This post continues the rough draft of Chapter 1 of my non-fiction WiP, Baby Acres. This is the next outline section, chapter 1, section II B.
I just realized that this section definitely went over 250 words, but this is the key part of this stage, and maybe also the key to the entire Vision, project, quest, thing (thanks, Perigrine Took!).
And yet again, by way of disclaimer, the overall goal is now to explain why we need both equ. + justice, & why in 4 phases. This chapter will transition to a chapter (2-5) for each phase, showing what Phases I-IV could look like as part of a possible roadmap for a fully inclusive society for all of us. This vision is laid out in the hope that All HumanKind will eventually have each person’s basic needs met, without taking anything from anyone, and without violence, intimidation, nor coercion of any kind.
Chapter One, section II B:
Phase II with respect to the entire project:
(section II A was last week…)
IIB rough draft:
The Goals for Phase II, facilitating a cultural change designed to encourage allowing each person to contribute fully, include guidelines for for Pre-Adulthood, Adults, and a new Rite of Passage to bridge the two:
1. This stage, as the heart of the overall vision, aims to build a Community of Continuous Learners. Such a community could help facilitate freer worship and respectful non-worship for all of us.
Part of the pre-Adulthood criteria:
2. Each person, as a Pre-Adult, must learn to swim,or at least float, or to find water, if living near the desert,
3. Each Pre-Adult must learn self-defense (emotional/psychological self-defense, financial and legal self-defense, and physical, self-defense), preferablyin a Gandhian context, to the greatest extent possible for that person,
4. Map and compass-based navigation, and thus reading, writing, and mathematics up to trigonometry, should be taught, in spite of GPS, so that each person is at least familiar with them.
A New Rite of Passage
We need a new rite of passage in which every teenager must voluntarily teach someone, from start to finish, a usable and important skill. It must be a skill which the person has to use in the real world, such as moving from the alphabet to reading chapter books, or from counting numbers up to multiplication tables, or from writing a sentence to writing an essay, or from no English to conversational or passable workplace English in the United States.
This needs to be a project which requires a serious investment of time (preferably meeting for at least two or three hours each weekday) for at least one year. That way the young person can look back with pride on a serious accomplishment and justifiably claim his or her status as an adult. The additional benefit is that every Adult would “grok” the difficulty of teaching.
Along the way, several problems in our modern society can be solved at the same time:
-The increasing lack of self-discipline, civility and respect for learning among the young.
-The shortage of teachers combined with the budgetary shortfalls in most states would be somewhat mitigated by adding the numbers of teenage students needing to finish their “Adulthood Project” to the number of classroom aides and volunteers.
-The need for challenges and self-testing during the adolescent stage of life which is left unfulfilled by modern society´s unsatisfyingly arbirary definition of adulthood.
I would propose that implementing such an idea should begin with involving the local community by having the adolescent (or if still in his/her 20´s, the “pre-adult”) bring a person to meet with the community to show the starting point of the teaching process. After the learning objective has been attained, the pre-adult and the learner would return to meet again with the community to assess the effectiveness of teaching and to award the pre-adult his or her status as an Adult, with the full rights and responsibilities expected of an adult, including such cultural norms as civility, courtesy, and even graciousness.
In this way we may move from a society where rudeness is the norm to one in which graciousness is valued. For example, a friend tells of an incident where a lady´s dog snarled at her, and the lady apologized, which was the civil thing to do, and then even offered to call a cab for her, which was the gracious thing to do. A society in which graciousness is valued will be both a more compassionate society and a more creative one. It is this new way of assuring and certifying Adult status that has the potential to drive real and sustainable cultural change. More concrete steps toward getting there will be laid out in chapter 8.
— (Next section: Chapter 1, II C …)
I’m continuing to work on wording, obviously, and some ideas for phases III and IV are still not quite fixed in my mind, so the final version will likely look pretty different from this Rough Draft, and will need updating once I get to the very end.
And once again, yeayyy( !!)with regard to audience, I may have at least a couple of comps: Walden Two meets The War on Poverty: A Civilian Perspective (by Dr.s Jean and Edgar Cahn, 1964). I know that lots of people consider Skinner’s writing to be stilted, but I like the tilt of most reviewers, in that the idea is that a community should keep trying policies that members agree upon until they find what works for all of them.
As for genre, I’m still wondering: Non-fiction, System Change, Causes, maybe even Inspirational, but I doubt it.
Last week’s installment of this series…
1.) Consider some ideas you may have on how having a modern secular Adult Rite of Passage could help our society move forward in 45 to 60 years,
2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please, and
3.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those sources and your thoughts.
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Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil
our year 2020 CE = 12020 HE
Stayed on Freedom’s Call
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includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.
Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.
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