How old is too old to be spoon fed?

June 1, 2008

When we were babies or even small toddlers, it would be foolish to try and teach us how to feed ourselves. Not only are we not physically capable, we have about a 50/50 chance of eating something non-edible versus something that has some nutritional value. As we grow older, we become more able to feed ourselves and more knowledgeable as to what is beneficial to eat. At a certain age, presumably, we are no longer told what to eat, and how to eat it.

As far as I am concerned, this is analogous to education. In preschool and kindergarten, our reading and writing skills are somewhat lacking, and we learn whatever teachers tell us, or maybe whatever is on Sesame Street or Blue’s Clues on a particular day. I would wish that all of us were blessed with great parents that also taught us many important life lessons, but I know that many do not. As we grow older we are encouraged, or ought to be encouraged, by those influential figures around us to read books, and begin to learn about topics on our own in, addition to those taught in the classroom. Below is a very interesting quote from Steven Covey, about how Americans are educated these days.

It’s a fact that more people watch television and get their information that way than read books.

One of my biggest pet peeves, and I am guilty of this from time to time, is when people talk about a subject, and they use information they heard on TV to support their argument. Granted, this is not always bad, but using “facts” from TV can get you into trouble from time to time. This is, and will be, especially relevant during the upcoming elections in November. I hope by this day in age, most people know that the American media can be a little bit biased… But that is a whole other topic.

Most people struggle with life balance simply because they havn’t paid the price to decide what is really important to them- Steven Covey

Don’t let this be you, and surely don’t let the media tell you what they think is important for you, because you will just be misled. Values of the media, in my opinion, should not be those that a life should be built around. Don’t let the media be in the driver seat of your life (maybe they could be in the trunk), but rather you yourself get in the driver seat and choose to be someone who proactivley seeks education.

The bottom line:

  1. Cut back on TV viewing time, taking in information with a grain of salt.
  2. Try to learn more about topics from different sources, like books.
  3. Do not let TV tell you what is important, because it usually isn’t.

Ethics in “7 Habits”

May 27, 2008

Throughout the entirety of the book, several quotes and excerpts stuck out to me, striking me on a personal level, forcing me to think and reflect for awhile. For the next couple of posts I plan on putting these reflections into words, and posting them a long with quotes, so that I can share the important ideas I was taught.

Just as junk food and lack of exercise can ruin an athlete’s condition, those things that are obscene, crude, or pornographic can breed an inner darkness that numbs our higher sensibilities and substitutes the social conscience of “Will I be found out?” for the natural or divine conscience of “What is right and wrong?”

This section in particular was important to me, and forced me to reexamine values that I have in life. In different parts of my daily life, there are things that I do because I fear the consequences if I am found out, where as other actions I take because I know, deep down, that is it the right thing to do. Stephen Covey urges us to become self-aware, of our surroundings and actions, and be conscious of why we do the things we do . Additionally he states that we should choose a set of principles to base our life off of, so that when situations present themselves, and we are able to choose our actions based not on consequences, but rather what is the right thing to do, reverting back to our standard set of life principles. Looking back on the philosophy class I took last Autumn, this essentially is contrasting virtue ethics and consequentialism.