“People, don’t you understand
The child needs a helping hand
Or he’ll grow to be an angry young man some day
Take a look at you and me,
Are we too blind to see,
Do we simply turn our heads
And look the other way”-“In the Ghetto” written by Mac Davis, Recorded by Elvis Presley, 1969
Dr. Carl Rogers was born today in Illinois in 1902 and so was
Elvis Presley born today in 1936 in Mississippi. Both men gave us several sides of humanity to our American culture and society. I read several books by Dr. Carl Rogers on my road to becoming an effective teacher and I listened to Elvis throughout my childhood and adulthood. If only Elvis would’ve believed that he was “enough” for himself and his family!
Long before Common Core Standards, long before “emotional intelligence” and “multiple intelligences” and other sound bytes, Dr. Rogers was practicing and teaching a “client-based” therapy that evolved into “student-centered” learning.
Elvis Presley recorded many songs that touched our hearts and “In the Ghetto” by Mac Davis is just one example. I think the lyrics are aligned with the teachings of Dr. Rogers who said, “In my early professionals years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth?” As parents and as educators and just simply as community members who want the best for our community and our society and our culture, we can’t afford to “simply turn our heads and look the other way.” It’s time for those in charge to re-visit and re-read or read for the first time books by Dr. Carl Rogers. His vision is still relevant and would reduce the numbers of “angry young” men and women who are born feeling marginalized.