Dear social engineers: Dear manipulative members of society and micromanaging social climbers:
According to Merriam-Webster, social engineering is simply “the practice of making laws or using other methods to influence public opinion and solve social problems or improve social conditions. [Also,] management of human beings in accordance with their place and function in society: applied social science. Simplified even further by Urban Dictionary.com – “the attempt to control social behavior”. And finally, on a digital security website we have “the art of manipulating people so they give up confidential information…exploiting your natural inclination to trust”. But, my personal favorite: “the art and science of human manipulation”. WOW.
I wonder how this very volatile phrase has morphed and has been trivialized to mean controlled and purposeful manipulation of a child’s life by a parent, as he or she tries to improve his or her own social status through the life, friends, and activities of the child.
While I appreciate that the human condition lends itself towards selfish behavior, wrapping others up in one’s own twisted reality of an imaginary hierarchical realm really depletes my life force. Fake friendships and phony smiles – simply exhausting. Please exclude me because I choose to be excluded, not because I have succumbed to the inane attempts to make me feel lesser. And while I understand the parental right to protect one’s child from hurtful relationships and detrimental environments, I will never reconcile the vicarious living that occurs through the lives of children by their parents as anything but sad. Furthermore, I do understand that society has classes and that in every scenario there is a pecking order. However, it seems the reality of the order, often disputed or unclear, remains abstract and truly unimportant when considering other human beings. As I teach in my classroom, I will continue to see individuals and not members of cliques. I will continue to exhaust myself to make the invisible child visible to all.
So please back up and look at the big picture. Please stop “managing human beings in accordance with” YOUR idea of THEIR place and function in YOUR life. If you want to bring about improved social conditions for everyone, your child included, simply treat the world and individuals in it as though they all matter. Please stop trying to micro-managing the lives of others and get one of your own. You will be a much happier person. Thank you.