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  • ​Getting The Right Focus


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 10:05 am Email this article

    ​When patients first come to the office, they are focused on pills, pounds and money. It is important to show them that I am not focused on pills, pounds or money. Those are all things, and truly, listen, things never make you happy, never satisfy very long. True, lasting happiness comes only from people and ideas. When people grasp this idea, they can lose weight.

    The French grasp it, because in school they have lunch (and no snacks). In first grade French kids get a one-hour lunch, where they are taught table manners, conversational skills and how to appreciate food. If you want to take your kid out of school, you may do so, but not during lunch. The lunch hour is protected because it is the most important hour of the day. The life-skills learned there stay with the French the rest of their life.

    During ensuing years in school, kids get a two-hour lunch, by national law. And you say, but they aren't working! That's right. They aren't slaves. They are free citizens. They aren't learning! Yes, they are. They are learning how to cope, to discuss, how to make friends and be a good friend to other people--all things American men and some women never learn.

    The U.S. school system is designed to create unthinking, non-rebellious workers, to make the rich richer. Nothing in the system is designed to make the workers themselves happier. The French system is designed to create thinking, (secular), free citizens capable of being happy.

    At the end of the 12th grade, French students take the baccalaureate, famously called the "bac". The grade on this test has a lot to do with the student's options for the future. The French try to create a meritocracy, instead of a plutocracy. If you don't know the difference or even what these words mean, it is because you went to school in the U.S., not in France. To the French, ideals matter. We are cynical about that. Only money & things matter here.

    The bac is a two-day test. On the first day students have to write three essays. These were the questions they were asked this year. (They aren't told the questions in advance). For the "bac S" for students going into science, engineering and medicine, the students were asked . . .

    1. Do we have the obligation to seek the truth?

    2. Would we be more free without government?

    3. Explicate a text from "Emile" by Jean-Jacques Rousseau?

    Could an American HS grad answer such questions? No way. Why? Because American public school grads are trained only to work, not to think. American students don't have a 2 hour lunch. All this goes a long way to explaining why adult Americans are so miserable, and so fat.

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


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