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Don`t Ask Me to Think, Give me the Facts Published: Sunday, July 30, 2006 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel Morales

If we want to develop and deepen the capacity for relationship and connectedness at the heart of good professionalism, we must understand and resist the perverse draw of the disconnected life. How, and why, does traditional professionalism and closed disciplines culture discourage us from living connected work lives? How, and why does it encourage professions and disciplines to distance each other inside (teachers from students) and outside different professions, disciplines and work experience), removing all us from shared meanings and coupled hearts.

On the surface, the answer is obvious: we are distance by different knowledge-sets, grading systems, diplomas and licenses, by fragmented fields of knowledge, by destructive competition that makes everyone wary of their peers, and by administrative systems (rules and regulations) that put people at odds. The professional and the educational worlds are full of divise structures creating a kind of brokenness that perpetuates the myth that the outside world is more powerful than the inside, thus we have to build fences to protect some kind of hidden fear which works like an interest. (Fear of failing, of not understanding, of being exposoused, of being drawn into controversy, of revealing prejudices, of having ignorance, of having to confront surprises, uncertainties and the unknown).

If we are to turn our externalized change and transformation energies toward eliminating all those fears we have to take vital steps toward reconceptualizing professions, disciplines and renewing the dynamic meaning of degrees, thus challenging the traditional understanding of teaching, research and learning. We don’t have to put our lives on hold while waiting for the withering away of impediments for the free exchanges between individuals, professions, disciplines, institutions, enterprises and research centers. By understanding this fear or psychological fear, disguise by way of regulations, we can help to overcome the structures of disconnection with the power of self-knowledge and self-correct.

With love, respect, humbleness and peace, we urge the Puerto Rican society not to create any structure or design that calls for fragmentation of knowledge and of people or that perpetuates one of the deepest fear at the heart of being human, and that is the fear of having to live encounters with “aliens”, “otherness”, whether the other is a student, a colleague, a subject, a different professional or a self dissenting voice within.

Already in the 21st century we have to learn not having to protect ourselves from the threat of a live encounter. We don’t have to avoid live encounters with anyone, hiding behind conventional buildings, offices, podiums, specialties, credentials, objectivity and powers. We are sure that this new world will not allow room to statements such as “don’t ask me to think about this stuff, just give me the facts” or “here are the facts, don’t think about them, just get them straight”.

Avoiding the challenge to constructively thinking and reflecting about things lead people to learning the art of self-alienation, of living a divided life and world.

Let us not permit the shutdowns or the vacations of our lives, our hearts and our possibilities of connecting and exchanging with different people. We will be free from traditional pathologies neither by technique, rules or regulations but rather by insight into why and how self-imposed limitations dominate our lives. While achieving this formidable new condition, we come across a cascade of light, and there is the beginning of eternity.

 


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