Education Freedom Manifesto
True Human Values
Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
It is not living that matters, but living rightly.
Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist;
it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges;
it should allow you to find values which will be your road map through life;
it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing,
wherever you are, whomever you are with;
it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die.
John Taylor Gatto
A Curriculum of Meaning
Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.
Values are acquired, doctrine and dogma are imposed.
Values give meaning to life. They are guiding principles that must be internalized by individuals. They are the origin of attitudes and behavior. Internalizing principles that ennoble human life is an essential part of a true education. Regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof, all people have ultimate concerns. They desire to connect with others in a positive way and find peace and fulfillment.
Good and Evil
A great many of those who ‘debunk’ traditional…values have in the background
values of their own which they believe to be immune from the debunking process.
C. S. Lewis
Good and evil are not subjective. The conscience of all people teaches that freedom, love, and service are good and that coercion, abuse, and harm are evil. Moral relativism results from vanity, and pride leads to manipulation, materialism, and moral degeneration.
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can,
in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.
By doing good we become good.
We must know that we have been created for greater things,
not just to be a number in the world,
not just to go for diplomas and degrees, this work and that work.
We have been created in order to love and to be loved.
Love is the greatest of virtues. In its highest form, it encompasses all others. The crowning achievement of human life is to develop more love for others than for oneself.
Not everything that can be counted counts,
and not everything that counts can be counted.
People are more important than things. The scientific methods used to shape and control our environment should not be used to shape and control people. It is absurd and anti-human.
The end cannot justify the means for the simple and obvious reason that
the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced.
All people deserve to be treated with the due consideration of a brother or sister. This means respect for their right to direct their own life while not infringing on others, as well as voluntary compassion and kindness in their difficulties.
The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your actions will be.
Integrity of Character
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
Honest conduct in public and private is the hallmark of integrity. Without it, self-respect is impossible, government is invalid, and commerce is amoral.
Joy is the token of a generous personality.
Humility, discipline, and gratitude lead to strength, mastery, and happiness. The development of these three traits will yield an increase in quality of life and welfare in any culture or circumstance.
The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things –
the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit,
and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit.
We see things not as they are, but as we are.
When knowledge is combined with good character, it becomes wisdom. Correct discernment is only possible from the perspective of genuine integrity. Authentic leadership is good and wise rather than clever and cunning.
Courage begins with a commitment to see things as they are, rather than how we wish they were.
True courage is not based on blind hope and uncertainty, but on true principles and informed willingness to act in spite of fear or opposition. When good people are armed with true courage, they can stand strong in the face of any challenge.
The man who fights for his ideals is alive.
Miguel de Cervantes
People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
Every act of service improves the world. The most noble lives of all are lived in service.
If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.
If you wish to know that you are safe, cause [others] to know that they are safe.
If you wish to better understand seemingly incomprehensible things, help another to better understand.
If you wish to heal your own sadness or anger, seek to heal the sadness or anger of another.
Those others are waiting for you now. They are looking to you for guidance, for help, for courage, for strength,
for understanding, and for assurance at this hour. Most of all, they are looking to you for love.
Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama