'THOSE who can,do those sho can't,teach | Sunday Observer

'THOSE who can,do those sho can't,teach

10 May, 2020
The master species has taught itself to do these wonderful things to themselves and their world
The master species has taught itself to do these wonderful things to themselves and their world

This paraphrased quote from George Bernard Shaw (actual quote: “He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches”) is frequently used to demean teachers and ridicule their efforts while lauding the doing part of life over the teaching part of it. The problem with the statement is that no one has the slightest idea what actually constitutes a “doer” and what constitutes a “teacher”.

In the modern reading of those two terms, it is not that hard to figure out that both arise from a base of two fundamental commons, two foundation cornerstones, one, self-servitude, the other, ego.

Once this is understood, it is not that hard to understand that both the so-called doer and the so-called teacher are doers – doing for themselves, their self-enhancement and their self-aggrandisement.The sum result of that effort, regardless of the label attached, is transitory and fleeting, largely destructive and mostly useless. We have seen that over the last few centuries, we have visited upon ourselves and our planethorrors due to such self-centered ideas of what constitutes action and education within this questionable framework of endeavour we call civilised behaviour. Behaviour, antithetically, breaks apart human groupings and mocks the very word, destroying civilisation while claiming to be its developers and its growers and its consolidators. After four centuries of this madness, all we have to show for ourselves are a large number of buildings, an equal number of machines and a comparable number of degrees and qualifications.

When these are combined with dysfunctional families, fragmented societies, infighting, cross-fighting, world-wars, disasters upon disasters mostly made by our own hands, we must recognise the painful truth that our doers and teachers have failed us.  We have only managed, by our action, by our instruction, to create the conditions that may well lead to the death of us all. Where did we go wrong?  Well, many things but greed, primarily. Greed in one exists to pull everything to oneself and remove everything from everyone else.

A litany of our insanity is one percent at the top consuming more resources than 57 percent at the bottom, 250 major wars since WWII, 23 million people killed, more children killed in war over the last decade than soldiers, nine million people incarcerated, a third of the global labour force unemployed or underemployed, 20 million people in bonded labour, one of six children in child labor, half the world in poverty, 800 million without proper healthcare, 75 million children never attending or completing primary school education, 870 million of the world's adults illiterate, 15 million people dead from Non-Communicable Diseases and 17 million dead from infectious diseases every year. The imbalance of energies, potencies and dynamics created by a civilisation founded on greed cannot sustain as we are seeing now.

We, killing off our world, must ask ourselves: Is this our great human race? Is this our fantastic civilisation? Is this the group that claims to be overlords of all things, ideas and life? Can we call this type of intent to hurt, this type of desire to inflict pain and suffering, this type of action to exploit, pillage, corrupt, damage, rape, murder and destroy “doing”? Can we call the type of instruction that led to this type of destruction “teaching”? 

I will not answer those questions because the answers are not convenient or right to the majority of the people on earth. Hell, they created in this craziness and they are happy with it. Unashamed, this peopled earth has stripped itself naked and is not at all upset that it stands so, unclothed, for all to see. We, flensed of cover, see value in lying, cheating, thieving, manipulating, conniving and murdering. We, bereft of shields, see value in driving ourselves to the grave and making certain we take everyone else alone with us for the ride.

There does not seem to be much that anyone can do about this mess, but I can certainly state my claim as to what constitutes doing and what constitutes teaching.

It is simply this: None who can do for the good of all will ever stop short of doing, and none who can do so stops short of teaching what was done for the benefit of all.

Against that rule, real doing upholds, regenerates, succors, protects, makes content, and makes joyous all sentient life, even if such doing costs the doers their own lives. They will never say what they have done until they have done what they have said. If they survive the life-giving tasks they have set themselves, they will proceed to teach everyone else how to do the same. True doing is then the antithesis of the idea of doing and, by extension, the idea of teaching.

Every indicator of what most people have decided is a good point in the diametrically opposite direction. To acknowledge this truth is to acknowledge the fact that there are very few people who can do in this world, and very few people who can teach in this world. To acknowledge it is to understand that the chances are high that one has never been either a doer or a teacher regardless of how one labels oneself. It is to acknowledge that it is only the true doer who can truly teach and that the chances are that one does not fall into either category.

Having been taught by a few holistically enabled doers who then spoke as empowered and envisioned teachers, I cannot apologise for exposing the shame of the human race. To have known the true quality of the doing, teacher is to know the misery of what passes for both doing and teaching as they are cognised these days.  Within a mangled value system, a few will get a chance for engaging in anything that sustains, regenerates and rejuvenates our earth, its plants, its animals and its people.

I can look forward, with misplaced hope perhaps, to our young. We have shot ourselves in the head while shooting the world in the foot. Having seen the darkness we have bequeathed to our children through our action and our instruction, I can only hope that children will reject everything they saw us do and redact everything they heard us teach and start afresh in their approach to human effort and what constitutes true quality in those exercises.