From one cog to another….

I believe that if there is any purpose to education, it should be to lay a proper foundation for the person you want to become.  There’s no guarantee that there is a purpose to anything in life, but if there is one, there is probably two. Two purposes to anything in life; in this case, education. One purpose would be your purpose, whatever that may be. You want to achieve something by educating yourself. To generalize, the first purpose is internal. Something we don’t often think about fully is the second purpose: this purpose would be external, or what society wants from your education. If it served no purpose for society, education would not exist.

Or be outlawed. Oh wait, it is outlawed in some countries.

The internal purpose of education is going to be unique to each person. It may have some general things in common like a basic desire to better oneself, to attain skills for a well-paying job or simply to acquire knowledge, but as every person is a unique individual so are their motivations.

Do you think society needs you to be a unique individual? Opinions will vary on this, but look at the things that drive a society. Commerce, conquest, cooperation…these are just words that start with a “c”. I could go through the alphabet, but let’s not. So society needs individuals to contribute to the “greater good” or “goal”. If you think of society as a great machine, then we are the parts, the cogs. And that’s not necessarily a negative. The means to make yourself the smartest, shiniest, most spectacular cog you can be are within your grasp.

I’m not really saying anything new here, this is just the reality of the situation as I’ve come to see it. If you’ve ever felt pushed or pulled in uncomfortable directions by the educational process, that’s because someone or some institution was trying to mold you into a shape that’s more compatible with what they require. It’s natural to resist this, but pretty difficult. Society is just too big for one individual cog to defeat. It will crush you if it wants to. Though I see so many people vegetate into what seems to be a mindless state, it doesn’t have to be that way. Just enough resistance to assert your identity, as long as you don’t buck too hard against the system, will be tolerated by the machine. You can be a pretty bitchin cog. As long as you keep turning in your slot and don’t fuck up the machine’s workings.

You just have to keep your mind working. You have to continue to want things. Write something everyday. Don’t look away from awful things. Dive into that stuff. Shake yourself up. Hold on to your sense of humor. Don’t let yourself get too high or too low. There’s a lot of stuff I could say, you know what I’m talking about. I won’t belabor the point. It just boils down to keep yourself moving. As a cog in the machine, sure, but also for yourself. Hey, the bigger and badder you are as a cog will also translate into making yourself a greater person. So it’s not a bad thing to be in a machine. It’s a great machine, and you’re one of the reasons for that.

And now I’ve kind of said what I meant to say in my first blog regarding English 101, and I’ve still got about two hundred and fifty words to fill. Two hundred and twenty now. So let’s keep going!

I originally thought I would just put my first freewrites in this space and develop them further, but I talked about the cog thing instead. This absolutely illuminates whatever process I have as a writer, which is, I don’t really outline. I don’t make a concrete plan and then execute it precisely. Not that I never have a plan. I just love to improvise. I agree with Jen when she says first thought, best thought. In fact, a lot of writers subscribe to that notion. You have to embrace a theme that speaks to you first before you can properly speak it to an audience. It’s a leap of faith, though. Will what moves me move my audience? Maybe I’m just too weird, maybe they won’t get me. Somebody has to get me! I can’t be that far out, can I? I think everyone has these insecurities, not only in writing but in life. In an interview once, Kurt Vonnegut was asked to sum up in one general theme the meaning of all his stories. He replied, “People should be kinder to each other”. Was he just referring to his books when he said that? No, it applies to life.

So do you understand what I’m saying? It’s okay, I know I’ve jumped around. Especially in that last paragraph. But this is a blog. I swear if  it was a paper I would finish my points and tie everything in a neat bow. But this is a blog.  That being said, there’s no excuse for lazy writing. But this is Sunday. No time for rewrites. I tried to be entertaining but this isn’t a thesis. This is a blog. How deep can you go? Did it entertain you? It entertained me a little bit. I’m disappointed but entertained. Just like the Lost finale. I don’t really have multiple personalities(are you sure?), I just write like I do sometimes. Thank you if you read this whole mess. In between this blog and blog #2 I’m going to post versions of my freewrites. See you in class!

903 words, I think.

2 thoughts on “From one cog to another….

  1. I know what you mean when you talk about cogs and machinery. An educated society is best for everyone. Lack of education hurts us all. I also think that we as a society have become too wrapped up in the whole me me me attitude. What does it hurt to think about other people? Common decency is almost a thing of the past. I tell my daughter to say please and thank you all the time. I cost you nothing and can get you back so much more. I think if we were more mindful of others and did not try to shoe horn people into what we thought was “best for them” and let people live their lives. We are not all destined to be pressed into cookie-cutter molds that have to fit in to what is normal. I am a 40 year old man with adult ADD. When I went to school it was hell for me. There was no IEP or counsels. My second grade teacher hated me. I know this because she told me so. I was told I was an Idiot child by my forth grade teacher. I have a 3.75 GPA in college now. I’m not an idiot. I just do not learn like most people.
    In closing I would like to also point out that I HATED the last season of Lost and to this day it makes my eye twitch…

  2. Hi there! I like how you relate the significance of education and society with cogs in machinery. You have a good outlook on individuality in society or rather, being a pretty bitchin’ cog. I thought you had some good observations and made me think about my own experiences when you discussed the dangers of bucking too hard against the system or not at all and ending up in a vegetative state.

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