Ethics & Education

Ethics. That’s what’s on my mind and heart today.

Names removed to protect anonymity.
Question to me.
So it’s not ethical to write a paper for someone? Is it ethical to charge $18k to attend school for a semester to ultimately receive a piece of paper that society deems as acceptable enough to get a decent paying job and continue the vicious cycle of debt?

My Response.
Apples and oranges. No, it’s not ethical to write a paper for someone else. Each of us is called upon to do our personal best. There is nothing wrong in helping, encouraging, coaching another to reach their personal best. But, to do the work for them? It cheats them of the exercise, the challenge, and the success they achieve from doing the best they can.

The, “paper,” is more than a paper. It should mean one has met a series of challenges, faced them, engaged new material, new ideas, grown through the experiences, and is ready to enter a new array of lessons, challenges, joys, and successes. It is demeaned by it becoming a ticket to the future to be bought at any price. Too often today, that price includes the burgeoning market for research papers written by others, pressure on faculty to accept increasingly marginal work to appease the gods of, “student retention,” and a labor market that demands a college degree to answer the phones.

Writing a paper for another is just one symptom of all that is truly wrong with education today. The only way to do anything about it is to act from a sense of honesty, truth, and to demonstrate ethical behavior.

An education is its own reward only if it’s achieved on its own merits. Quality in education doesn’t have to be so expensive. But, if one decides to pay for the cachet of, “Ivy League,” education for the presumed benefits of such a college experience, then the cost will be high and one should accept that consequence of their choice. But, there are a wide array of affordable choices that provide academic rigor and quality learning.

So, apples and oranges.

Part Two
And to finish this day’s, “download.”
If one has no roots, one’s growth becomes stunted. We cannot build a new future with no knowledge of what brought us to the present. Otherwise, the same errors will be made.

It’s all just information. Do with it what you will. However, it really is true that, “Those who do not remember the past will be condemned to repeat it.” Each generation has the opportunity to improve the world, maintain the world, or tear down the world. The last two are easy. The first is very, very difficult as it requires knowing what hasn’t worked before and what isn’t working now.

That’s what education is supposed to be about. It is that only if one accepts that some of the information one needs may not seem immediately useful or relevant. It can take years for some of what is included in a college or even high school education to has relevance in one’s life. That’s because it’s foundational material. It is meant to be built upon by lived experience.

Most Americans seem to think that everything must come easily and all at once and that anything that isn’t explained in 140 characters is irrelevant. That isn’t how life works, though. A life is lived a moment at a time. It is grown and nurtured and requires hard, sometimes tedious work. As a musician spends hours playing scales and exercises and dancers spend hours repeated the same moves over and over and over again and farmers plow and plant and harvest and plow and plant and harvest again so it is with a life.

It takes time. It takes doing what isn’t easy or even clearly understood in the moment. It takes patience. It takes sacrifice.

All that brings joy when the fruit of the life ripens. Along the way there are joys and ecstasies if one is open to them. But, if one doesn’t take each step in turn, in order, then they are never offered and can never be experienced.

I understand I may seem to be just a preachy old woman with too much education and I probably fit dozens of stereotypes based in race, class, gender, ability, etc. No matter. All this may be lost on you. No matter. My hope for you is that you find whatever it is you keep running around the country seeking. My hope is the love you seek without finds you within. My hope is you become the woman you clearly hold as a vision in your heart.


About drluccia

Seeker, Sufi, Educator, Interfaith Minister, Coffee Roaster, Wife, Grandmother, Veteran, Musician, Poet, Writer, n' Stuff 'n Things.
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