If I had to sum up my frustration with the world, our governments and the way people view them, it might be encapsulated in this story. A choice quotation:
People get so caught up in “the way things are done” that they can’t possibly comprehend any other way of doing things. Therefore, when you show them a child learning faster than his or her peers, the focus is not on how fantastic it is, but on how we’ll be able to keep that child in the same class as other kids their age. Why is it necessary to group kids by age? Because it’s just what we do. When a child is bumped up a grade, why do we do it for all subjects at once, instead of each subject separately? Because it’s just what we do. The educational system was created to teach children; now it exists to perpetuate the current educational system.
People get quite cross when I ask them, “Why do you think that?” after they make a statement that is very much up for debate. I am genuinely curious as to why they believe what they believe. But they often think I am making fun of them, because to them, it should be “obvious” why they believe that X should be the law and Y should be the desired outcome. But questioning assumptions is something we each need to do, always – it’s not a nice to have. As Chris Rhodes writes:
If we ever want our institutions to serve us rather than serve themselves, it’s time to focus on what we had hoped to gain from them in the first place, and to question every assumption that underlies them.