So, with the Young Peoples festival of ideas “Class and Education” debate only a day away. I thought I’d be one to share my opinion regarding ‘class and education’ – just to get the discussion going and to share, what I think is a reasonable point of view regarding this (sometimes) sensitive subject.
I think what defines a person from a particular ‘social class’ is the people they’re around with from day one. A persons influences and inspirations comes around from what they see as role models. As the saying goes ‘you’re only as great as the people you surround yourself with’ (well, it goes something like that).
I believe this is where the issue lies in ‘class and education’. The disadvantages of the young people growing up in a ‘working class’ background means that most don’t have much to look forward too on a day to day. Young people in these situations don’t have Mummy and Daddy taking them to sunday school, whilst feeding them with a silver spoon; they are simply influenced and inspired by what they surround themselves with. In most circumstances thats the TV, or whatever may be going on around the council estate. I’m convinced if you watch enough Jeremy Kyle, Eastenders, Only way is Essex etc, you will inspire to become those characters; and in most instances they’re not great influences with educated words of wisdom. But then again, who am I to say who does and does’t have ‘educated words of wisdom’? Alternatively, if you’re hanging around with bad influences around the estate, you’ll begin to immerse yourself in a world of ‘street politics’… and they’re more complex than the normal kind of politics.
What I’m trying to get at is, if these people are surrounding themselves around this fake reality media, and being inspired by people like Joey Essex and Amy Childs (or even Trevor on the street corner) – what will they inspire to be when they grow up? What education path will they pursue? I highly doubt after watching these programs they will immerse themselves into researching the possibilities of nuclear physics or take a career path in audiology? But what if someone was there to continually inspire? – I strongly believe the underlying result in differences surrounding ‘Class and Education’ is simply lack of educated role models and inspiration to pursue further education.
I’m not at all suggesting that people should begin to watch educational documentaries about ‘democracy’ or read articles on ‘Money Week’ or even try to understand economics whilst balancing your life savings on the stock market. – Neither should you suddenly begin to hang out with grade A* students. However, I believe it is hugely important that people to be aware that what you see on TV is put on for entertainment purposes, and there are always better role models and influences surrounding you.
Neither am I suggesting that all ‘working class’ individuals live this lifestyle as I’m portraying, but I certainly believe a high percentage defiantly do – even if they don’t want to admit it. Most importantly, a lot of the time its not their fault. They’ve grown up around the same thing, In a sense I’m lucky to have seen this first hand, and on the flip side managed to see the other side of the spectrum. The only reason I was able to exclude myself from this lifestyle is simply down to inspiration, determination and understanding what education and career path I wanted to choose from a focused and educated view in the world of ‘reality’.
Someone who has continued to inspire me over the past year, is a spoken word artist Suli Breaks. Suli speaks from a point of view of which I am familiar with. Growing up in a certain environment and striving for that inspiration, with that core passion to inspire others: