Pledge of Allegiance...small children

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Re: Pledge of Allegiance...small children

Post by Ben » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:55 am

Hi all

We've just had Australia Day (Jan 26). Over the last twenty years Australia Day has also been marked by our indigenous population as "Invasion Day" with associated protests around the country. the 26th January marks the anniversary that Arthur Philip landed in Sydney Cove with over 1000 convicts and the birth of a penal colony and the subsequent brutal subjugation of our native population.
Nationalism, or national identiy in this country is schizophrenic in nature yet viewed by most people through the lens of either apathy or a catalyst for (usually) race-related violence or diatribe. Australia Day doesn't mean much to many people except as an opportunity to take the day off. Because this year it fell on a Tuesday, it was the reason why an estimated 500,000 people called in to work 'sick' on Monday morning to have a four-day weekend. The one day of the year that is of real significance to national identity is ANZAC Day, 25th April which commemorates the military disaster of the Galipolli camaign in 1915.
A mistake a lot of Australians make is to point their finger at the perceived excesses of American nationalism as objects of myrth, yet fail to see the dark underbelly of our own nationalism.
Anyway, I'm done derailing this thread and I'm sure you've heard enough of my rant.
Time to get back on topic, I think!
kind regards

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR


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Re: Pledge of Allegiance...small children

Post by Guy » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:21 am

Nice Australia Day rant, Ben. :popcorn:
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

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Kim OHara
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Re: Pledge of Allegiance...small children

Post by Kim OHara » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:27 am

Guy wrote:It is my opinion that school is primarily designed to gradually indoctrinate children, whose minds absorb whatever information goes in without question, into a certain way of thinking and behaving.

...But that might just be my opinion.
Not just your opinion, but you are emphasising the negative aspects of it: 'schools socialise children' is equally true but leaves out the negative implications.

And the Oath is part of the indoctrination/socialisation. So are the Christmas and Easter activities, and the cheer squads for the sporting teams, and wearing the school uniform (if there is one - they are common but not universal here in Oz), and how to flick paper pellets off the end of your ruler ... the whole lot, good and bad.
I've been there, done that - as a child, as a teacher and as a parent, in several school systems.
Kids need to know all this stuff to survive when they leave school, even if they then choose not to go along with all of it.
None of it is likely to do permanent damage, especially if the home values are good.


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Re: Pledge of Allegiance...small children

Post by Butrfly_Nirvana » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:51 pm

Wow! Great insights!

What about the question of: Should a child in grade school really be making such a pledge? As mentioned, they don't know what an allegiance is, let alone all of those other words! So wouldn't that be teaching the kids to "just go along" with whatever someone else tells them to do without question or evidence as to why? Just my random thought I suppose! I think I will just let the kids "go along with it" and as they get older if they ask about it, or if the meaning is brought up, we'll take that one conversation at a time!

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