For those who don’t know, there was a school shooting in Colorado earlier today. For a news article, go to http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/13/us/colorado-school-shooting/
This news inspired this post. I was originally going to write about Christmas, but this is more appropriate for the time.
High school may or may not be the best time of your life. Your days are filled with education and socialization. You are taught, and in turn you teach others. It’s an important time of your life, you may or may not meet your future family, and you may or may not have your heart broken, but regardless of what happens to you and what you do, or do not, learn, there are things you will never learn. By the time you leave its old, cracked walls, you will know that the sin of a 30 degree angle is 1/2, that one mole is equal to 6.02×10^23 molecules, that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is not a story driven by love, but rather lust, hatred, and spite, You will know how to conjugate verbs in more than one language, and how failed reform attempts was a partial cause of the decline of the Ottoman Empire. You learn all these facts about math, science, English, history, and foreign languages, which may or may not be useful in the future. However, high school never teaches you everything, and it neglects to teach you what is important for life.
My school just finished Health week, with a day dedicated to suicide prevention, but we never asked why it occurs. We never addressed the reasons. We never discussed those who have attempted. or succeeded, to end their lives.
We had a hug day, but we never talked about why every day should be hug day.
We have had compliment days, but never talked about why every day isn’t compliment day.
We learn that depression exists and that it is a horrible, consuming ocean, but we never learn how to help those who we know who have been affected by it.
Within its walls, we learn how to survive, but we never learn how to handle the outside, how to live away from the comforting confines of the dirt covered, cracking walls.
We learn about psychology and how the human mind works, but we hardly ever question why.
We try to justify everyone’s actions and attitudes, but never ask them why they did what they did.
We learn the signs of pain, but ignore them when they arise and never ask anyone why they hurt.
Those walls have had thousands of people pass through them and tell them their secrets but they never say a word.
Your teachers will tell you to use your words, but they will never show you how to use them.
Everyone will tell you that words get you further than violence, but they never teach you what to say.
You know that in Dickens’ Great Expectations Pip is trained to be a gentleman, but how do you recognize a true gentleman?
You read books about life and death, but you never learn how to handle death.
You learn about the melting and boiling points of substances and why it takes more energy to vaporize something than to melt it, but did you know that sometimes you won’t have enough energy to get out of bed?
You see the couples in the hallway who claim to be in love, but no one will ever tell you how to love yourself, and how important that is.
You learn about the rain and why it falls, but you never learn that sometimes, enough rain falls from your eyes to fill an ocean.
In high school, you learn that in order for a triangle to be a triangle, the sum of the two smaller sides must be greater than the larger side, but you never learn what makes a person a person.
You study stories of life, but did you know that life is never like the books?
You know that allergies are just your body attacking things that it thinks are harmful but actually aren’t, but do you know why people attack others?
You may learn that the decline of Ottoman Empire was partially due to the spread of revolutions and nationalism, but have you ever learned what causes a decline in a human’s soul and mind?
You may even learn that people are annoying and that you hate them all, but did anyone ever teach you how to love them regardless?
At school, you are taught to be skinny and perfect and that is true beauty, but you are never taught that true beauty is internal, and no one who is internally beautiful can be ugly, and everyone is beautiful in their own way.
I have learned a lot of things in my short year and a half in high school and more than 10 years of attending school, but a few things still perplex me. For instance, why do school shooters shoot? Do they feel the need to extract revenge on someone or something so violently? Why do people feel like they are alone and have nobody? Why do those that feel this way never let you know they do? Why do those who claim to know Jesus not act like they do?
Your school may teach you things about the world religions, but they never help you discover one.
They tell you that Jesus was crucified, but they never ask why.
Teachers speak about their high school days, but they rarely help you survive yours.
High school so far has taught me facts that I will need to pass the Trig test on Tuesday, and to get a job in the science field when I am older. Other students teach me how to be competitive, but nobody told me competition and grades aren’t everything, in the long run they aren’t even that important. It taught me that I should always try to be a good person, but they never told me that good deeds don’t give me eternal life. Within its walls, I read about love, but never about unfailing and unconditional love.
By the time I leave high school, I will know mounds of useless facts, but I won’t know anything about life and what it means to live it.
You never learn in school what is truly important to your life and how to truly live. School is important, but not as important as life, it doesn’t teach you everything. I have never learned about Christ and His love in school, but I have learned that we aren’t supposed to talk about it in class. In French, I am learning that verbs make up a huge part of everyone’s life, but never about how our actions and choices affect others. I have learned how to write a coherent essay, but never how each part of my story correlates, or even what I want mine to say.
The things taught in school are important, but more important are the things never taught in the building, but in the world outside of it.