Trickle down tyranny.
Are you fighting with your friends/neighbors/colleagues/wife/husband/teachers/bosses or just about anyone you come in contact with who doesn’t agree with your way of thinking?
Are you tired of seeing destroyed buildings and humans in pain due to bad people fighting or natural disasters which we seem to be increasingly unprepared for?
Are you waking up on a Monday morning with nothing to look forward to except the same grind of meaningless work, feeling like a cog in an outdated machine which is producing not much to move us forward?
Are you looking forward to the only things that seem to make you happy these days, alcohol or cannabis or screens or some other mind-numbing substance which lets you check out but does nothing to help the long game. And often makes it worse.
The good news is you are not alone. In fact, I have a 10-80-10 belief that 10% of extreme conservatives and 10% of extreme liberals are getting all the attention when actually 80% of us are ready to care for people, get our systems running again and solve some of the day-to-day issues.
The bad news is that some of that 10% are leaders who, because of trickle down tyranny, are setting a tone and opening the door for much of the bad craziness. Hamas, Putin, Trump, these are the enemies who perpetuate the hate. Can we get rid of them and solve all the world’s anger problems, of course not but it moves us in the right direction.
I am in the bully changing business. My “grind of meaningless work” is to teach students why the path of bullying might have kinda worked for them in the past but that there is a better way to spend your time on earth. Do I turn hammers into nails? No, it’s not that simple, and besides, that’s a terrible analogy.
“When the children are not embraced by the village they’ll burn it down for warmth.”
Monday we had a teacher training with Dr. Keisha Allen and this proverb was my favorite quote of the session.
Connection matters, belonging matters and tolerance matters. We have become so siloed these days that we don’t even see the problem. I see it in my students. Discussions end in yelling and name calling, cliques are reinforced, compromise means weakness, oh wait, am I talking about Congress or my classroom. Unfortunately, both.
And that’s the exact point, trickle down tyranny is working! The 10% is controlling all of us and, even worse, making what was once unacceptable acceptable. Invading countries, killing innocent people, being accused of 91 felonies, these are bad things done by bad people. When bullies win, we all lose.
I don’t have enough answers, my toolbox works sometimes in my micro classroom but in the macro world there is no teacher saying, “Stop that because a connected world is better than a fragmented world”.
I do know that we need that teacher, like yesterday, because if we continue to elect and tolerate leaders who behave like some of our leaders are currently, we will see more destroyed buildings and humans in pain.
By Wednesday things seem to be returning to normal, as in, ignore the realities of trickle down tyranny and resume life. This is also the unfortunate problem when you live in a beautiful place where it’s easy to turn off the news. Besides, can you believe how great the 49ers look this year?
I did a lesson on Hamas and Israel and Palestine on Tuesday which I stopped halfway through because of a lack of student interest. I have learned in 30 years in the classroom that when I am passionate (and in this case repulsed) about an issue and students are not, it’s best to pivot rather than play through. I also know that my issues are not their issues no matter how much I want them to be.
But pivoting means acceptance, and I am not accepting this. Humans should not be parading other humans, naked and near death, through the streets no matter what the circumstances.
Because it’s a human thing, not an Israel thing or a Hamas thing or even a Putin thing or a Trump thing. It’s human beings who are 99.9% similar in their genetic makeup burning down the village.
Is there a solution? Of course there is, stop fighting each other and start fighting trickle down tyranny. Connect with people and preach the importance of that connection. Realize that we are on the wrong path as a species, that many of our cherished institutions-government, education, the economy, the environment need some intervention now. Then speak out and get others to do the same. The 80% must drown out the 10%.
Wanna know what happens if we don’t change? China reclaims Taiwan, Russia wins in Ukraine and Putting looks for his next conquest, and if you thought January 6th was ugly, imagine what a president Trump full of vengeance and hate will do.
Understand but don’t accept the bullies. And always follow the money because it is at the root of much of this behavior. Can you do anything about Israel or Ukraine right now? Heck yes, write, debate, teach your kids, get involved and start by ending trickle down tyranny in your life.
By Friday, I’m exhausted. I’m wondering how to get Palestinians to safety so they don’t become collateral damage, war has no easy answers. I worry that my outspokenness might cause some waves in our little town but I like waves because I know sometimes they grow into change. I press send.