As a teacher, I tell my students that I am here to tell you the ‘Why, What, When, Where, and for Who/Whom (5 Ws) about the subject(s), I am teaching. As far as How (1 H) is concerned, I leave it unto you to decide, how to do, what you have been taught.
Then I came across the following quote by Peter Hitchens.
I live in a society, where free thinking is considered a taboo, and pupil and the masses, are forced to think the way, their ‘masters’ ask them to think. (For more on it, read my blog: Think Before You Are Thought).
By telling the students how to do, are we not killing their creative pursuits?
It is said that all the living beings are born free, but that’s not true, as we all are born out of our own will. Does that mean, that we have the right to live our lives, the way we want to live?
On a broader canvas, yes, but unfortunately that’s not the case. Whether we like it or not, we are somehow or the other, forced to live, as our ‘elders’ want us to live. We develop certain biases, for or against, people around us.
These biases compel us all, to be coercive in our approach, towards the ‘born free’. Even the strong proponents of free will and free thinking people, at times, are coercive to the core, to impose their will on those, who are under their influence, by virtue of their age, gender, culture, social norms, class, race, color, creed, and status etc.
The fight for survival, in this coercive society, ripe with the forces unleashed on the free-thinking people, will continue till the D-day. Chances are, that the people on both sides of the divide will keep fighting among themselves and within their own selves, as at times, they also have a tendency of being coercive as described above.
I on my part, keep thinking if I am approaching my students with that same liberty of free thinking or coercion. This approach has developed in me (to some extent), a sense of tolerance towards my wards.
But to induce this same approach (a daunting task) in my students to inculcate tolerance among them, would it not be considered ‘coercion’?