A variety of experiences and knowledge are combining in my world to help me understand and define my personal truth. And it relates to our socialization and education to create positive impact on humanity.
Books – The following have helped create this understanding of how to create a positive impact on education and humanity:
- How We Decide, by Jonah Lehr: The explanation of how the brain naturally works, and the stories of personality changes as they relate to areas of the brain being affected by disease helps me understand the physical control of the brain in the way people think and behave.
- All of the books by Malcolm Gladwell: give great insight into social behavior and influence. Especially the book Outliers which analyzes successful people and how they achieved that success.
- Don’t Shoot ….., by David M. Kennedy: A documentary style book of the very effective programs ending violent crime in the inner cities. The story demonstrates how both “good” and “bad” people want the same thing – no violent crime and how the social behavior is significantly influenced by the group expectations.
- The Neighborhood Project, by David Sloan Wilson: I will update when I finish the book, but it suggests ideas on how to improve the social welfare of impoverished neighborhoods.
- Studies of middle-class and working-class families which show the group of learned characteristics that factor into a person’s level of success, such as those in the book Unequal Childhoods by Annette Lareau.
- Biographies of our Founding Fathers: At the start of the United States, many scholars and experts were self taught by reading and experimenting. Using science to understand cause and effect, action and reaction, they developed theories on farming, the weather, electricity, etc. It’s inspiring to read how Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and others developed knowledge about the world and society around them without a governing mandate of public policies.
Examples – I love the concept to “Lead by Example”. There are groups developing and testing ideas for improved education and humanity.
- Mission Hill School in Boston: Is implementing a revolutionary teaching concept which will result in students who are independent, interested and personally responsible for their education, and empathetic towards others. Sounds like an unrealistic ideal right? You should watch the video in the link to the Humane Connection blog.
Ideas – As Zoe Weil recently said, we all have great ideas for improvement, we just need more people acting on them.
- I relate to a lot of what Zoe Weil says/writes in her work for Humane Education.
Personal Experience – I grew up in a lower-middle class family in the SF-bay area suburbs, went to a CA state university for my bachelor’s degree, interned with different companies every summer, then started working for a well respected company in the Boston area. When I came to work, I “had a good education”, but knew very little. Working beside a group who is so extremely conscientious of their actions and behaviors, and intentional of their impact on work and the world, I learned more in the first few years at work compared to the 17 years (12+5) at school. How can that be? What was I doing, why did I waste so much time?
I think we learn from the group around us, trying to match up with the average knowledge of the group. The standard of expectation is elevated, and the resources/support will also be elevated.
All Together they tell us that we can improve our society, and we’re learning just how to do that. The most effective methods are implemented into the culture in the way we treat children.
What ideas do you have for your neighborhood?