Living Beyond Your Life Today

Living Beyond Your Life Today

It’s the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.
It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance.
It’s the one who won’t be taken who cannot seem to give
and the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.
– Lyrics in The Rose, Bette Midler artist, Amanda McBroom composer

As often as my heart has been touched by Bette Midler’s singing of The Rose, and today when I heard composer and American chanteuse Amanda McBroom sing it, I have thought that I must write something about fear dominating people’s lives. But I didn’t write. I was afraid that what I wrote would not be as perfect as the song. Note the irony.

Realization of my own fear and how it has affected my reluctance to write about fear became my motivation to write this.

Fear is much more than an emotion, more than an enhancement of the instinctive caution native to each of us. Fear instructs our lives. It dominates the lives of many of us. It shapes us as individuals, as communities and as nations.

Along with everyone else I have watched business and investment leaders charged, convicted and imprisoned for lying out of fear. True, they embezzled millions of dollars from shareholders and investors. But why? They were afraid to tell the truth, that they had failed. They delayed admitting their failure by lying, which ultimately resulted in their incarceration.

Along with everyone else I watched the American public being hoodwinked by their president so he could finish what his father failed to do, and line the pockets of his benefactors with gold in the process, by taking his country into a second (simultaneous) war, this one in Iraq. The USA will be lucky to avoid the fate of its former rival, the former USSR, that went bankrupt and dissolved into chaos in the 1990s. Why would Americans allow themselves to be lied to, to go into an unwarranted and extraordinarily costly war? They had been taught to be afraid that a dictator who could barely hold onto power in his own country had international connections that would wreak havoc on US soil.

Americans believed they should be afraid, though they had no evidence other than the lies of their president. Fear is on the curriculum in every US school, those it is given various other names.

Having moved to the Miramichi area of New Brunswick, Canada, in 2008, I saw how apparently comfortable my new neighbours were toward the possibilities of losing their jobs and having to start over. In my native Toronto, some people would commit suicide or turn to addictive behaviour–at the least start toking marijuana–at the prospect of losing their job. Not because they knew they couldn’t start over but because of the fear of public recognition of their job loss as a personal failure. Miramichiers expect to lose their jobs at some points in their lives and they accept no stigma about it–and offer none against others–whereas people of Ontario fear the public disgrace.

The fear of losing their reputations as well as their jobs causes many people greater fear than the prospect of finding another job. That fear affects their lives, how they conduct themselves every day of their lives. Collectively, the fear of many people impacts whole communities and countries.

People become afraid to speak to each other on elevators or when passing on the street, likely because they fear ending up on the front pages of newspapers as victims of murder, mugging or rape. They fear letting their children out of their sight because they might be charged with neglect, that fear resulting in children who never grow out of their dependence on mommy or a mommy figure in adulthood.

In every case, fear is unwarranted. In every case, fear is taught by those who have something to gain and learned by those who will provide that gain. Fear is a way for a few to control the behaviour and lives of many others. How many Germans in the 1930s and 1940s followed Hitler, becoming murderers and traitors in the process, because they were afraid of Hitler’s power? How many wars have been fought–virtually every war has some association with religion–because the people of one side were made to fear people of the other?

The cosmetics–and to a large extent the pharmaceutical–industry exists solely because of the fear they have created in people, in individuals, that they are not perfect. The OTC (over the counter) supplement industry is booming because people fear becoming ill and disabled as they get older. Some will overdose and harm themselves in the process of trying to protect themselves.

Returning to Amanda McBroom’s lyrics, “it’s the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.” How many people fail to find love in their lives, or mess it up if they do, because they fear a relationship breaking up? Media reports of marital breakup rates are ceaseless, while education systems never address the problem that people don’t know how to have successful relationships. People who avoid falling in love because they fear breaking up miss an important point about life. Falling in love and breaking up is part of how a person becomes complete, how a person learns to do it better next time. Taking chances is instinctive, while avoiding them is done out of fear of failure. It’s fear that’s not natural.

“It’s the one who won’t be taken who cannot seem to give.” By not trusting others out of fear that they will fail us or steal from us we become closed up emotionally. We become the kind of people that others don’t want to trust. People don’t want to trust others who don’t trust. Trusting another person with our emotions may be risky, but not trusting anyone with our emotions but ourselves generates much greater risk of poor mental, emotional and even physical health (suppression of the immune system).

“The soul afraid of dying…never learns to live.” The person who fears death becomes afraid of life. Everyone accepts that death is part of life: birth, death and taxes (thanks to G.B. Shaw). However, many fear death because they have no idea what to expect afterwards. They have rejected the obviously fictitious guesses of traditional religions about the hereafter, but have nothing to replace them with.

If you plan to go on a hike into a wilderness area or national park where you haven’t been before, you go prepared. You take a compass or GPS, some form of shelter, you scout topographic and place maps, you take more food and water than you expect to use. You know where you are going, even though you haven’t been there before. Then why not do that with the afterlife: prepare.

Are you afraid of dying and as a consequence you don’t know how to live? Living well is your whole purpose for being here. If you are afraid of dying, you become selfish, as all fearful people become. They think of themselves because they tend to fear what others may introduce into their lives. That’s the complete opposite of what living is about.

Every animal and plant we know has the instinct for survival. We humans have it too. But if we depend on our survival instinct to give us direction for our lives, we live a life no different from that of any other animal or plant. Certainly no greater. And we can expect what happens on our death to be similar to what we expect happens to grass and oak trees, gerbils and frogs when they die.

If you want to live, you must not fear death. Death is simply the end of one phase of your existence before you move on. Prepare yourself for your death by living your life to help others. That is the only way you can be different from any other animal or plant. Only people help their own kind, more than simply to avoid starvation.

You have nothing to fear about death unless you allow yourself to be deceived by those who just don’t “get it.” People who believe that only what may be detected and manoeuvred by the senses really exists have put themselves into a box at which they are the centre. They may lead peaceful and self-fulfilling lives, but they do little to help others because they can’t see outside their box. They are, in effect, intelligent ants with only two legs.

Nothing in nature suggests that life ends with death. In nature, every atom that ever existed still exists today, unless it has been transformed into energy, which is simply another state of existence. Conservation of Energy and Matter is the rule of nature. Why should it not be the rule for life as well.

However, you must live your life outside the box. You must be more than other animals and plants or you can expect only to be reformulated as one of them at death. You must create a persona for yourself that is distinctive from that of any other person, while seeking to work with others for the greater benefit of our kind. Nature conserves what exists, so create yourself into something worth saving on the death of your cellular body.

You should not expect your aches and pains and earthly troubles to pass with you into a future life. Why would you want them? Yet how you deal with them while you are here will determine what kind of persona you create for yourself.

Don’t be afraid. Every other animal and plant on earth is guarded about its safety, about its existence in the future. They expect the end of their lives to be the ends of who or what they are.

You don’t have to be afraid. Fear requires too much selfishness, too much energy and too much life-time.

Live your life as if you want to continue with the next phase of your existence after you die and you will have created something worth conserving after you die. According to everything we know about nature and the “real world” we know now, what you create will continue after your body quits.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for teachers and parents who want to teach their children how to live life without fear, but with powerful and effective guidance about how they should live their lives.
Learn more at

http://billallin.com

Why You Are Here

Why You Are Here

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.
– Woodrow Wilson, 28th US President (1856-1924)

Many people in Western countries, usually in their quiet moments alone, wonder what the purpose of life is, why we are here. So we are told, just about everyone wonders this.

This is not true in most parts of the world where they know–or believe they know–why we humans are on earth. Does it matter whether they really know the purpose of life or whether they have simply come to believe in what they have been told. Either way, they have no need to ask the question. For them, the question of purpose of life does not exist. They learn what life is about within their families, their school systems and their communities as they grow up.

Why, then, does the question exist so predominantly in Western countries?

It’s not that westerners care more than non-westerners. Nor that they are not as bright.

People in Western countries totally surround themselves–often of their own volition–with the belief that they exist to be consumers, to buy products made by industries. We are taught that happiness can be bought if we have enough cash.

If this sounds coarse, crass, unbelievable, look around you if you live in a Western country. Schools teach children to get a good education so they can get a good job, so they can earn money to buy stuff they will be persuaded they can’t live without. Television bombards viewers with commercials touting their need for all kinds of products, some of which are unhealthy, harmful, damaging to the environment, or simply don’t work as advertised.

Religions claim their members can buy their way into the afterlife by donating to their place of worship today and belonging to the congregation. True, religions don’t make their claim that way, in those words. They use comforting words, attractive words, seducing words. As television commercials do. How comfortable could you be as a member of a religious congregation if everyone knew that you contributed nothing to the coffers? It’s pay up and you’re good.

