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Educating the Masses

by Ellie Collins
(Somerset, England)

Regarding elevating/educating the ignorant masses I would argue that some pockets of the society where I live are experiencing a phenomenon that dimly reflects Burns' experience in the second world war. The factors collaborating to bring this about are:

- Loss of local leaders (elders, leaders of the community, heads of households) due to deconstruction of communities by capitalism
- Loss of faith in political leaders (obviously)
- Opportunities to share knowledge and educate oneself on the internet

Ordinary people are educating themselves about the climate emergency, mental health, traditional skills (like growing food), etc. And reskilling themselves to care for one another, communicate sensitively and effectively and understand the earth and how our societies are hurting it. And in the wake of the school system and the devastation it seems to be wrecking upon the psyches of children and young people, this new trend fascinates me and gives me hope.

This essay mostly addresses large-scale leadership - understandably since it is concise - but I wonder what would happen if we scaled down our thinking to consider leadership primarily at the level of communities, within friendship groups and between individuals. In the great void of elders maybe we will all step up to fill the space for one another.

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