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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Life and the Great Firewall of China



Life is like the great firewall of China. Huh? Let me explain.

The great firewall of China is China's version of the Internet. The Chinese don't have access to the full and unregulated parts of the Internet. They get the parts that the Chinese authorities allow them to see. There are also government approved versions of popular web sites. Just like the regular Internet, the Chinese version is really big. There are nearly limitless choices, but only choices approved by the government.

Growing up in “free” western nations we are taught that we have freedom of choice. We do, but just like the great firewall, those choices tend to steer a person down certain paths. Personally, for me the worse example of this guided path problem was my high school guidance councilor. If your grades were good enough they pushed you towards the state 4 year college. “B” students and those with few financial means were aimed towards the local community college. The others basically got encouraged to apply to the local mills.

Every socioeconomic class has its expected paths. For example, if you are upper middle class you may have to choose between becoming a doctor or a lawyer. Lower class may have to choose between factory work or service jobs. Some small movement is allowed between the different class paths. A factory worker's son, if intelligent and hard working may become a doctor. However, don't ever tell those of your social class that you aspire to do the job of a lower class person.

Worse than that however is to choose a path that's truly different than anyone else's. Those poor kids in high school almost never learn that it's even possible to do something no else is doing. No wonder so many kids feel trapped by life. The only freedom they know is the the freedom to choose one of the approved paths.

There is a word for those who stray away from the approved paths and go out on their own: failures. All that means is that they've failed to follow societal expectations. If they themselves are happy with their decisions then they are a success.

Freedom only comes to those who know they are not free. Too often our choices revolve around how we want to decorate our prison cell. Just like those stuck behind the great firewall, we don't know there's more stuff out there.

-Sixbears

10 comments:

  1. I just got back from camping. Our great nephew was along he is 16 and isn't wanting collage but feels he has to to be successful. Councilors push college like you said. I asked him What about a trade good money and plenty of apprentership openings. He didn't even know what a trade was no teacher or counselor ever mentioned them. The state is advertising for kids to learn trades because of shortages in all fields. If I was young I would become a certified plumber, electrician, HAVAC, who knew how to weld. A college grad likes lights, heat or air, water and turds to disappear. And he can thanks to a trades person.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sad to think they didn't even offer it as an option. Forget learning about anything exotic.

      Hope you opened his eyes.

      I wasn't ready for college until I was 37.

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  2. Kids today don't know what it is like to get their hands dirty. It's going to cost them big time when they don't know how to fix anything.

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    Replies
    1. Well, at least my kids know how to do stuff -and how to follow their own paths.

      Delete
  3. No matter what we do, we are never really free. We are bound and restricted by all kinds of things. Probably our own fears restrict us the most.

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    Replies
    1. Dealing with our personal issues should be easiest, but often they are the hardest.

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  4. The guidance counselor in hs wanted me to take typing, bookkeeping,JUNK. I did take typing, but I was more interested in math and science than Home Ec. I like Home Ec, but unlike many girls I could make my own clothes already and could cook! I now have three degrees--two BAs and MA and work beyond that. Only one guy in our class has a PhD. That is still my goal.

    I don't know why I did not appear to be someone interested in math and science. Oh, yeah; I was only a girl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you! How often has society lost out because guidance counselors didn't expect more from people?

      Societies that limit the options of women lose half their brain power.

      Delete