In Western countries people argue and debate whether God exists, which religion God favours over others, whether God favours their side of the current war or not. All the while they wonder why they exist, what the purpose of life is.

Could the purpose of life be to follow, to buy, to believe what we are told? If so, what distinguishes humans from ants or wolves? From sheep that follow their leader (often a goat–apparently sheep don’t even care) into the slaughter room of the abattoir? Most of us find it difficult, at least once in a while, to accept that our purpose for existence is to be obedient consumers.

If human life has a purpose, it cannot be to act similar to animals we believe ourselves to be superior to. If we do not act in superior ways, then we are not superior, which means that it will be hard to believe in a afterlife. If we do not act differently from other animals, then our fate is similar to that of those animals. Heaven, if you will, would be filled with toads, weasels and mosquitoes, though there would be room for us as heaven is infinite.

What makes us different from other animals? Is it our large brain that allows us to use cognitive processes that are apparently unavailable to other animals? Maybe. We don’t really know what other animals think about, what kinds of thinking they do. While we search the cosmos for life elsewhere, we can’t even communicate with other living things on earth, things that have the proven ability to communicate with each other. Some, such as pets, understand our thoughts, feelings and language far better than we can understand theirs. Which brain is superior? We don’t really know.

What can we do that other animals can’t? We can help each other in ways far beyond what others animals can do for each other. We can deliver progress in research and technology that can help many. We can provide support for the weaker among us, where the weaker among other animals become lunch for predators.

We can do these things, but most of us don’t.

If we don’t do what we have the superior ability to do better than any other animal, we are like other animals. If we do not do these things to help our species, other living things and our planet to improve, then we choose to be nothing better than ants and rats. (We even refer to city life as “the rat race.”)

If you wonder why you exist, look beyond other animals, look beyond television commercials that want you to be like everyone else, look beyond the forces among us that want us to be bipedal sheep. Our purpose is to be as good as we can be. To be better than other animals, we must not act like them. We must act differently from them. We must be superior to them, as we have the ability to be.

Superior doesn’t mean forceful or powerful. That survival of the fittest and most powerful attitude pervades nature in all other animals.

If we have a purpose for existence, it’s to be different. It’s to help in ways that other forms of life can’t even imagine.

That purpose, or evidence for it, is all around us.

Do not ask any more. Instead, do what you should to make a difference.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to know how and when to impart the important lessons of life to their children at the right time and in the right ways.
Learn more at

http://billallin.com

Who Is An Atheist?

Who Is An Atheist?

“Samuel [Champlain] has seen other men of the church become as this one: to them, their own insight becomes dogma. Indeed it seems a perversion common to all leadership…”
The Order of Good Cheer, Bill Gaston novelist, House of Anansi Press, 2008

An atheist is someone who can’t believe that something exists that is greater than himself and more mysterious than he can understand.

An agnostic is someone who suspects the atheist may be right, but is prepared to reserve judgment until he gets more evidence, though he usually isn’t prepared to look for the evidence himself.

Which is the greater sinner?

Neither. The whole concept of sinning was invented by religions whose main purpose was and is to control the behaviour of their followers. Establishing “superhuman” control over who qualifies as a sinner and who is a devoted follower who toes the line with regard to all rules of behaviour is one of the most effective ways to control the lives of others.

What’s wrong with being an atheist? For one thing, atheists are the objects of scorn and prejudice from those who profess to be religious. For another, atheists have no rules of conduct to break, so they can’t feel guilt at sinning, as religious people do because virtually every one of them breaks their religion’s code of conduct on a regular and frequent basis. The religionists can always console themselves that atheists are worse.

But are atheists terrible people? My experience with atheists is limited and the number of people I have spoken to about their personal experiences with atheists is relatively small, but atheists seem to be among the most spiritually healthy and morally and ethically straight and well balanced of all the people I have met in my life. In short, atheists stand among the most upright and civic minded people among us.

It is as morally wrong to hate or take action against atheists as it is to commit acts or speak prejudicially against people of a different skin colour, nationality or religion. Yet the most bigotted and prejudiced people are those strongly attached to their religion.

Atheist seem to say that “God doesn’t exist.” Yet what they really say is that the God that is portrayed by advocates of every religion ever created could not possibly exist. The God of the Christians, for example, is contradictory, indecisive, prejudicial, favours one group over others, brutal, aggressive and peace loving at once and vindictive, based on the Bible and Christian history. Atheists claim that doesn’t make sense.

