26 Feb 2012

Waste of my life–the early years

I just calculated that approximately 570 hours of my life between the ages of 5 and 11 were spent compulsorily participating in the singing of bhagans in a language I did not know or understand. I was told to believe in God - and that this was the way.

Today, I cannot recall a single line of meaning of any English translation of these bhagans. I should have demanded explanations and compulsory lessons in a foreign language which I would never have used. If you didn’t realise I was being sarcastic, you definitely need help.

And in other parts of the education system I was forced to participate in the singing of Christian hymns (you will note my particular choice of words). Nobody even stopped to ask whether I had a religious belief in any particular God, or whether I believed in God at all. Throughout the early years – there is an assumption of Gods of various kinds that one must believe – and satisfy in various ways, so as to avoid damnation of various kinds.

If you’ve ever listen to or read obituaries, you may have thought to yourself “What a loadah bollocks – [they didn’t say he did this.. that or the other despicable thing]!”. But you know ‘now is not the time’ for telling the whole truth – so you allow representations of the deceased as filled with such kindness and achievement, to prevail. A similar phenomenon is applicable to looking back upon school years – I assert. We are compelled by some unconscious expectation to say how great it was – when in fact it wasn’t.

Why do humans indulge themselves in such utter hypocrisy? No – the question is not a search for answers – it’s said with a sense of despair. Save me the ‘education’ that ‘one has to balance the good times with the bad’. What - you think I’m stupid and incapable of doing this – or is it that you feel a need to talk down to me? ‘You’? Yes – you that reads this. I can estimate what will run through your mind before you begin to think it. And now you’re likely to be thinking that I had a particularly horrible early few years in primary school but surely other people during the same period didn’t. You’d like to tell me that I should not generalise – and that I should keep my negativity to myself. You mean to say that only positive things should be reported – I get the message.

But I disobey. I speak it as I find it – often to the discomfort of others. The early years were a waste of my time – not just for bhagans. They – the establishment - could have done it much better – all the educating etc. However, systems prevailed. I was forced to learn the currency of a foreign land (that was 5,500 miles away) – pounds, shillings and pence – when I could never have had foreseeable need to use such a currency. I could go on about much more, but I only paused briefly to reflect. The time will never come back to me, surely. So my purpose here could not be to moan the loss or attempt to retrieve it.

However, I do spend the few minutes on this only to say that many of us are subject to systems that have power over us – that actually waste our lives. As my early life was wasted so might your current life or your children’s lives, be wasted by organised systems of belief and indoctrination. But if you or them never come to know anything greater than what was ‘given’, then you’re spared of any anguish.

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