While enrolled at THINK Global School, students are encouraged to be introspective during the course of their studies and travels. When the students document these thoughts, we are often delighted with the results. Below you can find an essay written by 10th grader Alejandro R., in which he questions whether countries, like humans, have the ability to exhibit true freedom of thought, or if they are instead consigned to emulate the examples put forth by their larger and more powerful neighbors.
WHILE WE WATCHED A CLIP from ‘The Newsroom’ in class I took very few notes, but some of these were more than enough to expand upon. One of these notes said, “America is selfish, a town upon a hill remixed.” Consequently, this short phrase lead me to the thought that we, as human beings, believe what we’re taught to believe and freedom of thought is scarce. ‘The City Upon A Hill’ by John Winthrop was a statement and a goal to be a place that others would look up to as their example; and this, with or without positive consequences has happened already. The United States of America is the country that many others want (or wanted, more and more) to be. The undervalued idea of brainwashing a whole world wasn’t taken into account when settlers first came to North America, they clearly only wanted to be cool and spread their way of life.
Likewise, another short annotation I took while watching the video said, “It’s a bad example, but still an example.” For instance, if a baby is taught from day 3 that not cleaning his mouth is the right thing to do, by the time he is 6 months his face would be a Jackson Pollock, and he would believe that not cleaning your mouth is perfectly correct. Since the United States of America was the ‘parent’ country to state that not cleaning your mouth is appropriate, many others decided to follow as a baby would’ve followed. All in all, countries lack absolute freedom of thought in the same way that humans do.
(Setting a terrible example sometimes, but still the most seen and approachable example.)