"Izzy, grow, learn, don't fight, be a good girl, play nice."All the while, your backyard is stockpiled with machinery and she sees daddy training for how to kill others, in the name of her growth and defense.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Educating Izzy and the children in Afghanistan: Books and Bombs Analogy
The following thoughts were born in writing to my brother in law, Chris, on the Borgmann Family blog. I am interested in how our US tax dollars are allocated, in what I perceive as a culture of fear, and a government who works from this deficit model. I'm tired of the fear. I want to see leaders that work from a transformed place of consciousness. The information on our military spending, vs. dollars on education is staggering. This link to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities provided by my cousin Jennie is very informative: http://www.cbpp.org/info.html.
Presently, the Bush Administration is spending:
$70 billion in education vs. $480 billion in defense.
Based on this, the ratio of guns/ bombs/ tanks we are buying for our children is 6.857 - almost 7 to every 1 book/ or educational/ creative toy we purchase for their growth/ development. 7 Bombs for every 1 book. This is how we spend our tax dollars.
How do you all like that message?
Another way to really weigh this information, Chris, is as Izzy's father:
You are roughly purchasing 7 guns or tanks or bombs for your daughter, to every 1 book.
You are saying,
What is the strongest teacher here? Your words to "play nice and read a book and grow and be smart"? Or her daddy's example of buying things that do the opposite of playing nice and kill the neighbors that don't agree with her? Or who are angry because they are hungry, or have a lot lot less.
The Bush Administration did not start this trend. We did, as American people. And we perpetuate it through our fear. We have the power to change it, to change how we invest in people here, beginning with our children here, and modeling this for all abroad.
Wise governance, wise leadership, revolutionary and inspiring LEADERSHIP would do well to challenge this investment in weaponry, this allocation of resources, and truly look at the root causes of violence and terror in this world. Terror comes when humanity is not honored, hunger is rampant, basic needs are not met, and it seems violence may be the only solution.
The terrorists of 9/11 were not oil wealthy/ hoarding middle easterners living in Iraq. They were starving young men, whose poor families saw a way to put food in their bellies - by sending them to madrassas -- where they received an education steeped in gross indoctrination and also: fear and hatred of the United States. (What inspired Osama Bin Laden? Who is that man? Who are we?)
You want to combat terror? Educate. Lead. Feed. Inspire. Yes. Start by leading, and putting dollars to educate your own people. rather than building more bombs and arming more people in defense. This is called teaching by example, honoring strengths, gifts, not cowering to the lowest denominator of fear and weaknesses.
Izzy is at the center of this, just as the child in the hills in Afghanistan who wants some bread and a book to read, or a classroom to sit in and a teacher to teach him or her critically, not just memorize more hate speech and warring action.
Izzy can benefit from seeing rich examples of love and critical inquiry and compassion, right? So can those children in Afghanistan -- and around the globe.