by Rob Chatwin
The Oxford dictionary
defines education as,
"the process of receiving
or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or
...but is it only in academic institutions that we are
given systematic instruction on what to believe?
In the news, for example, we are systematically taught all about the
world's problems. We are of course also told that governments are
working to fix them; yet climate change, war, poverty and
environmental destruction keep increasing.
Meanwhile, the advertisements in newspapers, on TV, online, and
billboards across the world, constantly teach us that we are here to
keep buying and consuming.
Consumerism, the message goes, will make
us happy and create a healthy economy at the same time; yet mental
and physical illness is at epidemic proportions, while the world's
economies are in ever-increasing debt.
The mainstream media, then, also fits this description of education
and we are being educated all the time that our purpose is to earn
money, consume, and let those in charge sort out our future:
Mainstream Media -
The Movie (2016) takes you on an in depth
journey that looks at how the human mind is
being shaped by TV programs, newspapers,
advertising and the news to believe a particular
narrative that fits the current political and
economic system and the consumer, them-and-us
ethos of our times, but does not serve humanity
in moving forward towards a peaceful, loving and
The mainstream media educates people to become
racist, sexist, abusive, fearful, stressed and
is a major cause of depressive illness, human
cruelty and even war.
The documentary features many well known
experts, including academics, architects,
engineers, film directors, TV producers and
more, and features footage from some of today’s
most important and successful documentaries on
the topic of media, including:
Ethos Genesis (2015)
True Cost (2015)
Miss Representation (2011)
Bowling for Columbine (2002)
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (2013)
Project Censored (2013)
The objective of
this 43 min documentary is to help people
understand how the human race is being
brainwashed, often intentionally, to believe in
a reality that is complete fabrication and
detrimental to the health of people and the
The proposed solution is simple yet profound:
Turn off the
TV... Stop listening...
share that message with the people around us, and pass on that
information to our children.
Meanwhile, scientists have now set
the doomsday clock at 2 minutes
to midnight with the growing nuclear threat, climate change, and a
lack of trust in political institutions are three main reasons for
All this leaves us feeling anxious, helpless, even depressed - like
there is nothing much we can do...
'Education' and Health
Harvard Medical School,
warning us of international terrorism, global warming, and
economic uncertainty, we're all likely to be a little more
anxious these days.
As an everyday
emotion, anxiety - the 'fight or flight' response - can be a
good thing, prompting us to take extra precautions.
anxiety persists in the absence of a need to fight or flee, it
can not only interfere with our daily lives but also undermine
our physical health."
they explain, show that prolonged anxiety is linked to the
2013 Tedx talk, clinical psychologist Dr. Stephen
presents his findings that by the time today's youngest Americans
are in their mid-twenties, 25% will be depressed, explaining:
Americans, Europeans and people throughout the Western world,
the stress response goes on for weeks and months and even years
at a time, and when it does that, it's incredibly toxic.
The result: an
epidemic of depressive illness."
More recently, in
2016, The Rotman Research Institute (RRI)
discovered that being subjected to chronic stress and anxiety
increases the risk of,
degeneration and impaired functioning of the
hippocampus and the
prefrontal cortex (PFC), which may account for the increased
risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders, including
depression and dementia."
narrative of fear and problems, studies show, is a story that
prolongs the activation of the physiological stress response,
causing a chronic pathological state that is wreaking havoc on our
metabolic, neurological, cardiovascular and immune systems.
'Education' in Schools
During the years I
have spent teaching
The Art of Critical Thinking (and developing
I have come to realize two things:
it is not
always a skill that is actively encouraged in mainstream
academic institutions - because "it is too political"
it is taught, people are taught to "have an open mind" and
"think out of the box" within the limited confines of the
current mainstream narrative
First, almost every
important topic today is political:
security, climate change, sweat shops, social benefits,
privatization, refugees, war, Donald Trump - we all have
opinions about these topics - but if we do not look at the facts
surrounding these topics, we cannot formulate and act on
informed opinions based on truth.
Second, in order to
think out of the box, we need to look at that other side of the
argument which is not the mainstream narrative, not our
conditioning, or as R. Buckminster Fuller said:
change things by fighting the existing
reality. To change
something, build a new model that makes the existing model
Schools, after all,
are supposed to be places where we prepare new generations for a
positive future in today's world.
The problem is that
despite all we know about the
world we live in (below video), the mainstream narrative is still that a
positive future, or 'success', just means fitting into the current
story by getting
a well-paid job.
teachers teach an academic curriculum that covers some problems we
face in the world, such as the consequences of climate change, but
covers very little about how the
current industrial growth society we live in today (below video) is causing
these problems, and even less about what we can do to change it:
length documentary is intended for people who
see that the current economic and political
system is flawed and failing, but want to better
understand how the current system works and why
this is happening.
This is the case in
academic institutions the world over, and it is not surprising.
schooling is outdated,
and designed to prepare us to go into the workforce and contribute
to a failing system which, we all know, is rapidly
destroying the planet and us.
teaching in the primary, secondary and higher education sectors
worldwide for almost 20 years tells me teachers and students are interested in
an alternative, positive way of looking at the world to this
fear-based, problems-focused narrative we are presented with, but
the current curriculum does not allow it.
The Other Narrative
narrative is just that:
a 'story' we are all educated to accept
I am on a mission
to take critical thinking and solutions education, which together I
call Wake Up World Education (WUWE), around the world because
learning about the alternative to the mainstream narrative is no
longer just important to be able to make informed decisions based on
facts - today our lives literally depend on it.
Author, scholar and
environmental activist Joanna Macy states in the film
'Planetary' (below video):
three stories actually."
story," she says "is business as usual. All we need to do is
grow our economy."
another story, which is seen and accepted as the reality by the
scientists, the activists: when I lift back the carpet, look
under the rug of the business as usual and see what it's costing
It's costing us the world."
She goes on to say,
"That's not the
end of the story though because there's another narrative" and
that is "that a revolution is taking place. A transition."
She calls this
story "The great turning."
is it possible
that we are in the midst of a solutions revolution right now,
and the only problem is that we learn next to nothing about this
alternative, exciting solutions-focused reality in the
institutions that provide our education?
In Trews-style WUWE
video below, I begin answering this question by looking at the first
two narratives: business as usual and what it's costing us.
Looking at what the
mainstream narrative is not telling us, the facts that show the
third narrative, a solutions revolution,
is taking place right now.