Whether we like it or not, we are all programmed in a certain way. From our early years we are conditioned to behave in a certain way by a series of treats, rewards and punishments. As we enter the school system we are trained to pass exams. Don’t worry about learning, just make sure you can pass the exam. Because remember, if you don’t pass that exam then you won’t get into university and won’t get a great job. This mental model has now been peddled for years and it is now seen as the only track available for many. What nonsense. I was recently told that over 70% of children at my kids high school will go onto university. Indeed my daughter has just been accepted and I wish her every success. However, all a Higher/A level and university degree means is a confirmation of the ability to absorb and remember information and then spew it all back on a page on exam day. Is this really education?
I know many teachers (indeed my wife is one) and they all say the same. The system is beating them. We will get to the point where no-one wants to become a teacher. They entered the profession to make a difference and wanted to give the kids a real education. Instead they have been browbeaten by a system that focuses on testing, performance reviews, parental involvement and admin. No wonder they are worn out! What happened to education for education sake? Teaching kids life skills and lighting up their imagination! (Think Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society) It’s all been extinguished by a system that doesn’t care and is only interested in producing average automatons. No doubt this was just what was needed back in the onset of the industrial revolution and the days of the British Empire where sending clones out to far fetched places to administer the work was the order of the day.
Unfortunately, football is trapped in the same arrogance bubble. We are the sheep and the system is the sheepdog. When do any of us break out from Groupthink and do our own thing? We don’t because “it has always been done this way” Our education system produces compliance and conformity just like our footballers. Breaking free has become almost impossible.
No matter how enlightened we think we are, we are basically ignorant. It is not our fault, we have been conditioned over many years. Over 50 in my case and it is made me what I am, good and bad. In recent years, my thinking and questioning has got wider. My first attempts at getting my thoughts down were through this blog. It was a way of expressing my emotions but I now know the limitations in this.
Our ignorance lies in our current reality and perception. I know a very successful businessman and his mantra is ‘perception is reality’ and he is not wrong. He runs a successful business and I know many of their problems yet to the outside world and his investors he is very successful. His success has been based on perception and he has used this to his advantage. We all have our issues to deal with but some hide them better than others. That mask of perception hides many evils.
This personal perception is driven by the ego. I have talked about this before and we all suffer from it to a greater or lesser degree. We can’t get away from it as ego is part of each of us. The problem with ego is that it creates an unhealthy belief in our own importance. This over-confidence and sense of superiority is ego-driven and takes that same person beyond their ability and competence. I believe the ego is one of the biggest problems we have to deal with and it is the root cause to many of our issues today.
So back to grassroots football. When we now have a system where we have all been conditioned into, and this is filled with a variety of ego’s driving the system then how the hell do we break this paradigm? Well I wish I had the answers but here’s my first step.
Education, education and education but not as we know education today. Until we break free from the arrogance of ignorance and start to educate ourselves on what is really going on will we get to the root cause. Let’s start by asking good questions and challenging why we are where we are?
Let’s break the chains and free our mind from ignorant thinking. Break out the arrogance bubble and don’t be a sheep. Challenge the system because unless you do the you are stuck in the ‘Arrogance of Ignorance’