Religionists make no attempt to associate what we in the 21st century know about the mystical and miraculous with their explanation (definition) of God. The Church of Rome designates saints, for example, based on events it cannot explain by any other method than as “miracles” after the death of a well known good person. Yet don’t try to find a non-Catholic among the saints, even though events of a miraculous nature occur in association with living and dead people who are not church members. How could the God of the Christians enact miracles through non-Christians if Christianity is the only means to salvation, as the Christians claim?

Religions began in the early days when humans gathered in small bands, then tribes. The religion of each tribe worked because it answered unanswerable questions. That situation in itself should be enough to tell everyone that the religion is or was fictitious. But it didn’t and it doesn’t today. Adherents are asked to “have faith” because the mysterious answers came through someone who claimed to have gotten them directly from God.

If claims such as those made by religions were made in television commercials, about any product or service other than something related to God, the advertisers would be stopped and possibly charged with making false and unsupportable claims. It’s a crime, unless your claim has something to do with God.

The atheist says “This is wrong.” The agnostic cries “Huh?”

While we try to expurgate prejudice from our societies, religions themselves are the sole sources and support systems for prejudice and bigotry. Each religion could easily eliminate prejudice from its teachings, but that would require it to admit that it is not superior to all other religions. Religions, like snake oil salesmen of the past, require their followers to believe that their product is the best, the only true, safe and superior one. This engenders and foments hatred and prejudice.

Religionists never ask atheists why they do not believe the precepts of a particular religion. More importantly, they never ask atheists what they do believe, as that would be risky since the atheists may well have an excellent reply to which the religionists cannot offer a defence or counter argument.

For all the majority of people know, atheists may be the most spiritually upstanding people in the community. Some atheists may even have a better explanation about what God is and the mystery of what we exist than the religions have offered.

But no one will ask an atheist what he or she believes. And if someone does, the religions will make sure that the atheist is socially ostracized and “unfortunately no longer employable.” Historically, that’s how it works. Remember the trials of the “witches” of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692? The evidence, like the charges themselves, were totally fictitious. History abounds with similar and brutal examples.

The followers of every religion can give explanations for the same mysteries. They all believe these explanations equally strongly and fervently. Every religion is built on story upon story, each one created to give the teller power over the listener that he would not have otherwise. Those who make up the stories and those who retell them get paid for repeating them.

Unfortunately, reality is never allow to impinge itself on these stories, on these religions. Too bad, as the truth is so much more glorious and amazing than the religionists could imagine. Truth and reality have no major roles to play in religion. Religions ask their followers to have faith that the old stories are true, no matter how contradictory, how unsensible they are and how much evidence exists to disprove them.

We should not wonder that television has become such a powerful religious medium and its leaders such powerful manipulators of public belief.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to grow children who have the knowledge and skills to avoid having their beliefs manipulated by skilled propagandists.
Learn more at

http://billallin.com

When Should Children Be Taught Certain Facts and Skills?

When Should Children Be Taught Certain Facts and Skills?

In response to an article I wrote recently about teaching information, facts and skills to children much earlier than most adults think is advisable and possible, one of my readers wrote to ask me to elaborate on the “when.” When to teach children what is a critically important question, yet one that is seldom asked. The following was my reply to her.
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Many adults believe that timing of information given to children is extremely important. They think that if the timing of wrong, it may harm the child’s mind or morals. This is wrong in every possible way.

Teaching a child about drugs, for example, does not open the possibility that the child will adopt the taking of drugs. The whole purpose of teaching the child about drugs is to inform them about what harm can come to them by taking drugs other than under the supervision of a medical professional. Teaching a child about sex between man and woman does not encourage the child to experiment with sex prematurely. Despite these widespread beliefs, there is no evidence that early teaching about drugs, sex or any other matter that a parent should be teaching to a child affects the mind or body of the child as a result of being taught prematurely.

Despite parent supervision of internet use by children, the truth is that this is impossible. Kids are resourceful and will find ways to circumvent restrictions by the parents. One way, for example, is simply to visit a friend’s house, someone who does not suffer such restrictions. In other words, information on every possible subject is available on the internet. However, some of this information is wrong and some (in its wrongness) does harm. Consider how many adults have been fooled by urban legends and so-called Nigeria scams.

