Invitation To The Opening Of Our Consciousness – This 1980 text written by Marguerite Yourcenar did not take a wrinkle. Alas.
“I condemn the ignorance that prevails in democracies as well as in totalitarian regimes right now. This ignorance is so strong, often so total, that it seems like it wanted by the system, otherwise by the regime. I’ve often thought about what child’s upbringing might be.
I think basic studies, very simple, where the child would learn that there are in the universe, on a planet whose resources will later have to spare, depend on air, water, etc. all living beings, and that every mistake or violence is likely to destroy everything.
He would learn that men have killed each other in wars that have never just produced other wars, and that each country arranges its history, liefully, in order to flatter its pride.
He would be taught enough from the past to feel connected to the men that preceded him, to admire them where they deserve to be, without becoming idols, nor of present or hypothetical future.
We would try to familiarize him with both books and things; he would know the names of plants; he would know animals without indulging in the hideous vivisections imposed on children and young teenagers under the pretext of biology. He would learn to give first aid to the injured; his sexual education would include being at birth, his mental education the sight of the great sick and the dead.
He would also be given the simple concepts of morality without which life in society is impossible, an instruction that elementary and middle schools no longer dare to give in this country.
In terms of religion, he would not be imposing any practice or dogma, but it would be like something of all the great religions in the world, especially the country where he is, to awaken respect and destroy in advance some obnoxious prejudice.
She would be taught to love work when work is useful, and not to get caught up in advertising, starting with the one who boasts more or less horny treats, preparing future cavities and diabetes.
There’s definitely a way to talk to kids about really important things earlier than we do.”
Marguerite Yourcenar, “Eyes Open.”