Why it matters – The Answer

Andragogy - LEARNTelomeres are strings on the end of a DNA chain.  The longer the telomere string, the healthier and longer the cell lives.  The reverse is also true, shorten the telomere string, and death and sickness occur.  There are a ton of peer-reviewed resources that can explain, detail, and expound about telomeres; feel free to look them up; please accept for the moment the statement is true.  While I am not going much further into telomeres and DNA science, the fact that long telomere strings and living healthier and happier are important correlational pieces of data essential to the rest of this article.

Learning and having a purpose are two separate but conjoined variables essential to keep the telomere string long and the DNA healthy.  However, both purpose and learning are individual choices with physical health consequences.  Please note, these two choices are not a magic bullet to the fountain of youth, nor are they going to change a person’s health overnight.  Both take long hours of investment and require a lifestyle change.

Non Sequitur - Carpe DiemWe begin with some important history.  John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. He was one of the most prominent American scholars in the first half of the twentieth century.  In the 1900s, Dewey established how free people and free societies are built; they are built upon education and literacy.  Dewey then changed education to halt literacy and started a ball of ignorance and government theft of freedoms to begin.  Your reading habits were carefully taught to you during your trip through K-12 government schools.  Unless you purposefully chose to read, you will generally possess a dislike for reading that was taught to you to keep you functionally illiterate, thus programmable to government propaganda.  Dewey’s plan succeeded far and above his wildest dreams.

With this understanding, when the topic of lifelong learning is discussed, the central point becomes formal education failed purposefully to teach; thus, one’s desire for learning must be an internal commitment — a personal appetite for books, knowledge, and a thirst for learning.  When discussing the life and health-changing aspects of learning, this is the point, what are you doing to learn something new every day?  What was the last book you read?  Did you enjoy it?  Would you recommend it?Calvin & Hobbes - Irony Hurts

K-12 education taught you that learning something new was somebody else’s responsibility; whereas, the truth is precisely the opposite.  What you choose to learn will have direct consequences upon your health, mental and physical.  Hence the need for purpose.  Many people can study aimlessly and never fully obtain the full mental and physical health promises because they lack a purpose, a reason, and a motivating reason to direct efforts.  For example, I met a retired Major of the US Air Force; he pursued his MBA because he needed it for promotion.  No other purpose, no reason other than his career, and no genuine interest.  That he topped out at Major and Retired less than his desired rank goal ruined him from learning anything else.  He sits at home, lacking a purpose and reason, miserable.  He has not touched a book to read in years, his TV is his link to the world, and he feels like a failure.  In remembering my friend, I often think to weep at what could have been.

Jack Sparrow's compass - Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki - The Unofficial Pirates of the Caribbean ...A purpose is all about intention, a goal for which one intends, cognitively, to achieve.  A burning passion, a deep hunger, a longing, purpose, as a word, has many synonyms, but the end goal is the same, “What is it you want most?”  One of the reasons I am such a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean is the compass held by Captain Jack Sparrow.  The compass works when the captain knows what he wants, sailing is easier, and progress is made.  Failure to understand what he wants, to know absolutely his purpose, and the journey fails, chaos abounds, and trouble ensues.

Because purpose inspires learning, and both purpose and learning are fundamental to your good mental and physical health, the following suggestions are here for your consideration.  However, they also come with a warning, genuine interest.  I have an interest in a lot of different topics.  Sometimes, I have so many books I am in the middle of my desk looks like a public library threw up!  However, I also have topics that I have less than zero interest in ever pursuing.  I have had to learn where my genuine interests lie, primarily through exploring.  No one can give you wisdom or tell you what your interests are.Bait & Switch 2

Funny story, I discovered I had no interest in art.  None!  Paintings, sculpture, drawing, nothing.  No comprehension, no interest, no desire, nothing!  I discovered this during my associate’s degree, where I was forced to take an art class.  Now, I come from a long line of painters, sculptors, artists in different mediums.  My wife draws, paints, and makes music as an outlet for her artistic abilities.  I can barely doodle and generally do not care to try.  I know what I like but cannot describe the why when it comes to art because I have no interest in the how.  Hence the warning, discover where your genuine interests lay and pursue them relentlessly!

