Sunday, October 16, 2011

Be Courageous

I was recently invited to go see the movie Courageous.  A key theme for this movie is how important it is that fathers step up and seriously commit to their role in supporting and leading their families.  The film is Christian based but even if you have a DSCN1232different belief system, the values and the challenge expressed in the movie are pretty powerful for dads.  This article advocates for fathers deep involvement but ultimately both parents are critical to support and train up their kids regardless of marital status.  When times are difficult, solid family life becomes even more important for all members of the family.  I think you would agree that we are in increasingly difficult times…

The key themes I read, think, and write most about within this blog are education, technology, and the future.  I also read a lot of material dealing with economy, history, and government as I think these significantly influence the outcome for education, technology, and our future.  I am reading a book “Democracy, the god that failed” which dives deep into a historical treatise of various forms of government but in particular monarchies and democracies.  The author argues rather convincingly that democracies (our form of government and the form advocated for by the “free world”) leads to de-civilization. Think about the complexity of the Canadian, US, and European governments (school boards, cities, states/provinces, federal), the layers of bureaucracy, massively complex public law, the costs to operate, and how these have grown over the years.  How about the massive level of government debt, the willingness to print money out of thin air, massive transfers of wealth from the common peoples to the super rich, and an increasing unrest amongst citizens around the world (for example, see Occupy Wall Street).  I wonder how fragile our civilization really is?  There must be a better way.  Sorry, no answers, just thinking out loud…

It is interesting how much I didn’t learn about history and our world during my journey through K12 and university.  Now, I find that by using social networks, electronic books, blogs, news, etc. it is far more practical to discover and learn about our past, our present, and to ponder possible futures.  Every day we are able to connect to old thinking, new ideas, and a mind boggling volume of information.  Fresh idea crosswordBut, it is very easy with technology to channel ourselves into narrow pockets of thinking, ideas, and information.  I believe that an open minded education system supported by effective technology is essential for creating open minded thinkers, collaborators, learners, and sense-makers.  This I believe is a critical piece for solving the worlds puzzles and problems and to manage our way through the chaos of an economy in melt-down, governments suspect of corruption, and an environment creaking under our use.  However, a great education alone is insufficient.

We need to be careful to not lose focus on the most important societal unit, the family.  We need now more than ever in our lifetime, courageous fathers and mothers who are willing to lead, teach, and support their children, to do the hard work of instilling the values of love, integrity, honesty, and selflessness.  Events like We Day are a positive sign that our children can think beyond themselves to help improve life for others less fortunate.  Values like these are most often first developed within good families.

It may be difficult at times to be optimistic given the chaos and unrest that seems to be increasing in our world.  Technology enhances, transforms, and disrupts our way of life.  Education helps us make sense of our world.  The future happens!  In difficult times, Newcastle Island 058one’s faith and family is often what gets us through.  If you are a father or a mother, I encourage you to take pause and think about how important your role is in raising your children.  You may already be an amazing parent – perhaps you can teach others.  You may have regrets about how you’ve performed so far – it is never too late to change.  Strong families will always be critical to creating a preferred future!