Archive | November, 2011

I’m Not a Conspiracy Theorist; I’m just a Chiropractor

2 Nov

I love learning German history. A), Many German painters, thinkers, writers, and artists-in-general are just about as death-obsessed as I am and B), I am constantly making those “real world connections” that are so über important in the world of education. Also, to clarify, I’m aware that everything about this paragraph makes me a bona fide nerd.

A different kind of nerd.

The other day we were learning about Hitler’s rise to power via the German Expressionism movement (a movement, I might I add, that is VERY COOL and nerdy or not, I will prove this later). Hitler started out as a total nobody, a failed artist whiny boy that came out of WWI unscathed and decorated with 2 ounces of precious metals. He felt some sort of calling to burst onto the political scene and formed the National Socialist Party. He failed at staging a coup in the 20’s and was imprisoned. But when the stock market crashed in ’29, Hitler had his golden opportunity. People were hungry, out of work, and scared.

The most important of those three factors is fear.

At my college graduation, we had a speaker who survived the Holocaust. She’s an incredible woman – Erna Blitzer Gorman, check her out. What she wanted us to take home was this: leaders take power with simple messages. Great change is achieved with simple words. Beware of the simple message.

What was Hitler’s message in the late 20’s, early 30’s?

Arbeit und Brot. Arbeit, Freiheit, und Brot. Work and bread. Work, freedom, and bread.

The people embraced Hitler for his simple message of work and food. The vast majority ignored his other messages.

What’s the best way, pedagogically, to help the student with a behavior problem? Teachers and Chiropractors, I know you know this one – PREVENTION. It’s all preventative medicine. We create an environment or community (or society!) where we can address the problem before it occurs – this is good teaching. It’s also the sign of a healthy society.

Erna Gorman encouraged us not to be passive bystanders. She encouraged us right the wrongs we see. She admitted this takes courage.

What it also takes is the ability to discern – to think for self.

America is facing a similar economic and social situation to Germany – while we are not suffering under the harsh conditions of the Versailles Treaty, our economy is down, unemployment is on the rise, and the people are scared.

We must monitor what we are buying into – even if our current social situation is poor, we must read between the lines and know our vote. Hitler came to power in 1933 – he was appointed chancellor to a republic. Keep in mind that a republic is a government where officials are elected by WE THE PEOPLE.

Most German citizens ignored Hitler’s racial message because they were infatuated with his promises. Recognize all the messages of our leaders, not just their promises. While no races may be endangered by America’s current political climate, there are other social groups to consider. Also consider that change is not immediate – knowing our vote and thinking for self NOW will quash an ugly movement before it ever rears its head.

Change is not immediate. Watch your government. Take part!

Like Erna Gorman, I wish for you all a life free of war, bigotry, and prejudice. In fact, I invite you to take it – to create it.

Read Erna Blitzer Gorman’s commencement speech HERE.