      1. Explore to discover your interests. Public libraries are my best friend!  I have been in some public libraries to borrow baking pans and molds to create different stuff for cooking.  Get to know your public library as the launch point for discovering interests.
      2. Ever think you might like to pursue a degree in something. Why not contact your local community colleges and universities.  Auditing a class is a great way to check your interest levels without investing money.
      3. How do you know when you have found a hidden interest; the secret is in your enthusiasm! Do you cheer to be able to study that topic?  Guess what, you found an interest!  Explore that interest to the Nth degree.  I discovered an interest in anthropology, economics, sociology, and psychology through studying history.  I have always been enthused to learn history.  However, the extra information gleaned from economics, anthropology, sociology, and psychology has made my enthusiasm for history deeper, more enjoyable, and more meaningful.  Measure your enthusiasm, you can become enthused easily and quickly, or slowly and with difficulty, but your enthusiasm is the compass for your interest and purpose.
      4. Volunteer to work with kids! I do not care about the age of the children.  It doesn’t matter if that volunteering occurs through a religious or non-profit organization, kids ask questions, and in asking questions, you learn.  Create time to volunteer.
      5. On the topic of volunteering, spend time in a long-term care facility as a professional listener. I have spent some great days listening to people, I have learned a lot, and let me tell you, I always leave the experience grateful and enthused.  Memorize a joke as a conversation starter, and listen.
      6. Don’t stop! I cannot emphasize this principle enough.  Failure is part of discovery; not stopping is part of discovery.  Hence, do not stop trying, and in not stopping, you will discover… you!

Knowledge Check!My wife is a journal writer.  I blog — others in my family webcast.  The final suggestion in discovering purpose and learning, write down the experiences.  The good, the bad, the failures, the successes, and in writing or recording your thoughts, you will discover new talents and inspire someone else when you share your thoughts.  I learned this lesson from Robert Fulghum, the author, artist, preacher, and storyteller, who happened to write the book “Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten.”  Want a guide on this voyage of discovery; pick up some of his books, “Uh-Oh,” “It was on fire when I laid down on it,” “Maybe, Maybe Not,” and so many others to choose from.  Mr. Fulghum makes an excellent guide on a voyage of discovery; take along an expert!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

 

NO MORE BS: Literacy and Freedom – Understanding the Connection

Freedom's LightLiteracy is defined as the ability to read and write and is the competence of knowledge in a specific area.  The links between literacy and freedom continue to be hotly debated among scholars, especially those scholars who choose to be revisionist historians.  One of the essential distinctions in scholars is those centered around revisionists.  No matter the flavor of a scholar, revisionist scholars always support a policy of revision or modification, or worse, advocate for the same.  Revisionist scholars are always looking to revise a topic’s history to fit a political bend for personal gain and political profit.

Literay ArtsThe most egregious example of this is found in the revisionist historians who derive from journals or other documents the sexuality of a historical figure, based upon the scholar’s agenda, political flavor, and the understanding of today’s culture.  During the summer of 2020, America saw many revisionists trying to rewrite history where statues and historical reasoning for erecting those statues were concerned was blatantly attacked by ignorant savages!  By changing history, the culture shifts ever so slightly, and it is only a few degrees of separation across time that can eradicate truth and leave myths instead of fact.

All of which is mentioned because currently, literacy and the links to freedom are being revised heavily to reflect less need for literacy as a means of curtailing expectations of freedom.  Kaestle, Damon-Moore, Stedman, Tinsley, and Trollinger (1991) authored “Literacy in the United States: Readers and Reading since 1880, and the first topic in chapter one is discussing the revisers of history and the downplaying of literacy in early (Preliterate) Greece.  While Kaestle et al.’s. (1991) is more of a scholarly work, the point remains that there remains a significant amount of debate on a logically understood topic.

Detective 4The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints reveres “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ” as scripture.  In that book, there are two accounts of people who did not have records to teach reading and writing in their respective populations, which, when taught reading and writing, gained economically, financially, and developed new thinking and acting methods.  One of the first points in “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ” the point is made that without written records, people’s memories cannot be passed down, historical lessons are lost, and art, culture, craft, industry, and so much more stem from the ability to read and write and records are critical to human understanding and growth.  While I am not here to debate religion, the historical underpinnings of needing to read and write as social customs with power are well established.  Consider the Old Testament and the Jewish culture and society, and the same pattern is discovered, when the people know how to read and write, they are different from those who do not know how to read and write.

Hence, from a purely anthropological perception, reading and writing are essential keys in society forming and development from hunter/gatherers to tool-wielding crafting and agrarian societies.  While the scholars will debate causation until everyone is confused, the links between literacy and social development cannot be separated without twisting logic and ruining the historical facts found in ancient writings held by religion.  Causation and the connections between one topic and another remains an area ripe for abuse by the researchers’ personal bias.  I fully admit sufficient peer-reviewed sources are supporting and denying literate societies’ links and freedom to bury an ocean liner in paper.  Mark Twain is quoted as, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run. Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.”

