In the first or second grade, I hung out with a kid at recess who has also played Yoshi’s Island on the Game Boy Advance. He decided we’d “play Yoshi’s Island” in the same way the little kids “play house”. So here I am, a tiny (at the time) asian boy, chasing around a large white boy, not knowing which was worse: his loud, annoying screeching (imitating Baby Mario’s crying whenever he gets knocked off of Yoshi’s back) or the idea of having a sweaty chunk of maybe 150% of my body weight (at the time) riding on my back. But I stuck to that guy at the time, even though he embarrassed me. It was important; doubly so when being alone was as dangerous as it was lonely.
There were just so many things wrong with my experience of western education. Looking back at it as a half-adult, I can’t believe people actually find it reasonable to confine their children 6 hours a day to such a volatile and degrading environment.
Sure, there are some positives. It’s probably the most efficient way to get important information into childrens’ minds implemented so far, but only because no one has bothered to keep up with the science of how wrong school is about teaching others.
But I’m probably only so indignant about it because I didn’t enjoy it. And hey, the rest of life in the western world is probably just about as traumatizing as having gone to school, for perhaps many of the same reasons. Those reasons being: bullying, isolation, lack of (healthy) mental stimulation, incompetence and/or apathy of your seniors. People you expect to act rationally don’t always do so.
I’m blessed. I got lucky, found myself in a good place at a good time. All that I needed found me and now, although looking back at it still makes me angry, that pain is just a memory.
Never underestimate the power of warm, genuine kindness.
What can I say that won’t ruin the moment? All I’ve got is “Thank God” and “the world sucks, i hope it gets better.” But that’s sort of up to us, the ones living here, isn’t it?