What Would Plato Think of Prozac?
Each person is unique and it is that individuality that we as a whole draw strength from. We should use such advantages to our benefit. Plato often wrote about this in The Republic, that each member of a society ought to do what they are best at and be alleviated from responsibility of those things they are not good at, which can be done by others. The individual and the society gain the most using this methodology. Why have we not considered this wise advice in our culture? Instead we often put people into jobs they are unsuited for in patience, competence and ability. Who benefits? Would a Football team, which actually wants to win the game do that? After all; the guy with the strong foot and lanky build ought to be the kicker, not a lineman, for he would only be good for one play.
Yet as our world becomes more PC, we seem to be too worried about hurting feelings in the real world and try to make everyone equal, people are not equal; not genetically and certainly not through different experience of nurturing. For instance I am a terrible accountant and could be good at that but it would be a living hell for me to try. This would serve no one if I were assigned to that position, would it? An accountant may be less suited for the activities that I tend to excel in.
We are so quick to judge and label people with disorders or categorize them and duly place them where society has agreed upon in advance that they must be, rather than looking into the individual. Schools are too quick to prescribe students as ADHD and put them on Prozac. We should be finding out where the superior traits can do the most good. From our studies of different people we find that lower intelligence levels find themselves happier in repetitive jobs.
We know that "A" type personalities make lousy accountants and do not like fine details. So what do ADHD people have, we know they do not have a lack of intelligence necessarily. So why is it a disorder if the person shows signs of higher intelligence, after all wouldn't that be a sign of strength and a positive attribute? The ADHD individual may not always score the highest on the English section of the SAT tests, but we know they are not stupid. So take a person who is smart, but fidgety. What would they be most suited for? What do they excel in and what would they be most suited for as an occupation?
The ADHD individual normally do not have the opportunity to get lots of certificates or degrees, they probably hate school. It probably feels like torture for them, so then we should find a need for their genetic make-up and you win, actually we all win. Or we could continue to classify them as an owner of a deficient brain with an insurmountable disorder and then pump drugs into their body to alter the natural flow of their individual thought. We are not paying attention close enough to the issues of ADHD and Bi-polar disorder, (there is that word again) we do not take into account the incredible amount of prescription drugs being given to our youth like Ridalin (Sp?) and Prozac and their affects on the learning ability of our children and young adults in real terms and actual intelligence levels due under utilized brain power being wasted on mood control and baby sitting drugs as I call them at this age.
A recent report by Carnegie is interesting in that it talks about the problems of delivering productivity and ethics back to the work place by starting in the schools and in hind sight is a valuable study even though a prediction of the past and a mission for the future may not take into consideration the newest problem of the current decade; that our miss uses of drugs in the brains of our students is hurting our ability to get to that lofty goal. It is very much an optimist approach to rest the bar of productivity, ethics and expectations, yet not very real world in terms of the reality of the over all parents, teachers and publics objectives to over medicate. People just are not too concerned about these issues and we are artificially numbing the brains of millions of students each year calling it a way to calm the unruly, high energy, ADHD, Bi-polar kids. It is a noble and worthy cause to want order in the classrooms and be able to teach larger groups of students, but I do not see the long-term benefits of denying what it is to be human and calling much of what is normal behavior a disorder. There may well be 1-2% which need some type of medication, but in some schools the numbers of medicated kids is 13-17%, that is simply not good for the flow of thought in kids and teens. Middle school reform in today's metro sectors is by far the most difficult challenge.
The American School Board Journal also touches on this subject and has a reading recommendation list on these topics of drug use. I believe it is possible to change the direction and current course.
Accountability in Action-A Blueprint for Learning; By Douglas B Reeves.
Conflicting Missions?-Teachers Unions and Educational Reform; By Tom Loveless.
Motivating and Learning Strategies for College Success-A Self-Management Approach, By Myron H Dembo.
We can build schools now or prisons later. But no matter how many schools you build you must not impede the flow of thought in the minds of kids. High energy kids or those who learn differently should be cultivated and put into activities to burn off that excessive energy through exercise. This is much better than slowing down their systems artificially unless it is completely necessary. What does Prozac due to kids? Well I suggest you read the book; "Living on Prozac" in case you doubt some of what we are saying here and it doesn't just stop in schools, 17% of the American Population takes this stuff, it is a consideration. Prozac takes 30 days to start working so obvious it is changing after the chemical reaches critical mass, which means it is changing everything. One Fraternity at a Major Medical College gets lists of females who are taking Prozac so they can date them. The Fraternity has an incredible record stating that 86% of those girls will put out on the first date. So much for these scientific white paper field studies, maybe these guys are on to something? The reasoning seems to point to a drug, which takes the edge off, reduces inhibitions and causes somewhat irrational behavior. Either that or these guys are super studs? You be the judge, but is a drug which causes such behavior worthy of our children?
The human brain generally is fully formed by age 6, yet there are many kids on mind-altering drugs prior to the age of six, is this wise? So first thing needed in our study is to allow the brain to have flow of thought and that starts in the nurturing of our students. We must resist turning off the brains of our kids, we have enough adults who have already stopped thinking, for instance look how some of these people drive? Think about it.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs
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