We’ve been thinking about truth recently. Perhaps it started with that article about honesty we saw a few days ago. You know the one where the professor was advising his students that “honesty isn’t always the best policy” and “If everything in the world says, ‘Do X,’ but you’re worried about your conscience, you’re now a slave to an irrational mental faculty.” It made us worry, not for the first time, about what students were learning at university and what professors were teaching.
Perhaps Wendy Elliott read the same article because she has been thinking about “truth from youth” and wrote about it in op-ed in The Advertiser a couple of days ago. She is not worried about what young people are learning as we are. No, she is wowed by the wisdom of the 11 year old who sang Tell Me Why. Perhaps she thinks Declan wrote it? [It’s a great song but it was written by Ian Mack and Barry Mason who have a bit of experience]. She is equally impressed by a speech made by David Suzuki’s daughter when she was 12. [We have a plot of wetland to sell her if she thinks Severn’s father didn’t have some hand in that.]
Then she praises Christopher White who started the facebook group Canadians against Proroguing Parliament, [because that’s really, really difficult] and Bilaal Rajan who is raising money for Haitian relief, and Rachel Corrie who opposed the eviction of Palestinians in the Gaza strip .
Wendy sees these as examples of “truth from youth”, wisdom “from the mouths of babes.” Her models tell us that Wendy agrees with the points of view these children learned to espouse early. That is her truth. We fear these young people are not champions of truth but victims of cause mongers, even perhaps Rajan who, if the money raised does actually help those he says he aims to help, can’t be faulted. Did they think for themselves? We would be more impressed, for example, if Severn had a different view than her father. This would indicate independence of mind.
Wendy thinks we should listen and learn from these children, that if we seek truth we will find it in the voices of such as these. We just wonder. We wonder whether Christopher White really understands anything about Canadian Parliamentary History. We wonder sadly why Rachel didn’t know better than to stand in front of an Israeli bulldozer. We wonder whether Severn will feel bitter when she finds out that most of what she has been taught to believe is not truth but fraud.
But perhaps she will never find out and she will write op-ed pieces praising the next generation of lambs “prodigies”.
We add as an addendum [excuse the redundancy] this worthy piece by the always thought provoking David Warren titled appropriately “Perpetual adolescence” on Salinger and “adolescent narcissism”.