II, now called the Service Cooperation Challenge, rather than the Adulthood Challenge, and Adults are now called Service Cooperators, in this project.

    The abuse issue was the reason for having Communities vet each candidate before allowing them to start The Challenge. Also, the person being taught is both a volunteer, who can withdraw at any time, and also being supported by the community, which should also be closely monitoring the candidate’s teaching and behavior, as I specifically noted in chapter 8, but more needs to be said earlier on about this, probably.


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