November 21st, 2011 by Cynthia Shahan
David Suzuki and Right Livelihood
Right Livelihood is a simple concept. Right livelihood is a strong concept. It is one of the vows of the Eightfold Path. It is related directly to an honest means of earning a living, sustainable reciprocity, serving in some way — serving another human life, serving the concerns of humanity. And this is all wonderfully imbued in David Suzuki, who was awarded the Right Livelihood award in 2009.
In Judi McLeod’s recent article on how “Canada could be the first country whose kids go to school to learn to be OWS activists,” she quotes Suzuki as saying, “I am very, very excited about the Occupy movement, because it seems to be a continuation of the Arab Spring.” And: “In their Occupy movement, they are beginning to point out the enormous inequities in a democratic society — why is it that corporations have so much influence on affecting government policy?” The 72-year-old television host, world-leading scientist, and creator of the David Suzuki Foundation said corporations and rich people are running the show in Canada. In McLeod’s article, we also read that “the David Suzuki franchise is expanding into public schools at taxpayers’ expense.” Wow, see how confusing this issue gets. Well, McLeod is actually a conservative “journalist” who doesn’t seem to support Suzuki, Occupy Wall Street, or not letting corporations control government.
Suzuki is educating with franchised funds — education reaching home-schoolers, charter-schoolers, public-schoolers, and more. One must believe that, as an educator, Suzuki is working on his sense of right livelihood.
McLeod suggests that Suzuki, along with others, is working to make education available in ways not often found. Suzuki is referred to as a force of nature. (I believe that we are all a forces of nature, in particular the very young.) Judi McLeod informs us that Suzuki also experiences this Occupy Movement as similar to the Arab Spring,.. which it was actually inspired by, and that he wants to extend the movement into classrooms.
In this recent article, Mcleod writes that Canada could be the first country to be teaching students to be Occupy activists.
Critical Thinking, Activism, Right Livelihood, and Occupy Earth
Teaching Occupy is timely education. One complaint I have been hearing from factions not directly involved or supportive of the Occupy Earth movement is: “the young do not understand what their own [non-violent] activism is about.” I believe they do.
However, critical thinking in regards to their objective will be helpful. Education, reflection on more multidimensional aspects of Occupy, will be then applied more intrinsically to the Occupy process. It will help.
Some people are born critical thinkers, some learn critical thinking, and education is all about developing deeper understanding of circumstances, structures, and one’s ability to discern and act more progressively inside such circumstances or structures. Let’s believe that applied critical thinking will offer more discernment, more paths towards right livelihood, for more of us on this small planet.
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