Monday, October 29, 2007

About "The (un)Reasonable Missourian"

The title of the blog, as you can probably tell, comes from the corresponding quote by writer George Bernard Shaw. It comes from his drama, Man and Superman (1903), but I originally saw this quote in the previews of the documentary An Unreasonable Man, about Ralph Nader. Despite whatever role he may or may not have played in President Bush's election in 2000, Nader has probably had the greatest influence on my political interest and activism of any figure alive. As the quote infers, the unreasonable man is an idealist and someone who is best suited for bringing about progress. I consider myself both an idealist and a progressive: I believe that society can always do something to improve itself, fight that which is truly unjust, and strive for a more perfect world (whatever that may look like).

However, because I am an "unreasonable man", so to speak, does not mean I don't actually believe in "reason" or "logic". On the contrary, I believe that reason, meaning "the capacity for logical, rational, and analytic thought; intelligence" is necessary for every human being to survive and thrive. While I am not that religious, I would even go as far to say that the complexity of a rational mind is God's gift to mankind, and it is our responsibility to use it for good. This means that we as human beings must always strive to be better learners (instead of simple and complacent); we must always be willing to be skeptical in the face of the illogical (instead of acting like a sheep or a fundamentalist); and we must use the knowledge we acquire for the betterment the world we live in (instead of for selfish or destructive purposes).

Some might say that what I am describing is a contradiction. While I could probably have a better title than this one (I've never been good with titles), I stand by it. I believe that the "unreasonable" man and "reasonable" man (as described above) complement each other. Simply put, one cannot be a virtuous person unless he or she properly uses the most important gift God has given them as a human: their brain.

This is partially why I have decided to become a special education teacher. I know that without accommodations and the extra assistance of special education teachers, I would have never made it to college. There are many other students in schools all across the country who, like me, need that extra help in order to thrive. I have decided to use my personal experiences as a special education student, as well as the knowledge I am currently gaining in my education program, to eventually help those students who also need that extra assistance. It is an injustice whenever a child is not able to reach their full potential in school. Such a child is truly left behind (both in academics and in life).

There is a lot of uncertainty about how I think my blog will look. I anticipate that it will evolve over time, and go places that I currently cannot imagine. But I do have an idea of how I see it initially looking. While I will not give a lot of details into my own personal life (see prior post for reasons of my anonymity), I will periodically give some insight into who I am. I will also have some posts that share topics I find fun or interesting (i.e. sports, comedy, movies, pop culture, etc.).

Primarily though, The (un)Reasonable Missourian will be an analysis of the ideas and issues surrounding two great passions of mine: education and politics. My own views on these topics will hopefully reflect both my idealism and passion for progress ("the unreasonable" side), as well as my belief in logical reflection and analysis (the complementing "reasonable" side). I encourage others who end up reading my blog to add their own thoughts, whether it be through commenting on a post, or emailing me personally. I don't want the exchange of ideas to merely be one-sided because, the world is a better place when ideas are freely exchanged. As George Bernard Shaw also once said:

"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."

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