But how does one go about translating the theological equivalent of Donne’s “every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main” to an angsty teenager in 2019? How is this shared with a youngster, the product of capitalistic and atomised personal nihilism and pervasive cultural pessimism? Nothing makes me fear for the future of faith more than the thought that an uncrossable chasm has opened between the generations of our grandparents and that of their grandchildren.
When my card was declined and I had to step off the bus he remarked: “You people are all the same.” In one sense he was right, and I agreed with him. All people are the same, and that is why I freely give my time to even the score of social inequality in this city. This, of course, isn’t what he meant.
Looking in the mirror no longer shows me an image of how I think I look. Now it asks me questions about the future and reminds me that I am no longer the fairest in the land. My young maths students crack the odd joke about me developing bald spot and I find myself envying their youth and stupidity.
Our destruction, violence, and cruelty in the world we live should shock us and make us anxious. Why would we never consider it on another world? Is it is the case that the grass is always purpler the other side?
Truth cannot be calculated by the application of formulae. People’s accounts of events; the presentation of their truths, be that in books, the newspaper, or their spoken words, stake a claim on truth which cannot be factuality because it speaks to a distinct category of knowledge.
Fifty hours does not sound like a long time, but, then all things are relative. Two whole days in a leisure park will always feel much shorter than the same amount of time in a maths class. Our fifty hours, of course, was in the latter, and all of us wished dearly to have been in the former.
Not a single part of a person can be free whose mind is not at liberty. If for a moment we can accept Descartes’ dictum that thought presupposes being, then we must begin to perceive that even the most rigid barrier is merely the chimera of our inner fearful thoughts. Everything is impossible for us until it is done.
Education is a weapon as deadly as any sword; a truncheon that is employed to dehumanise the weak and impress upon them the indelible mark of the totality of their defeat and their hopeless inferiority. A teacher succeeds only when the student surpasses the teacher, but the triumph of education is the subjugation and ultimate annihilation of the human spirit.