By Andrew Mackinnon
Last updated: 1st February, 2024
The time in life that is really lost is missed opportunities to talk to people.
This is why regularly occurring, extra-curricular, musical activities during lunchtime in secondary school, such as band practice or orchestra practice, are so harmful to the social development of secondary school students. Obviously they negate the ability of secondary school students who engage in such regularly occurring, extra-curricular, musical activities during lunchtime in secondary school to otherwise talk with other secondary school students during lunchtime in secondary school.
If the ability of people to communicate with other people is restricted, whether face-to-face, by phone or in writing, a significant component of people’s legitimate motivation to live is neutralised, to the extent that the scope of people’s lives is significantly diminished.
This is why censorship of people’s communication with other people, whether spoken or written, is so offensive and harmful. It is a direct restriction on the autonomy of people to live out their lives as they see fit, which is akin to cutting leaves and even branches off of trees in order to restrict the autonomy of the trees to grow as they see fit, although this analogy falls far short of describing the extent of the damage inflicted by censorship, since it only applies to individual trees and not to interactions between trees, since interactions between trees are, for all intents and purposes, non-existent, unlike interactions between people.
When people get together as friends, they don’t want to play sport together or pursue some other pastime together, such as cycling or sailing, as their highest priority, however enjoyable they may find these activities to be.
First and foremost, they want to experience the joy of each other’s company, which is where the real treasure is and always has been, ordained by God.
To the extent that a person’s life is bereft of this experience, by virtue of regularly playing a musical instrument during lunchtime in secondary school for band or orchestra practice, or sitting in front of a television after secondary school with or often without others around, the growth of that person is grievously restricted, so that God only knows what kind of tree, with all of its thoughts and musings sprouting all over, that person might have turned out to become.
By now, it is abundantly obvious to me that communication between people is so important and so indispensable to the social development of school students of all ages as human beings in preparation for adulthood, including primary school students and secondary school students, that I am convinced that lunchtime during school should be increased in length from about 45 minutes each school day to 1 hour and 15 minutes each school day, from 12:40 pm to 1:55 pm, by reducing the length of each of the five classes in secondary school from 55 minutes to 45 minutes, by increasing the length of recess from about 20 minutes to 25 minutes and by changing the finish time of school each school day from 3:00 pm to 2:45 pm.
The people who thrive in life are those who like, love or are enthralled by the practice of communicating with other people.