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Philosophical Meanderings

Recipe for depression

Saying nothing and keeping quiet is a great way to get along with and live with others, but it makes it hard to live with yourself.

If you are looking for a recipe for depression, simply resign yourself to being an agent of your employer.

Define your learning as something done to you by others.

Fill your life with substitutes for real meaning and critical thought.

Set yourself up and others for the use, control and disposal by others.

Convince yourself that preparing yourself to be managed by others is pragmatic.

But if you want to liberate yourself from the artificial… the scripted… the drudgery… the soul killing puppetry, then you’ll need to cut the strings yourself because this is the one thing others won’t do for you.

About joebower

I believe students should experience success and failure not as reward and punishment but as information.


3 thoughts on “Recipe for depression

  1. ah… the soul killing puppetry.

    Most people are other people.
    Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions,
    their lives a mimicry,
    their passions a quotation.
    – Oscar Wilde

    – left up to you.

    thanks Joe.

    Posted by monika hardy | July 15, 2011, 8:02 am
  2. It seems like a tautology, but it’s certainly in effect in our schools – at all levels:

    The more power you give away, the more powerless you feel.

    Being assertive in pursuit of a sane and healthy shared culture is so important. Thanks for your post, Joe –


    Posted by Chad Sansing | July 18, 2011, 9:23 am
  3. This is what my husband is struggling with. He’s been a teacher for six years; no longer wants to be a teacher (for several reasons, but mostly because he no longer agrees with the whole notion of compulsory schooling); has to keep teaching for the time being, until he figures out what to do instead (has two little girls at home, and I’m only able to work part-time, so money is tight); and so, naturally, feels anxious about heading into another school year. Have you read much John Holt? My husband’s been reading John Holt, Ivan Illich, John Gatto, and others. It’s hard to teach when you agree a lot with those perspectives. His take on children: trust them. But school is not set up for that, so what to do? How to operate with integrity, and without succumbing to depression, in a school environment? It’s so tough! I’m here because I’m searching the internet for clues about how to help my husband. I’m going to send him a link to the post you wrote about abolishing grades—maybe joining in with that movement (and also trying to abolish homework) will help him remember that he can make a difference. He’s also going to try to incorporate permaculture (one of his biggest interests) and its principles into his curriculum as much as possible, so that should help. Anyway, thanks for the posts, Joe. We need more thoughtful people like you around our kids!

    Posted by Mindy | August 12, 2011, 2:34 am

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