Saturday, January 3, 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy and What Modern Progressives Fail to Understand About Learning


For Christmas, I received a copy of Guardians of the Galaxy. I'd seen the movie when it first came out and found it quite enjoyable. When rewatching the movie the other day, I was struck by one thing: all the main characters (except, perhaps, for Groot) had a back story full of pain and loss.

(If you didn't get a chance to see the movie, it's a fun and funny superhero movie. If you don't like space operas, superhero movies, or CGI, you'll hate Guardians of the Galaxy. But I digress.)

As I said, the back stories are tragic. Quill's mother died and then he's abducted by space pirates. Gamora watched the Evil Overlord kill her parents, then he forced her to become a super weapon. Drax's wife and children were murdered. Rocket was assembled and disassembled as an experiment. Groot is Groot, but probably has some painful memories of the past somewhere.

Here's the point, all of the characters in the movie became superheroes because of their struggles, no in spite of them. They didn't grow up with easy lives where the "government" took care of them, or dished out welfare checks, or told them they were all "special" just for participating, or coddled them against bullying, or told them what kinds of food they could eat, or any of a myriad lies founded on the principle of modern socialist dogma.

No, the heroes became heroes because they overcame obstacles. They became heroes because they suffered and in spite of suffering. They became heroes because they had learned from experience how to fight and win.

Hollywood makes movies all the time where struggle and pain are part of the lesson. Yet, despite this basic understanding of life on this planet, somehow the progressives who make such movies maintain a pipe dream concept of the Utopian system where there is no pain, no suffering, no losers, no winners, no rich, no poor, and no bullying.

As we note time and time again, progressivism/modern liberalism holds double standards that fly in the face of common sense and reality.

In contrast to the lesson learned from Guardians of the Galaxy, here's a look at what schools are teaching our children:

From anti-bullying laws (which never adequately define bullying, except as a vague uneasiness): The truth is that every kid has a right to safety, respect, and a comfortable environment in all school settings, so please report bullies to an understanding, trusted adult.

From a high school: Andover High School is committed to providing a safe, supportive, and equitable learning environment where students and staff alike lead by example, demonstrating collaboration, intellectual curiosity, effective communication, and real world application of skills.

From a grade school: Our commitment is to create an atmosphere of safety in which to acknowledge and express difference while advancing true acceptance and respect for all.

Notice that all of these examples (and countless others like them) focus on "safe environments" for learning. Yet time and again, our foundational stories that express excellence and learning depend on conflict, struggle, difficult situations, heartache, and challenges.

That progressives fail to teach the truths about opposition and struggle is another of the Big Lies of its dogmas. Stories such as Guardians of the Galaxy still ring true because they tell tales filled with conflict and overcoming trials. The screed taught in schools about safe environments and collaborative learning ultimately fail to produce a population which can even rise to the challenges of ordinary life.

There is no life without struggle and pain. As the Dread Pirate Roberts said in Princess Bride: "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

The question then becomes, what are modern progressives selling, and what is the price for buying into their Utopian pipe dream?