Key Classes, Sound Education

Been reflecting on university classes and recalled many fond memories.

I thought about the classes Stress Management, Mind, Body Wellness, and Human Sexuality. I would like to see the day when these three classes are offered at the community level at no charge and in fact offer incentives for completion. These would not only benefit the individual but entire communties.

Everyone experiences the stress response to perceived danger, whether real or perceived (it is usually perceived). Learning how to turn off the stress response, and to win the battle over your own mind is a tool that would be so helpful in terms of societal enrichment. We all experience stress; why don’t all people know how to effectively turn it off, or cope? There are many factors. The potential for positive impact would be significant if everyone had access to this class, including those of a lower socioeconomic status . It is the same with Mind, Body Wellness. These classes were more than Yoga and meditation, but being very effective tools, these were part of it. Having all this information given about stress and what constitutes health via notes, lectures, textbook, class outline and discussion was very eye opening. They should be basic education for healthcare, which should start in the neighborhood and community as measures of prevention.

Also, most people enter a relationship at some time in their life. Offering the Human Sexuality class on the community level at no charge and with incentives for completion would be an effective, multi-pronged approach to solving societal issues. Human sexuality is a very broad topic. It was curious to me that every married (or formerly) person from the class scoffed at the beginning believing that there isn’t much else they need to know. It was these same people who were mind boggled by the end of the class saying they had no idea just how complicated, and multi-faceted this topic was. It is true that the topic is one huge gray zone, and it is certainly one topic where the one size fits all (no pun intended) approach does not work. Don’t assume; don’t assume. There is a lot to it.

People should have a right to make an informed choice about this aspect of what is essentially a branch of healthcare. See, here I am right now, practically afraid to say the word. That is mr. Utah in me, I think. Sex is a taboo word here, a hushed topic where the worst is assumed, and that isn’t the way to approach it. There are many important issues related to it: STI’s unplanned pregnancy, complications, contraceptives and how to use them properly for maximum effectiveness, the list could go on. Critics would say that sex education encourages careless behavior. I submit that the opposite is the case. Strong, sound information that is delivered as scientific (along with the inevitable laughs and raised brows that naturally occur too as 20 or so young adults share, debate and discuss these issues) reliable, tasteful, encourages responsible behavior as individuals are properly informed and not withheld from knowing the truth. Learning about this fact of life that is as old as the earth can be fun (and it is) and it doesn’t have to be embarrassing, shamed, or taboo, as is currently the case.
Let’s face it; few parents would be prepared or would want to teach this very broad topic in its entirety. Therefore, I submit that the community level from a tasteful, scientific standpoint is the answer.

Now as similar issues are faced with air pollution, water conservation and sanitation etc, it is apparent that there is no room to be cocky, and certainly no time to be complacent. Many hands make light work. No one can do everything; yet, individual progression in joy doing what you can as you can works wonders. We can own and care about the air we all breathe and the water we drink. Don’t buy into the illusion that it’s the other person’s problem and job.

In another class, Social Problems, which I highly recommend, we were discussing the environment and particularly Utah’s poor air quality. One girl said “I hate feeling guilty every time I have to drive somewhere.” I was thinking about this, and she’s right. That’s just it, we shouldn’t have to feel guilty! The United States has the technology and the money to fix these environmental issues including air pollution. What incentive is there to do so? Besides of course the human race being in danger. The thing is, while there is much work on the individual level that helps, we don’t need to accept full responsibility; some of course, but not all.

America has the resources, the budget and the technology to fix these problems and live sustainably, more respectful of other life forms. Sustainability should now be the universal goal. This objective covers a lot of ground and it involves both individual choice and regulation.

I explore these issues and more in my new memoir The Irony of the Well

Thank you for reading, studying and learning. Educated individuals making informed decisions and this expands outward as a part of global healing.

-Owen

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