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"educated fools...

they have ruined the world." so said damian marley in the song (appropriately titled "educated fools") on the album that first caused me to fall in love with him, halfway tree.

i'm inclined to agree with him, and not just cuz i love him. in fact, i think i love him because i agree. education and the supposed enlightenment it brings are supposed to be the keys to bettering the human condition, right? but more and more people are getting that education, and is the human condition improving? maybe. but i'm definitely not convinced that it is.

some people make the one-way elevator comparison. people, especially those from typically underserved communities, get lucky and get on that elevator and go all the way up and graduate from college, and then never go back to where they started and try and help out.

some say, i can't help others before i help myself. can't be too mad at that, it is understandable logic. i guess the problem with that type of thinking is that it is difficult to reckon exactly when one has helped oneself enough. there is always more one can reach for for oneself. like big, said, mo' money, mo' problems. success takes a lot hard of hard work to achieve, and a lot of maintenance once you achieve it.

i guess the best thing to do is avoid that thinking entirely. and i would guess you've gotta start early. so when i came across this article about p.s. 27, an elementary school in red hook, i was moved and impressed. all of the academic education in the world won't teach you how to live, and how to feel good about yourself, and how to reach back and help others...

"But at a public school in Red Hook, Brooklyn, "caring is part of the curriculum," says principal Sara Belcher-Barnes. So when fifth-graders raised $300 through bake sales, they donated it to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. When third-graders collected art supplies, they shipped them to a village in Ghana. And when second-graders grew lettuce and radishes, they made a salad for a Red Hook senior center.

"I was happy, because I gave something to the senior citizens," Kymani Jackson, 8, proudly explained. "They said it was really good."

the article later states:

"While improving academics and graduation rates are the top priorities, "we also want our students, when they leave us, to become very productive adults. And community service does that," said Marge Feinberg, spokeswoman for the city Department of Education.

"Red Hook is a gritty, working-class and somewhat isolated section of Brooklyn. Nearly all the students are black or Hispanic, and fewer than 40 percent meet state standards in reading and math."

well, thank you for teaching the kids that you don't have to wait til you get to the end of the elevator ride to get to doing. thank you for caring. and this might seem somewhat incongruous, but i think it isn't really, cuz i just recently read he's just not that into you, and the author stated that he believed in the verb love. love is not just a shadowy feeling or concept, it exists in an action state. and warren buffett getting old and giving vast billions to a supercharity is all good, but really, why sit around and wait for folks like him when your mind works and your eyes see and your ears hear and, wonder of wonder, you have reason and opposable thumbs of your own?

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