Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Few Words About Love Before the Turn of the Year

Community Is Infinite (M.A. Reilly, 2012)

I. Faith in Other

I have been thinking about the mass of educational reform that has been occurring since the mid-1980s in the United States and trying to name what most disturbs me.  Yet, it was not with this in mind that I sat down to reread Pedagogy of the Oppressed and found myself lingering in Chapter 3, listening hard to Freire's words about dialogue.  He says:

Dialogue further requires an intense faith in humankind, faith in their power to make and remake, to create and re-create, faith in their vocation to be more fully human (which is not the privilege of an elite, but the birthright of all). Faith in people is an a priori requirement for dialogue; the “dialogical man” believes in others even before he meets them face to face.

And perhaps this is what is most missing from the reform efforts during the last three decades: faith in other-- a faith that is (in)formed by love.  Imagine a faith in other that is so profound, so elemental that it is present before one meets face to face? This is the foundation to Freire's work.

Faith and its correlate, love, are also largely missing in the corporate reform efforts of schools.  This is the do unto others crowd; the Manifest Destiny run amok crew.

And it may well be this absence of love and faith is why these reform efforts continue to fail, as they should (and do). These reformers don't have faith in you or me.

They do not know how to love us or even that they must.

II. And in the End...

Justice is What Love Looks Like in Public (M.A. Reilly, 8.14.14)
Freire told us that "true revolutionaries must perceive the revolution, because of its creative and liberating nature, as an act of love." Quoting Che Guevara, he adds, “Let me say, with the risk of appearing ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by strong feelings of love. It is impossible to think of an authentic revolutionary without this quality" (from Venceremos— The Speeches and Writings of Che Guevara, edited by John Gerassi (New York, 1969), p. 398.).

Nothing ridiculous there.


Let us begin and end with this in mind each and every time we think about ways to (in)form our work.

Wishing you the grace to love and the faith to try in 2015.

Freire, Paulo (2014-08-18). Pedagogy of the Oppressed: 30th Anniversary Edition (Kindle Locations 1289-1292). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition. 

No comments:

Post a Comment