A parent should be teaching life skills about all subjects when a child is young. How young is too young? You know your timing is wrong when the child shows no interest in the subject, gets distracted easily. THAT is the only criterion for premature teaching.

Innocence in children is admirable if you want them to never grow up. But they do. Children who have been kept innocent by their parents tend to become ignorant adults. Ignorant adults don’t know what to do and when to do it. They have few coping skills when life throws them a bad curve, such as a personal assault on their person, a home invasion, divorce or death of a loved one.

The child, not the parent, should choose when he or she is ready to learn about a subject.Children learn about life in the womb, even before they are born. They have the ability to learn a language (a sophisticated and complex cognitive process) even before they can walk. Studies show that children study language before they even have the ability to make use of that learning through their own speech. Children have the ability to understand the most complex information we can give them at a shockingly early age.

If mistakes are make with early teaching, they would be with the adult, not with the child. The adult (usually parent) might not teach well for the learning style of the child. Imagine a parent using the lecture style of a university professor with a child of two years. No matter how fact filled the lecture might be, the child will not be interested because young children learn by doing more than by listening. They learn language by listening, but that has an incentive because the child wants to participate in family conversations. For most matters to be learned early by a child, they can learn is easier by doing something.

I most cases, children learn while they play. Play is their form of work. A parent can teach a child in the context of play. Make it a fun and enjoyable situation. Because kids want to learn, teaching them something that is given them as if imparting a secret is also a fun learning style. They often want to believe that they know something other kids don’t. And they should be in that situation at least once in a while.

Let’s take a teaching example. How many facts might a parent possibly teach a child about sex? Let’s say 50 facts. A child of three years has no need for or use for 50 facts about sex. The child will not be interested in learning 50 facts. But he might be interested in learning a few of them. It stops being fun for a child to learn when the learning becomes memorization. A child has learning limits. Those limits are more of total accumulation at any given time than of their ability to understand something.

How many lies do parents tell their children so that they can avoid teaching them the truth? A parent may tell a child that a new baby is delivered by a stork or an angel from heaven. The child will know that is wrong. The child sees the mother grow in the belly, then return from the hospital, with baby in arms, much thinner. Which does more harm, telling the child that babies begin with the joining of sex organs (every kid has a set) of mother and father, or telling the child a lie? Believe me, telling the lie to a young child makes the child mistrust information from the parent.

A lie told to a child by a parent, no matter what the intent of the parent, is a lie to the child, a lie that undermines the trust the child has in the most important adult in his or her life. A “white lie” is a lie and it’s understood as a lie by the child.

The message a child learns from a lie by his parent, no matter what the nature of the lie, is “I’m a bad parent who can’t cope with teaching you the truth, so I am making up this lie. We’re stuck with each other, so live with it.” Children recognize lies and diversionary tactics far more readily than most adults realize. They don’t know what to make of a lie, what to do about the fact that their most important source of information about life has lied to them. The child will still love the parent, but trust between them will have been undermined.

Children can handle truth at any age, even as young as age one year. No child knows what to do with a lie told by a parent, no matter how well intentioned it was. A child’s life revolves around trust, and since the young child’s life revolves around parents, for a parent to lie to a child to avoid telling the truth helps to destroy that environment of trust between them. It shatters the child’s life.

Bad parenting does far more harm to children than teaching them too early has ever done.

Please consider these thoughts carefully. Put them into action yourself and tell other people you know. There is nothing private about this information. You and they are not too young to learn. Nor too old. There is no young age limit to learning just as there is no upper age limit.

Invite others you tell to join our group.

Children, more than adults, are built to learn. They are learning factories. Young children process an alarming amount of information daily, far more than adults do and far more than most adults realize.

Do not hesitate to write back with more questions.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to know when, what and how to teach critically important information and skills to children so that they can grow up healthy and truly well balanced.
Learn more at

http://billallin.com

The Value of Power

The Value of PowerWhile that may seem like a strange title, think about it. What is power? When people seek power or have power, what is it they seek or have?http://billallin.com

 

How do we know if we have or lack power?

I believe I have distilled the concept down to something manageable. Power is a potential.

Power is the potential to hurt others of our own kind. Wealth, in itself, does not bestow power directly. Yet we all know and reluctantly accept that those with money can commit crimes–can hurt others in some way–and buy their way out of punishment.