Reading - A JourneyMark Twain is also quoted as, “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”  These quotes point to the specific problem facing America.  In every society globally, literacy has been purposefully designed to be worth less to people by conspiring leaders who want and need drones instead of people.  The world is poised on the knife blade’s edge of history, pushed there by those conspirators, and every person is now faced with a choice, stand and learn, or remain ignorant and fall.  If we fall, we will fall an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle, and our graves will be cursed by those who come after us.

Mark Twain points to the same problem discussed here, “The man who does not read has NO advantage over the man who cannot read. [emphasis mine]”  Knowing how to read does nothing if it is not practiced, knowing how to write does nothing if it is not practiced, and failure to read and write puts us worse off than those who have never been taught to read and write.  Why worse, because we make a conscious choice not to use the tools we have been provided, and the consequences are worse for knowing better and not acting in a manner that honors the tools we have been given.

PenmanshipLet the scholars argue about how to measure literacy in a person and a population, but for us, let us measure literacy by how often we read a full book, paper, or eBook and write.  Not just emails for work, but journals, blogs, our histories, and family histories.  The aim is not to get readers as much as it is to exercise the power of writing.

For example, my wife loves to write letters and cards.  She has a master’s touch on expressing through words her feelings, developed over her entire life of 80-years.  The receivers cherish her letters and cards, and I cannot count how many people write to her and express this sentiment.  I have all the letters she wrote me while I was in the US Army.  Due to my luggage’s theft at a Greyhound Station, I have very few to none of her letters written to me in the US Navy, which remains a great sadness to me.  Never having been professionally taught, my wife writes music, and I cherish the song she wrote for me that I have never heard.  Using experience and constant trial and error, my wife drew pictures for each of the grand kids.  Literacy is the power behind letters, arts, music, and so much more, even if the scholars disagree.

Non Sequitur - DecisionsJim Croce wrote a song asking a simple question, “Which way are you going?”  I know my direction; I am headed to a library, a bookstore, and then a computer to record my thoughts, for I desire more literacy.  Join me and let us make a “Liberty FIRST Culture” where literacy is cherished as the source of our collective mental batteries!

Non Sequitur - Carpe Diem© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: A Third Powerful Tool – Reading

Image result for Image, deliberate dumbing down of americaFrom Chapter One of Charlotte Iserbyt’s, “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America,” we find the following:

“… In 1898, Dewey wrote an essay, “The Primary-Education Fetish,” in which he explained exactly what he meant:”

“There is… a false education god whose idolators are legion, and whose cult influences the entire educational system. This is language study—the study not of foreign language, but of English; not in higher, but in primary education. It is almost an unquestioned assumption, of educational theory and practice both, that the first three years of a child’s school life shall be mainly taken up with learning to read and write his own language. If we add to this the learning of a certain amount of numerical combinations, we have the pivot about which primary education swings… It does not follow, however, that conditions—social, industrial, and intellectual—have undergone such a radical change, that the time has come for a thoroughgoing examination of the emphasis put upon linguistic work in elementary instruction… The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school life because of the great importance attaching to literature seems to me a perversion.”

Scared Eyes!From this quote, in 1898 to the mid-1960s, phonics in K-6th grade education began to be battled by “Whole Word Memorization.”  By the end of the 1960s, teaching phonics in the classroom will be lost entirely.  Reading will continue to be irrationally marginalized, and learning the English language will take a hit so hard that many people will never know the grandeur of the language.

I spent some time reading statistical reports on reading, reading proficiency, and loving literature.  What I found shocked me!

      1. Very few people will ever read an entire book after leaving high school.
      2. Poverty does not dictate potential, how often and how much a parent reads to their child will.
      3. While important on tests, reading has been marginalized until the vast majority of students graduating from K-12 education are functionally illiterate.
      4. Functional illiteracy has become the standard accepted level for the workforce to capture and keep the minds to steal freedom and liberty from the populace.
      5. Reducing literacy was planned, implemented, and slowly been used as a weapon for destroying the American Republic.

All this because Dewey considered reading and literacy a “perversion.”  Dewey also claimed that literacy was a false god, a cult, and idolatry.  Yet, study after study continues to proclaim a single and undeniable variable.  When parents read to their children regularly, that child expects more freedoms, demands their liberties, and is better prepared to face the world.

