What Does Progress Mean to You?
Who can argue with Progress? Everyone, it seemed, at a spirited Socratic Conversation on that subject among a dozen diverse TC students on December 6th. Several of the conversants remarked that their quality of everyday life had declined over the past few years — attributing war, economy, rising tuition, job scarcity, and recurrence of natural disaster. Others looked to the future, revealing that their hopes for the next generation, despite technological innovation, were clouded with uncertainty — and questioning ultimately whether our children’s lives will be better than off than our own.
Yet our group expressed optimism for continued improvement in several areas — even in such seemingly ominous developments as the If You See Something, Say Something campaign. One participant argued that the MTA advocates heightened awareness, responsibility, and caring — an improvement over our tendency to decline an active role in the safety and well-being of our citizens. And notable progress was highlighted in teaching tolerance in our communities, with greater respect for women, minorities, people with disabilities, and LGBT persons. Capping the discussion, Facilitator Ron Gross drew attention to the apt slogan above the Zankel Hall Security Desk and expressed the importance of just such conversations with the reading, reflection, and life-experience that informs them: “I believe that education is the fundamental method of social PROGRESS and reform.” (John Dewey)