Lance Scranton: Tomorrow’s leaders?
April 28, 2015
After reading selections from the New Testament and Quran in our Western Literature class, the assignment was to develop a social contract that reflected the diversity of thought found in the two selections. Keep in mind that each of these religious works have exerted a tremendous influence on our Western culture historically and still do today.
The culminating assignment was for seniors to develop a social contract based on ideas from the two readings. Teachers often say, "be careful what you ask for" and this particular exercise in contractual obligations and societal responsibilities was fascinating. More than a few students might consider running for public office someday.
The most notable commonality was the number of students who believed that some type of shaming should be re-introduced into the social construct. It is interesting that these young adults, having grown up in a culture that has increasingly avoided shaming people for doing something wrong, realize the importance of people knowing, understanding and experiencing the effect of behavior that is not socially acceptable.
Teenagers are socially liberal by nature and it was no surprise that the protection of human rights was a major concern of most students although there were more than a few who thought that some type of penalty for having too many kids or getting a divorce should be imposed to protect the family structure and the welfare of children.
Not surprisingly, freedom and individual practice of religious beliefs popped up in their protections more than a few times. Some believed that the practice of religion should not be interfered with in any way while others thought some mitigation would be necessary if the practice of religion threatened others safety.
An impressive amount of students had some interesting fixes for our republic which included transitioning to a confederation and many students thought that government officials should be required to hold some type of private-sector job to qualify for office.
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On the flipside, some thought that living in caves would be best or that everyone be required to live naked to combat obesity and reduce "judging."
OK, not all the ideas were practical but it is safe to say that our 2015 graduates have a pretty good handle on most of the foundational issues that make our country what it is today.