LookJohn Dewey found high levels of literacy abominable.  He worked tirelessly to transform the school curriculum centered around the development of academic skills, intellectual faculties, and high literacy to a curriculum built around occupational activities, provided with maximum opportunities for peer interaction and socialization. He spent 30-years teaching teachers how to subvert society by little introductions into the curriculum until the pattern was perfected, and lesser topics were more important than reading, writing, and arithmetic.  The pattern: today’s school philosophies are tomorrow’s government actions.  Remember, all actions taken by a legitimate government will cause injury!

Oh, the injuries inflicted upon America’s children by not teaching literacy.  My wife made a point when I was discussing Dewey’s comments with her, “If I can read, aren’t I literate?”  My wife plays a good “Devil’s Advocate.”  Basically, yes, if a person can write their name and read their name, they are considered “literate” according to literacy’s most basic definition.  However, there is much more to literacy than reading and writing one’s name.  Dewey despises not the functional literacy of reading and writing one’s own name in commonly understood symbols of a society; but possessing the ability to love reading, enjoy books, speak, and write coherently and logically about what one has just read.

Andragogy - LEARNLiteracy is the ability to use printed and written information to function and achieve in society, to master one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential, attain growth, and improve one’s mind and body through the written word.  A 1992 survey reported 40 million adults’ literary competency at Level 1 (the lowest literacy level: understanding basic written instructions).  The National Institute for Literacy estimates that 32 million American adults cannot read, which can contribute to chronic unemployment, low self-esteem, and a lower quality of available work.  Dewey has succeeded in reducing literacy to its lowest common denominator, functional illiteracy.  This lowering of literacy standards was intentionally conducted to destroy people’s minds to accept lives in socialism and communism.

The following are considerations for reversing the actions and influence of Dewey and appear in no particular order:

      1. Read out loud!  Spend 30-minutes a day reading for fun, and spend at least 10-minutes reading aloud.
      2. If you have children, regardless of their age, read with them. Many religions encourage daily reading of scriptures.  An excellent way to read aloud, read with children, and improve your knowledge base.
      3. Read poetry! Want a hint to make poetry reading more fun; read the words to songs, for a song is merely poetry put to music.
      4. If you have been told you are a slow learner, slow reader, dyslexic, etc., stop believing these voices! Grab a book on phonics and begin teaching yourself to read.  You have a mind; you have a soul, you have unlimited potential.  You can learn!
      5. Be the example of reading being a fun activity.

Detective 4The power of reading is remarkable, critical, and is the hinge upon which the Great American Republic swings.  Believe it or not, the American population’s literacy will be the point upon which we survive or fail as a nation.  Dewey understood the truth of this in 1896 and fought tooth and nail to eradicate literacy in America.  Castro in Cuba understood this, and that is why Cuban schools have such low literacy rates.  Every despot in history knows that the more literate a population is, the less likely that population is to accept captivity in the form of government largess.  Every single tin-pot dictator knows the pattern.  Today’s school philosophies are tomorrow’s government actions, and controlling literacy is the tool to dumb down society into brainwashed robots who do what they are told.

Since the 1960s, the war on literacy has been doubled and doubled again; some of us educated in the early 1980s, and 1990s received an education worth 1000 times more than the newest high school graduate experienced.  Those educated before the 1960s had an education 1000 times greater than the education we got in the 1980s and 1990s.  All because the war on the classroom and the war on literacy is being fought without opposition.  Fought behind closed doors and by enemies who learned early on how to subvert curriculum and teachers.

Wasting TimeHence, the best way to combat this war is through reading.  Pick up a book!  Read!  Practice writing and grammar.  I am not the best writer or grammarian; I use Grammarly, but I still try to write better because to my wife, I am functionally illiterate due to how and what I was taught.  My wife, born in 1941, received such a robust education she amazes me.  But, even in the K-12 Schools of the 1940s and 1950s, reading and literacy were being marginalized, freedoms and liberties were being stolen, and the plans to dumb down America were in full swing.

We, the citizens of America, have been duped, lied to, and abused for multiple generations at the hands of people we should have been able to trust, schoolteachers.  The schoolteachers were forced to do what they did to maintain their jobs because the school boards exerted pressure to teach in a specific methodology.  Sometimes, the school boards were coerced into those paths by money from the Federal Government.  Is the connection clear; government size has led to the marginalization of literacy rates to produce a specific product for corporations.  The only way to break this cycle of abuse is to change our literacy levels.  The only way to increase our literacy levels is to read!

Duty 3Please turn off the TV, turn off the computer, pick up a book.  Read!  Read because your life depends upon your ability and love of reading.  Your children’s future depends upon your literacy rate and willingness to read aloud to them and with them.  Your freedom, your liberty, your country all depend upon your literacy level.  If you want help, ask.  If you want suggestions, talk to a librarian.  But, please read!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.