Thursday, January 16, 2014

If kindergarten teachers ruled the world

There are a lot of lessons that ostensibly people learn in kindergarten that adults fail to implement.  The classic example is the mantra Use Your Words.  Kindergarten teachers say this constantly to the kids to stop them from running away, crying, hitting each other, throwing objects, or performing other useless or destructive acts.  Somebody wouldn't share with you?  Use Your Words.  Somebody wouldn't play with you?  Use Your Words.  Somebody said something nasty?  Use Your Words!  The kids eventually learn the powerful lesson that the appropriate reaction to someone doing something you dislike is to talk about it and come up with resolutions.

If only children could recall those lessons when they grow up and become adults.  Somebody uses a drug you don't approve of?  Use Your Words.  Tell them you think this is a bad idea, pay for a commercial to talk about how dangerous the drug is, give them a disapproving stare.  Use Your Words.  Don't toss them in jail or ask the state to otherwise use violence upon them.  The same goes for people having sex in a way that you disapprove of.  Upset that people exchanged money for sex?  Use Your Words.  Irritated that there are two similar sets of genitals in a particular bed?  Use Your Words.  Don't like that somebody doesn't have a gender expression that suits you?  Use Your Words.

Employing the machinery of the state to restrict or assault people who do things that offend your sensibilities is equivalent to a four year old throwing a punch or hurling a toy truck.  It isn't reasonable, it doesn't work, and it shows that you have yet to get beyond the state of mind of a toddler.  If you can't restrict yourself to using your words in these situations then perhaps a visit to a colourful room with a smiling but strict teacher in charge would do you a world of good.  We all need to get beyond the idea that when someone lives their life in a way that is strange or upsetting to us but which does not directly hurt us that we are entitled to stop them.  Just Use Your Words.

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