I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Teaching Our Kids

Registration for Saturday’s road race was done inside an elementary school as it has been now for the past 5 years.

While I was setting up the room I took a look at the kids work displayed on the walls. I always enjoy looking at their art, pictures and reading their stories.

I read the one closest to me, then I read another and then another growing more curious as I read more. The theme was the same for all the writings as it always is. The kids apparently had been asked to write in first person one column as citizens of United States and one as citizens of Afghanistan.

I live in a rich country.
I have games, I have TV and a computer.
My school has technology
I have plenty of clothes and
We have a lot of food at home.

Then the second column,

I live in Afghanistan
We are poor
I play with dirt and sticks
I don’t have computers
We don’t have food
And I wear hand me downs from other people

Okaaaaaay, that might be true but what is the lesson taught? And what is the good in whatever these kids are learning from that exercise?

Comparing groups based on what one has is ethnocentric and leads to vanity and feelings of superiority. That is what we should be moving away from.

There might be value in the lesson taught, maybe there is sympathy being conveyed, I hope there is something salvageable in the method used. I see a comparison and comparisons seldom yield equality.