“The Jeffersonian idea of public education is to integrate the fundamentals of a society. We’ve dumbed down our education to technical and lost the fundamentals that bind society. It’s the root of our dissolution; the reason no one knows how to negotiate or compromise.”
Johnny Seay’s thoughts on the value of a broad education are particularly interesting for a guy who spent twelve years teaching the basics of masonry construction at a vocational / technical school. Johnny, who started as a mason, then became a teacher, an administrator, and ultimately the safety coordinator for the Oklahoma Association of General Contractors, appreciates the value of technical education; he just sees it as one component of what a full education entails.
Johnny was fascinated by my journey in a different way from others I’ve met. He saw it as a series of choices that led to a different way of experiencing time, the land, and people. Johnny believes that everything, everything we do, we do by choice. “We make hundreds of choices every day. If I drive to work and focus on the road, I miss the sunrise. That is a choice. We like to think it’s an obligation, but it’s not.” We don’t have to drive to work, we don’t have to pay attention as we drive, but there are ramifications of not going to work or not paying attention. “We have freedom of choice, but not freedom of consequences.”
How will we live tomorrow?
“My grandson has never seen a rotary phone or a black and white TV. He’s only known tablets and digital watches. His son will probably have implants. Some people think this is terrible; I think it’s great.
“However, if we don’t do something, we won’t be around for that. The human race will exist, but in what capacity? Will we frack our way out of existence?”