Monday, October 10, 2005

H. Sapiens 101

Mary Shelley was 20 when she wrote “Frankenstein.” She was expressing fundamental issues swirling about in society in the first part of the 19th century. Science was literally exposing layers of previously unimaginable prehistory, and humankind was grappling with the concept of its primacy—with its very nature. In the book, Dr. Frankenstein sets out to find the source of life, literally, the spark. He succeeds in creating life from inanimate material, but fears and loathes his creation, abandoning it entirely. The creature eventually acts out against the creator in horrific ways. The creator does not take responsibility for the creature until it is too late, and the damage has been done. It’s a quest that will take his life and eventually take the life of the creature.

The crux of this biscuit is; if you create a monster, you are then responsible for understanding, caring for, and controlling that monster. It is unkind to do anything else. It is disrespectful and dangerous to set that monster loose and then abdicate the Creator Throne.

In this life I have met fellow beings who consider themselves creators: teachers of humanity. There is that old adage “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” I don’t agree with that statement: it only applies to bad teachers. I have had many teachers who were brilliant, accomplished, and able, but they enjoyed being around people and imparting their knowledge, so they chose to stay in school. And thank goodness they did. The bad teachers are another story. Unfortunately, they are often very good at cloaking themselves in respectability and projecting themselves as someone to be reckoned with. Because they occupy a position of power, because they are magnetic personalities, they wield influence over younger, less experienced individuals. Because they have become so adept at subverting their own neurosis, they often walk among us unexposed. They think that they are qualified to impart their wisdom of humanity to willing subjects, and they intend to do it.

Thing is: in order to be a teacher in H. Sapiens 101, you have to have first TAKEN the class and received a passing grade. You must then complete the coursework that comprises the entire curriculum and obtain your degree and then your teaching certificate. As your career progresses, you must engage in continuing education activities that will be monitored by the licensing body. There is a minimum of credits that must be completed per year to maintain your good standing.

What I am really trying to say here is:
Don’t get up on that dais, put your notes on the podium, write on that white board, or pick up that chalk until you have dealt with your own shit. Otherwise, the monsters you create might be your own.

No comments: