Friday, January 2, 2009

Life’s ultimate lesson

"Give a child a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a child to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

As a former fishing guide for almost 30 years and a teacher for over 10 years, I feel qualified to elaborate about children, teaching, and fishing. A quiet morning of fishing with junior and the subsequent fish fry bury skeletons deeper in our stomachs than one's subconscious might imagine.

Feeding impressionable children fish, or any meat, only teaches these unsuspecting and trusting minds that animals are inconsequential and ours to use in any way. Adopting an apathetic attitude toward animal life only opens the door to an inconsequential attitude toward human life. Of course we try to teach children that human life is more precious than animal life; but still, they grow up as disrespectful, self-serving adults who pick and choose what and who to respect as they wish.

Teaching carries a great responsibility and should inspire, motivate, and teach children how to decipher falsehoods. Schools and teachers promote murder and participate in major societal lies. Our children are indoctrinated into a violent society just as we were.

Murderous fishermen know a child’s eating and killing habits are cemented in their youth, just as they grew up fishing with Dad. Who else knows about the connections between children, murder, and the future? The meat and dairy industries and their commercial advertisers know very well. Hitler knew the importance of youth. Children really are our future. McDonald’s and Burger King know how important children are to their company’s long-term survival.

For many years, I would buy my students McDonalds and people said I was a nice man for doing so. Big problems arose when I bought fruits and vegetables for my students. I was told I can’t bring in food for the children. I was treated as an evil person.

Absurd to think when I was teaching art, I would often assign art projects incorporating fishing. I remember even doing a barbeque steak art project. I always incorporated my experiences/interests in my art projects. No one ever complained, quite the opposite in fact as I received much praise for my creative projects. Tenure is meaningless when a teacher swims against the current with ideas that can cripple lunch sales and develop a sense of mistrust of the school, ultimately leading to change. My job was threatened when I incorporated kindness, compassion, trustworthiness, respect, and responsibility in my lessons. I was warned to stop, but didn’t. I was fired.

Some things are more important than money - like honesty and teaching children life’s ultimate lesson.

“Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar” Bradley Millar

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