Thursday, February 25, 2010

Free to Choose

I have been having an interesting discussion with some friends on Facebook this week. We started debating the healthcare issue and of course then it turned into the whole debate about what the responsibilities of the federal government really are. I am a proponent of limited federal government. Of course, whenever I say that others always jump to the conclusion that I don’t want any government control. That is not the case at all. Government does serve a very important role, but I believe that when we talk about programs that are focused on the individual it should be the Local government that services that need, not the federal.

I have also noticed a rather disturbing trend. I see people complain or bemoan about the state that they are in. They seem to do a lot of hand wringing and “woe is me-ing” and then tend to turn to the government to solve their problems. So I asked myself, why. Why would Americans who are so hard working want someone else to solve their problems instead of taking on the responsibility for themselves? I think it boils down to our public education system. We have done an absolutely fabulous job of “dumbing down” our society. What I mean is that our system of education focuses almost exclusively on job training. Which don’t get me wrong that isn’t a bad thing, but it has lost site of what education is really about. Instead of teaching people “how” to think, we focus almost exclusively on “what” to think. We have taken the “fun” out of learning. We have created a system where people are taught to be mediocre. They are no longer encouraged to find the genius within themselves (and yes, we are ALL geniuses in some way!). Instead they are “indoctrinated” to believe that it takes an “expert” to solve a problem. They are taught that they can’t possibly learn something unless there is a “certified” teacher to teach them. Job training is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of learning how to think; it doesn’t have to be at the expense of a love of learning.

It doesn’t take an expert, the government, to solve our problems. We can create our own solutions. I look at public education for example. I’ve already made my point that I think it is lacking. So I have a choice, I can whine about it and wring my hands hoping that someday the government will step in and “fix” it, or I can do something about it now. I choose to take responsibility and find my own solutions. I have become an active supporter and champion for a parent’s right to educate their own children, or to create private or charter schools if they so desire. I have spent the last two years educating and recruiting people in my area to start our own Commonwealth School, which we are ready to do in the fall. I am not waiting for the government to fix my problem. I am creating my own solution (and at a significantly lower cost I might add!)
And that isn’t limited to public school. It can be any issue facing our community. If there are homeless in my community then I need to band together with my fellow citizens and come up with a solution. If health insurance companies are corrupt, then what can we do about it? It isn’t the government’s responsibility to fix society it is mine. Now does that mean that I can’t involve the government, absolutely not! But I prefer to use the government as an absolute last resort, not the primary fix-all of society’s ills.

We have all been placed on this earth to fulfill a mission. Maybe that mission is helping the homeless, maybe it is educating the ignorant, maybe it is freeing the captive or maybe it is fixing the insurance industry. Think about the kind of world we would have if everyone understood their unique mission and actually fulfilled it! That’s the kind of freedom I want for my children. And I believe the only way to achieve that is to keep government in its proper place.

1 comment:

  1. I have though a lot about this as well..."the education of a generation is the government of the next."