Friday Two Cents: The True Can Hurt But We Can Learn From It


 

This week I read a story to the kindergarten students about a dinosaur that kept calling out that the Gigantosaurus was coming to eat them. Every time he did it would turn out to be something else. Eventually the Gigantosaurus did come but the other dinosaurs would not listen to him. They almost got eaten but in the end the one dinosaur survived the encounter and learned a lesson about over reacting.

Obviously this story was loosely centred on the boy who cried wolf. Yet in the original stories that I heard as a child, the boy ended either seeing his flock being eaten or his flock and himself being eaten. A gruesome ending to tell people who the moral of the story is if you tell too many lies, eventually no one will believe you. Yet, I always thought the moral of the story was never tell the same lie twice, yet that is probably just me. Anyway the fact is that I was never shielded for the truth that reality/life can be harsh at times and I turned out all right. Why then is it, in today’s society, many adults avoid telling their children about the harsh reality of life. Why is that anything that shows any hint of something even close to telling children that death is apart of life? Why is death considered dark or taboo?
On many occasions I have been told that I cannot tell the students the reality of what happened in the past. I feel that not informing the children that there is a dark side to reality is in fact worst than hiding the truth. Today I was outside with the students and we were lining up to go inside when a grade 5 student pointed up to a couple of airplanes flying by preparing to land. He shouted out to a his friends ‘Ha Ha look another 9 11.’ and then began laughing and joking with the others. I went up to him saying, ‘You know that nearly 3000 people died on 9 11 right. Some of them I knew. Know what you are laugh about before you open your mouth.’ I then walked away and I didn’t hear anything else from that student on the subject.
All I could think about was what was he told about 9 11? If he knew the truth behind it would he have laughed about it? Something even as resent as 9 11 has fallen in to the realm of taboo, something to hide the harsh reality of the truth from. Have we as a society come to the point where we must protect the children even from the truth?
I grew up and was taught that knowledge is power. The more you know, the better informed you are, the better you can make a more informed opinion or decision. In addition, learning the truth of our past, is a part of helping to make better decisions. Even as bloody, terrible and harsh it may have been, we cannot forget who we are and where we come from. To hide the facts of history is to deny ourselves and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, the opportunity to learn from those hard lessons. To try to not make the same mistakes twice.
My history professor once said, ‘Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.’ Is “protecting” the children from the truth that important that we are in fact condemning them to make the same mistakes. Perhaps, to make even bigger mistakes that will be so costly that the shear thought could freeze you very soul. Something to think about.

 

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