“Men still want the crutch of dogma, of beliefs fixed by authority, to relieve them of the trouble of thinking and the responsibility of directing their activity by thought. They tend to confine their own thinking to a consideration of which one among the rival systems of dogma they will accept. Hence the schools are better adapted, as John Stuart Mill said, to make disciples than inquirers.” – John Dewey, Democracy and Education
This post is not meant to be a cheap shot at religion or public schools. It certainly could be, though. I’m more interested in how we learn and teach, how we communicate, how the media frames issues, how we like issues to be framed, and how we make sense of reality.
It seems to be true in my life that for most of it I was comfortable with “just tell me what’s the best thing and I’ll do/think that.” I preferred the easy way out. To begin asking the big questions is inevitably life changing, and once this journey begins it seems like there is no turning back.
I’ve begun down the road. The authoritative dogma (even from those I most deeply respect) is no longer satisfying. Truth, as other people see it, seems stale and empty. I am alone. The only way left is to continue the journey, to continue searching for meaning, to continue asking questions. There is no plausible return to the way life used to be. I cannot relearn the bliss of the past. And nor would I want to. I choose not to look back, to press on.