Consuming passions have been a tool for shifting America into a mass consumption country with a global economy. I would insist that media, and celebrated icons have a severe effect on how society figures their needs, wants, and desires. It is true that we’ve come from being producers (creators and dreamers) to falling short as consumers—the purchasers or mental receivers for others’ concepts and ideas about what is necessary in life. I say falling short as consumers because, where is the gain in our over consumption? The thought and action of spending more, consuming more for the validation of social classes, is a mere loss in itself. For acceptance is first accepted within your own mental being, so if one doesn’t except oneself as is, how can others accept your created illusion for who you are while others are having a hard time realizing who they are? We all, as a society end up lost and broke in the process of trying to consume for the fame and respectability of our peers.
Being true, this country has become an addiction practiced to gauge our social status and class with consumption. But where does it lead us? How has it helped us to achieve more? We have given symbolic power to merchandise, to make a statement as to who we are and what we are worth. This epic has turned the academic and scholarly attention away from the youth, and into the calling of the workforce. Now more teenagers have part time jobs to gain income to buy and keep up with the new fashions and fads. The glamour chasing fast life is tiring and causes mental stress. More time is lost when chasing the trends and latest styles, because as we know, fashion is a cycle and is always evolving, so the chase is never ending.
Nowadays, youth tend to steer away from academic activities because they look forward to favorite sitcoms and television shows after school. Media, music, fashion, and technology have paused our minds from thinking. Common sense isn’t so common these days. We have pushed ourselves so far beneath ourselves that we can’t hear ourselves think. When were the last time you sat in silence? When can you remember hearing that voice of conscience speak to you? Not the voice that tells you not to for get to grab some milk from the grocery store.Not the voice that reminds you, not to forget to call Martha to T-VO the latest reality show. But the voice that speaks and asks why have I been moving so fast? “When was the last time I sat down to read a good book for myself and my child?” But the voice that endures your soul and helps your mind recover from the illusions of life that you would normally consider reality by saying, “Is this really the life I want and need?” “Where is the purpose in my life, that I once dreamed of as a child? What happened to being a dreamer and being inspired by making great impacts on my life and the lives around me?
Yogi Bhajan's Lecture Morning of July 22, 1996 The Art of Communication by N. L. Billingslea
"When you are a teacher, your intention is to make somebody greater than yourself." I believe this with every fiber of my being. Why teach if not to inspire others and to empower them to go far and beyond what I could ever imagine? The quote above, to me, means that the information I share has infinite possibilities for use and application. It also speaks to the importance of the sharing of information, not the individual sharing it. As much as I would like to be admired and looked up to by all of my students, the reality is that the needs of my ego have no place in the classroom. Yogi Bhajan says, "The first role of the teacher is to be humble, grow under, see the growth, and then bring the fruit into the life of the person." I cannot assist another person's growth if I am constantly tending to my egoic needs. When I was an undergraduate, classes were taught the traditional way--professors lectured, students took notes. Unless you visited your professors during their office hours, there was little to no interaction in or outside of the classroom. The emphasis of the classroom experience was on the professor and the knowledge that instructor possessed. However, having gone through that system, I recognize that there is another way to instruct. The teachings of Yogi Bhajan make me consider the possibility that the emphasis on the learner can have advantages, one of which being students who are engaged and feel a greater sense of investment in their learning outcomes have a more meaningful experience. At the community college level, people come wanting results. Instructors alone cannot produce results, but when students are given the tools and resources to improve their skills, they acquire an awareness of the power they have to take what they learn and turn it into something--we educators call that synthesis. My best illustration of this would be the research papers English 101 students are given that require them to find out about how globalization empacts their professions. Once they have the resources of online databases, MLA documenation skills, and confidence in their writing, learning becomes a dynamic process that they then have control of. The papers become an application of their practical skills and a demonstration of their ability to apply the gathered information to their experiences. It is enlightening for me to witness the growth of people who enter my class uncertain of their abilities, but leave more certain of their aptitude.