Today's post isn't really legal focused. Today's post is about my transition from having the love of learning, to becoming genuinely indifferent, apathetic and resentful of all things education and educationally related. Ironically, I'll also be talking about the moments people began giving me pieces of paper as an attempt to validate my knowledge, and how this attempt at validation meant nothing. I think a lot of people will be able to relate to the moment when learning became something dumb, and I think most of us will relate to the time we assumed that we were grown, knew everything, and took offense to when others tried to "educate us".
I think every child and adult can remember a time when they were in school, or in public in someway and a question was being raised, and you knew the correct answer, (or felt you did), and you were excited to let everyone know and were passed over and you remember how you felt. I think what is even more memorable is all the times in life when that experience happened, but was compounded negatively by you being called on for things you didn't know...and possibly being reprimanded, ridiculed, embarrassed or otherwise punished for it. Now i don't want to dive into the semantics of race, gender, other preferences, or the conditioning of children by teachers who suffer from unconscious bias/preferences or "group think/group mentality"...that is for therapist, and i'll gladly stay in my lane as an attorney. However, I feel it is my duty to help people break out of certain detrimental habit, so we as a community can begin to feel the love of learning again, be enthused about educating ourselves, and not be hindered in our attempt to break out of the mental prison that we formed as a defense mechanism to help us protect our inner child and our ego.
Ok, so moving on....My next question is when was the last time you felt as confident and excited as you did when you were and child and you knew the answer to the question because you did your homework. Your goal was purely to show your intellect? I'll be honest, for me I haven't felt that way in probably over 20 years or more. You may feel the same.
Over time life beats us down. The educational system, people, racial bias, sexism, greed, money, and a capitalistic system beats that thrill right out of a person. However, I bet you can remember the last time you felt something similar to that thrill. I bet it was likely when you bought that new car, bought that really expensive outfit, bought that nice house, or got that first good "Dream Job". Maybe you felt it when you graduated from school...or some other time. Either way, there was a point when your pride and excitement was diverted from your intellect, and placed into consumerism.
Doesn't that seem strange to you? Do you ever ask yourself why?
For me personally, i'm a black woman. I'm originally from the red state of Missouri. I was raised by a foreign mom and a military dad who lived through Vietnam and the civil rights movement, Jim Crow ect. They loved me, so i figured everyone else should. I always wanted to be a lawyer, which at the time i didn't realize was primarily occupied by people that look the exact opposite of me. I didn't realize growing up that I was an anomaly. I didn't understand that there was a low bar set for me. I didn't pass the paper bag test. I had students, teachers and even other adults who just thought i was strange.
I will be frank....all the above factors turned me into a person who is stubborn, who hates being corrected, and who takes offense and feels shame that someone would dare question me. It also turned me into a person who just pushes through negativity, because for most of my life it feels like it is all I have ever experienced. I'm the type of person who is determined to prove people wrong, it has helped me succeed in my educational pursuits, but it has come at a dire cost to my mental well-being, my self-confidence and ultimately my self-esteem.
Being beaten down by life will turn anyone complicit as long as we are protecting our ego. A capitalistic system thrives in a world where we are desperate to survive, keep a roof over our heads, feed ourselves, and not assert our intelligence on OUR OWN BEHALF. A capitalistic society thrives in a situation where we are offering our best skills, thoughts and ideas to businesses and corporations...but where we refuse to offer the best of ourselves in search of our own pursuits. A capitalistic system actually thrives in letting our genius go to waste to never be realized. A capitalistic school system feeds the idea at every point of our education that once we are done with the educational pursuit whether it be high school, college, or beyond, that we are now intelligent people. However, this conditioning detrimentally also teaches us that we weren't geniuses before we ever stepped foot into a place of learning.
Ok, so now that we know that, where does this leave us?
Think about it, if we are being fed the lie that we aren't intelligent unless validated, we are going through years of negativity and insults, being fed that we are not smart, valued.
WE ARE ALSO INDIRECTLY BEING FED THAT THE ACT OF LEARNING MEANS WE ARE STUPID FOR NOT ALREADY KNOWING WHAT WE ARE BEING EDUCATED ON IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!!
READ THAT AGAIN...I'll WAIT!!!
My purpose in writing this post is to let you know that you are not dumb, and that it is ok to not know everything...no one knows everything. Most people just pretend that they know everything, and they look stupid for not learning and fixing their own ignorance, meanwhile walking around with an empty mind voluntarily. To actually realize that you aren't an expert on everything, and that you don't know something means that you are EXTREMELY INTELLIGENT!!!! To make the effort to seek out information you don't know makes you a genius, and it is my hope that this post helps you meet the person you were who were excited to share your intellect and your gift, refine it and become one of the most powerful people on earth.
I hope this post helped you!