The transformation of learning into education paralyses man’s poetic ability, his power to endow the world with his personal meaning. Man will wither away just as much if he is deprived of nature, of his own work, or of his deep need to learn what he wants and not what others have planned that he should learn. (“Tools for conviviality”, Ivan Illich)
Category Archives: Community
I live in Australia. Today, the 21st of May 2013, I am sitting in bed typing this blog entry on an iPad which I reluctantly purchased for my job (at my employer’s expense mind you!), and which is made in China. I am surrounded by furniture, clothes, books, electronics and perishables that are all made in China or Bengladesh.
No, this is not one of these I-wonder-what-life-would-be-like-without-X type of blog entry. T’is no fantasy, no mere chimeric musing, but a protest, a revolt, a mutiny!
A typical response to my controversial challenges of ubiquitous elements of our modern lives is that we need these things to keep up with an ever-changing world. I would like to challenge this notion by offering another:
By keeping up with the world in this way, aren’t we contributing to what the world is becoming? We send our kids to school to prepare them for a world that is massively influenced by schooling itself. We buy the latest technological gadget to remain at the forefront of the consumerism that our purchases have unwittingly promoted.
So when people look at what I do and say “wow that’s a bit extreme, isn’t it?”, I like to reflect on what it means to be “extreme” in a world in which the once extreme is increasingly common, and the once common is increasingly extreme!
In other words, I’m trying to be mindful of the ways in which my lifestyle choices influence the world in which my children will grow up. If they are to change the world into something better, they need to be exposed to ideas and experiences that are foreign to what the world currently accepts as conventional wisdom.