Ignorance is Destructive

A ten-year-old made this startling observation:

“I think many people are not happy — including my parents and my teachers. The only person who is happy around me is my little brother.”

And I said, “You’re probably right.”

If a child is unhappy you say: “What's wrong?” But if an adult is really happy, you say: “Why are you happy?”

The truth is, we are born with happiness. We are intrinsically happy creatures but we become unhappy because our egos create desire. Our omnivorous set of desires pull us out of the moment, says something is missing, and we chase that. Then we wonder why we're unhappy. And then we try to drown that sense of loss out through various escapes (drugs, drinking, sex, partying).

In many Confucianist societies, truth is often a liability when your interest is social stability and harmony. Thus, people living in such societies are being molded into believing rites, traditions, and ideologies. This reminds me a story about a boy being forced into the military, brainwashed into believing that dying for your country is the noblest thing to do.

When a student asks, “What do I need to do in order to be successful?”

A typical rusty teacher would say: “To be successful you need to get good grades and go to a good school.”

But the teacher forgot to disclose a few simple facts:

  1. What you’re learning will probably be irrelevant in the future.
  2. When it’s time for you to seek a living, you’ll most likely get flushed out by other peers with decades more experience than you.
  3. The A students work for the B students, and the C students run the companies.

True teachers do not tell their students to “imagine something 10 years from now.” Genuine teachers would tell their students to work on something NOW. You tell kids that a famous college degree is worth something, but what if something happens between now and then? What do you tell the kids when the world completely changes before they even graduate? Would you be willing to tell them: “You’ve been longing and dreaming for something that doesn’t exist?”

We tell ourselves to be in the present moment, but are we, really, in the present moment?

If you scroll down your moments timeline, chances are you’ll come across someone else’s kid reading stories online and they’ll post captions like “To alter your future, change your decisions today” and “Life is not about finding yourself, but creating yourself.” So my question is: what are you doing today to alter your future and create yourself? Because it seems to me that people are duplicating the same old things. In other words, there is no change at all.

You see, I think people don’t love their families; they don’t love their children. If they did love them with their hearts and not with their petty little brains, then they’d have a different kind of education. They wouldn’t offer them what they’re offering now. Children watch their parents and say how hypocritical you are. Is the routine of going to the office day after day what you’re offering to your children? All the unhappiness, immoral society, politics, violence, corruption — is what you’re offering to us? Any intelligent student watching all this would say, “I won’t touch it!”