Education at Election Time

It is election time here in Victoria with Steady Steve and Big Ted fighting out to see who will govern our state for the next four years.
On just about our favourite topic of all time — Education — it’s heartbreaking to see the two main political parties treating the future of our children as a political football. Their philosophy seems totally dependent on whatever will win a few votes on Saturday: “many mourn the passing of technical schools, let’s bring them back”; “selective schools have popular appeal, we’ll have more of them”.
Imagine a minister for education who spent all their energy on, and instilled in every member of their department, one single-minded goal devoid of ideology: improving the quality of education for every child in the state. Forget polls. Forget federal-state fiefdoms. Forget short-term political appeal. Just ensure that every teacher and every school administrator does whatever it takes and uses every ounce of imagination and creativity to give every child their right.
For one brief foolish moment, I had hoped that Ted Baillieu might, just might, be the leader to bring such passion to education. How deluded I was.

Wounds to the Soul

I wonder if you are carrying a wounded soul?

We start out with such ideals — entrepreneurs in particular, if
you class yourself in that category. But life has a way of presenting us with
such huge dilemmas.

I was moved to think about this after reading Ian Mitroff this
morning. In the course of his research, Mitroff interviewed a number of CEOs.
He tells the story of

Charles (not his real name) is a typical CEO of a midsize, highly
successful manufacturing business on the East Coast [of the USA]. In his early
fifties, in good physical shape, and happily married with three "great kids."
he has an enormous zeal for living and for life in general. He is quite prous
of the entrepreneurial skills that enabled the creation of his business and
tha have kept it fresh, exciting, and highly competitive over the years. Nonetheless,
it didn’t take long in the interview for a deep wound in his soul to surface.

"A few years ago, I had an epiphany, I realized — or better yet, I could
no longer deny — that the chemicals I was using to manufacture and treat
the furniture I was making were highly toxic. They were extremely dangerous
to the environment. To my dismay, I realised that I had become an unwitting
agent of evil, Needless to say, this does not sit well with my self-concept."

What do we do with such dilemmas?