All Lessons Matter Because the Children are Watching
Sounds good, yes?
Let’s try different crimes and see if this is solid reasoning or just a bit stupid.
Instead of teaching people to not carry their cash and valuables around in an open wagon, don’t leave your doors unlocked, keep your jewelry out of sight, avoid dark alleys in neighborhoods known for mugging, avoid walking home alone, leave your cash in your glove box, secure your passwords, use a VPN, dress down at public events...
Teach People Not to Steal.
Theft is never the fault of those stolen from.
End Theft Culture!
Instead of teaching people to not talk to strangers, avoid online dating, stop cheating on significant others, don’t steal from others, stay away from friends engaged in criminal activity, avoid schools, concerts, nightclubs, movie theaters, driving while black, swimming while black, doing anything in public while black, answering your door…
Teach People Not to Murder.
Homicide is never the fault of those murdered.
End Murder Culture!
As a former teacher, I think our ideas of teaching others has become somewhat skewed. It seems that teaching is somehow congruent with lecturing, admonishing, grading. While those are definitely methods used in the modern school system, they are not the most effective way to teach children. The most effective method to teach children is by example.
Children learn through imitation. Babies imitate your behavior to learn how to function in the world. If you eat with your hands and pick your nose a lot, your child will as well. Even once they get to the age when their friends and phones are far more interesting than you, they are still watching you and learning how to proceed from your actions.
Every time you lose your shit over something trivial (being cut off in traffic, the wrong name on your Starbucks cup, an online fight on the fucking internet) the children see you and learn how to behave.
Every time you cheat (just a little), or steal (just a little online with BitTorrent), or lie (just little ones), the children see you and learn to do exactly the same.
Every time you dismiss other people because of their skin color (any skin color), or sex, or gender, the children learn to do that, too
Here’s a thought:
IN ADDITION TO teaching people to proceed in the world with a bit of caution, to understand that for most of the world you are how you dress, to avoid drinking too much, to be careful when in public alone, to know someone before you invite them into your home,
Behave in the way you’d like to see the rest of us behave rather than lecture us and then demonstrate your own blind spots by contradicting your lectures with your behavior.
You want tolerance and kindness and respect? Be tolerant and kind and respectful. You want people to be generous (in practice and spirit)? Be generous in practice and spirit. You want others to stop bullying? Stop bullying. You want people to listen to you? Listen to them first.
And teach everyone not to rape.