67. Instilling an Appreciation for Common Social Benefits and Social Stability

All people, but especially children and students in primary and secondary education, should perhaps take some courses or at least be constantly reminded of all the rights, opportunities, protections, government and social stability, transportation infrastructures, sanitary and utility infrastructures, and many other good things that they are able to enjoy due to their living in a relatively modern country and this country in particular. People/children should constantly be forced to think about and ponder about those things which either they enjoy or have available to them so that they are less likely to take such things for granted or diminish the value or significance of such benefits.

To really emphasize these ideas and drill them into students, schools should teach students several examples of other people around the world, or people during other time periods in history, who do or did not have access to the same benefits we do today. Some of these courses or teachings, especially those that compare our benefits with people currently living in other parts of the world, should be so powerful that it should cause a significantly large percentage of students to be crying during or after such presentations. A flood of specific examples should be showered on students about what other people in other parts of the world cannot do or enjoy and the reasons why. For example, children (especially girls) should be taught that many girls/women in other parts of the world aren’t allowed to even learn how to ride bicycles, they are not allowed to go to school, cannot vote, and that they are forced to cover their bodies from head to toe every time they go outside. People should be taught how if feels to live in a war zone or in a country where corruption runs rampant. Students should be taught that they didn’t choose where they would be born, and they could just as easily have been born in a poor country, in fact, the chances are such that it would have been more likely for them to have been born in a poor county. Students should be made to write papers, watch movies, hear speeches, perform plays and do other things that would deeply instill in them a deep appreciation and value for the benefits they enjoy in this country as well as forcing them to truly understand daily life in places that do not have such benefits.

Perhaps students, as well as virtually every other member of society, should be encouraged to deprive themselves, for at least one day each year, of some modern convenience, such as running water, electricity, natural gas, etc. Such periodic deprivations would highlight to everybody how integral many of these resources are to daily activities and how different their lives would be without them. Maybe schools could organize field trips designed to immerse students in such environments. Children should be required to experience, for one day (perhaps on Child Labor Day on June 12), an immersive experience of a full 12 hour work day common for children in gold or coal mines, brick factory, textile mill, etc.

A beneficial side-effect of these experiences may be to encourage people to better learn how to survive after a major disaster, such as an earthquake, without such utilities.

An appreciation for the major advances in technology in virtually every major scientific field, but especially the medical field, and those advances that provide our culture or society with either practical or technical advantages over others should be emphasized. The negative implications for people not enjoying such benefits should also be required study for students. Also, intensive study on how life was like for our ancestors before the development of certain technologies should be required.

An appreciation for the decreasing number of illnesses experienced by the average population should be instilled in students and the rest of society. People should be told statistics about the frequency of illnesses in the past, their higher fatality rates, and how modern advances have improved the situation.

Teaching people to have an appreciation for things which are so often taken for granted should not be limited to an academic environment. The public and private sectors should take many opportunities to educate people along these lines. Lessons of this sort should occur scattered throughout all types of media, including television, movies, books, music, newspapers and virtually every other place where it may be practical.

When people begin to lose an appreciation for a benefit they enjoy, they begin to lessen the value they place on that benefit. They also begin to lose perspective on its importance or the degree of difficulty with which it was attained. People then begin to tinker with it or its essential elements in a much more lighthearted and even cynical fashion. Such views and behavior could then lead to a dangerous corruption or even collapse of the benefit requiring a much larger struggle to reattain it than would have been required to just maintain it.

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