By Jessica McCauley
My wish list for inclusion into public education:
There is a myth floating around our society that the above skills are inherent, innate, built into our genetic code. It is true that they come naturally to us—“naturally” being whatever was modeled for us growing up. In other words, we learned how to treat our partners, our children, our family members, friends, co-workers, ad naseum, by how we were treated by our primary caregivers, and how we saw them treating each other. What is built into our genetic code is what has happened in generation upon generation in our families, and beyond that, the collective cultures they exist in. This is one of the reasons our focus this year on children who witness abuse is so very important.
Some of us may know we don’t want to do things the way our parents did. But then who do we look to? Maybe we are lucky enough to have had an aunt and uncle, a couple at our church, or neighbors who exemplify an equitable, respectful and joyful relationship. On the other hand, many of us are just floundering around wondering: What does intimacy look like? What is a “healthy” relationship and how do I go about creating one?
Read more: My Wish List for Public Education