PREFACE TO HISTORY
Seemingly all too soon our little children grow up to young adulthood, and before you know it they’re bravely marching off to war.
Perhaps, in fairness and decency, before children are taught history, and the horrors of war, it would be wise to protect their minds, and feelings, firstly by explaining that those past war years are an unfortunate aftermath of what are called the Dark Ages.
Also they should know that there are many decent and peaceful people in the world who are working to see an end of conflict and the horrors of war. Otherwise, what with ongoing war raging in so many parts of the world, plus most of our movies and games focused in violence and crime, children grow up anticipating war as inevitable.
Children’s feelings are no less vulnerable than the feelings of soldiers in the battle-fields. The difference is that while soldiers suffer emotional conflict when ordered to commit atrocities at the front line of battle, survivors return home with PTSD, while their younger counterparts at school can only imagine what the soldiers have experienced.
Reading about crime and violence does not have quite the same impact as first-hand experience, especially if one is at the receiving-end of bodily assault. Nobody who has received or given assault on the front line is ever the same again; they become hardened, or worse, emotionally-wounded, which has now come to be medically recognised as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In the meantime – and times are getting meaner by the day if we go by what the news-media say – 30% of the younger generation will be enlisted in the armed forces or the police force. It should therefore be considered a duty-of-care, on all those involved with education, to adequately prepare our children for what they may be faced in coming year, during the interim-period we’re in before the world is restored to sanity.
Healthy ageing and energy-efficiency go hand-in-hand. Un-healthy ageing and fuel-poverty are virtually synonymous since one feeds off the other, whereas as natural ageing keeps physical body-heat levels balanced despite climate variations and temperature extremes. The blood-stream of the human body is designed to maintain a balanced internal temperature in all seasons.
However, unhealthy ageing will impact our internal balance if the emotional realm is compromised by depression.
Inability to deal with stress is, understandably, a major cause of depression. Since stress levels can increase, and become more severe in older people than in youngsters, there is a greater need for stress-management in later life.
This brings us back to safe-guarding the emotional realm against depression; for if the emotional realm is compromised by depression, the endocrine system fails to respond correctly, and the adrenals simply don’t excrete enough necessary adrenaline to compensate for external variations of temperature.
With very little training, and increased understanding of how the body best functions in stressful conditions, part of the elder’s daily regime should include a few moments of meditation on caring for their well-being and health. It’s not enough to simply increase medications, and turn up the thermostat, if you’re feeling cold and lonely; especially lonely, because at times, one’s own company can be one’s best friend.
When that realisation dawns, one is well on-the-way to being over one of the greatest, and most fearful expectations about ageing; i.e. the fear of senility and dementia, implied by those wretched triangular road-signs, depicting an elderly couple hunched over and leaning on canes, displayed at road-crossings.
Those signs are perhaps the worst wrongful imagination of those who designed them, and the brain-washing they cause, to youngsters in every generation, conditions our children to expect failure and decay in later years, instead of our inherent potential of maturing in grace and stature.
Another compromising factor that causes a delay in emotional maturing, is that in later years people have a right to be grumpy, and even rude, and that because of their seniority the younger generation must accept their mood-swings and treat them with respect. Most children treat their elders with respect anyway, despite their idiosyncrasies, but how much more pleasant it would be for all concerned if elders, and youngster, learned to control their emotions instead of allowing their ill-feelings to dictate their behaviour.
Unfortunately, that aspect of growing up is not covered within the curriculum of our educational system, and is therefore, along with some basic truths about our anatomy, and what the glands of our endocrine system are for, is something that would usefully be included in general education. However, if it wasn’t covered, it’s never too late to introduce a short refresher-course in the interests of sustainable living now, within the aims of this new program.
Over the course of the last four centuries, the Western World has created a set of “unshakable” principles concerning the natural world: that nature is just another machine, that animals don’t feel and do not have souls, that plants and animals aren’t sentient. Descartes, writing in the 1600s during the early rise of mechanization, was one of the first to make this claim. He posited that animals are mechanical automata, that is, they are beings without souls, feelings, or pain. These same ideas were not limited to non-human life; we see the same kind of thinking being applied to justify slavery, genocide, colonialization, and a list of other atrocities. When we combine this kind of thinking with the economic ideas of “growth at all costs” and “efficiency”, we end up in the dystopian fiction we find ourselves living in right now. I want to take some time…
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