Sometimes that potential is realized. Hitler had power that he used. He killed, maimed and otherwise harmed millions of people. For that Hitler will forever be considered one of the most vile devils humankind has produced.

To have power as potential and not use it is one thing. To have power you use is quite another. Using power is socially unacceptable. Having power you don’t use might get you anything you desire.

Does a president or prime minister of a country have power? Perhaps just the mention of the name George W. Bush would be sufficient to answer that question. The man started a war that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives (many from his own military) and destroyed untold numbers of families based on a lie. The war itself has even harmed American citizens who never left their own country, whether they believed the lie or not. If nothing else, they will pay taxes for the rest of their lives to cover loans made to pay for the war. And the quality of their health care will be reduced because the money will not be there to pay for something better from the public purse.

Power is the potential to be physical. It’s not really intellectual in nature. It’s the potential for sheer, overwhelming might.

Those with power can never be intellectually satisfied. They can never be satisfied in any way. What could Hitler do, for example, after he had exercised his power over so many of his own people and the people of countries he conquered, other than to keep going? Once power is exercised, it may not be stopped. President Bush (the second) was stopped only because the US constitution insists that one person may only hold the top job in the country for two terms. We might wonder what he might have done if his term had not ended. Iran would almost certainly be next on his attack agenda. Then North Korea?

Those who are intellectually satisfied have no need for power. Intellectual satisfaction itself is a form of potential. Those who are intellectually satisfied have the potential to move on to greater and more challenging thoughts, projects and ventures.

Does Donald Trump have power or is he intellectually satisfied? I suspect he would say he is intellectually satisfied because he can accomplish new business ventures repeatedly. I would maintain that Donald Trump has power, but not intellectual satisfaction. He has the money to buy his way out of trouble, but success in business should not be equated with intellectual satisfaction. Trump, like Hitler, is driven to continue his business conquests. Donald Trump is a warrior with power, even though he doesn’t use guns.

I am reminded of a program currently on television, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? I know there are children in grade five who are intellectually more satisfied than Donald Trump. Not that they are smarter than Trump. They have more intellectual potential than Trump, thus can be excited and enthusiastic about life.

As life objectives, we can strive for power–with its potential to hurt others physically– or we can strive for intellectual satisfaction–with its potential to benefit humankind and give the users satisfaction unimaginable to those with power.

While the better choice may seem obvious to you, an intelligent reader, I submit that as societies we tend to put greater emphasis on power than on intellectual prowess. “Get a good education so you can get a good job” is the mantra chanted by so many parents to their children.

And it’s working. Children are getting education that will make them good employees, good followers of prescribed business and human resources plans. Much evidence suggests that children are not gaining intellectual satisfaction in school or in the jobs they hold as adults. In fact, away from their jobs, where they have considerable expertise, many adults are stupid, so much so that a grade ten dropout may have a more rounded education in life experiences. Donald Trump likely pays someone to change a washer in a leaky tap, something a grade ten dropout could do.

Those who do not strive for either power or intellectual satisfaction become human puppets. They dangle on strings pulled by others. When no one pulls their strings, they hang limp and useless. When they get laid off from a job, for example, they seek another employer to tell them what to do and pay them to do it. Few attempt to use their intellect to become self employed entrepreneurs. Ironically, the post modern world is primed and ready for entrepreneurs, but they can’t be found.

We don’t teach children the value of independence, of entrepreneurship, of intellectual satisfaction. As a result, we don’t find many adults with these values.

We make our choices, as parents, as teachers, as neighbours and as citizens, and we live with the consequences. We should not wonder, then, that people follow those with power, even if those people have evil intent.

We get as adults what we teach to children. If we teach the value of power, we get followers and power seekers.

We don’t really know yet what we might get if we taught the values of intellectual satisfaction. A few schools teach this, but they are rare, they are considered “different,” out of the mainstream.

These few schools tend to produce children who become adult geniuses. The kids are not necessarily born with genius, they have intellectual opportunities offered to them constantly as they respond with delight at their own intellectual satisfaction. They grow intellectually without feeling the need for power, the need for potential to hurt others.

Our children are not our future, as such. They are our potential for the future we would like our societies, our countries, our communities and our families to have. The potential becomes reality only based on what we teach our children.

Teach right. Teach good. Teach peace. Teach often.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for teachers, parents, anyone who wants to know when and what to teach children so that they grow to become independent and well balanced adults who have the ability to achieve intellectual satisfaction.
Learn more at