Simple is often More Complicated and Vice Versa

Hi and Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson Author Blog Post and Podcast.  I’m your host, Jean coming to you from the beautiful Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada!!   Today’s podcast and blog post centers on a phenomenon I have noticed in life.   When someone wants to make something simple, it really is more complicated and if someone wants to make it complicated it really is simpler.  If you want to find out more, stay tuned…

I find that often, to quote Captain Jack Sparrow, “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.” For example; I had seen some news on a local incident where some children were bullied over sexual identity.  It was made out to be so complicated.  The teachers tried to do what they could and it was more or less made a ‘problem of the school’.  In the spirit of Captain Jack, the problem was not just a ‘school problem’.  What made it complicated is that there are some children who are instructed in the dislike of anyone who is not of their faith, belief system, race, religion, different in any way from the norm.  Of course there are other complicating factors as well. This results in bullying and the school is held at fault.  There is a spot light put up on the school and the Government goes into a frenzy trying to solve the ‘school’ problem.  Well, to begin with, where do you think the children get this attitude?  As Nelson Mandela so eloquently states, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”  So, this is not simply a ‘school problem’.  This is a societal problem and if we want to deal with it, it will take everyone being involved.  The children are the place to start, but without church, state and families, friends, coworkers, etc. all being on board, then we just regress into more ‘school problems’. 

So, first, where do the children get this attitude?  Where do they first decide that someone who is different is not acceptable?  Schools aren’t teaching it, but if they are, this needs to stop.  Hmmm…where does it come from, then you ask?  I’m just going to leave you with the thought and present some ideas.  According to the Mayo clinic, ( children develop their own sexual identity by age 3, but do recognize male/female etc. as young as 18-24 months.  So, though it is not unusual for children to show interest or claim to be one or the other gender, or neither at given points, but if it remains consistent over time, then one needs to examine the idea.  Further to be honest, people have developed different gender associations throughout history.  This is not something new or unheard of.  According to HRC Newsletter ( they have found evidence of different sexuality existing as far back as 5000-3000 BC and has been accepted in the First Nations peoples and are termed two spirit people ( )  CNN ( suggests that children learn to categorize as a way of making sense of their world and will, of course, replicate what is rewarded and this may result indirectly to some negative learning.  So, is it language, is it what they hear around them?  Either way, what we have is a problem that we all need to work with.  Otherwise it will stay a ‘school problem’

I remember in my childhood that they made a big deal of Smoky the Bear and “Give a Hoot don’t Pollute” campaigns.  Now, this is where schools come in.  They really did a push on not tossing rubbish out the windows.  They had catchy little sayings…like “Give a Hoot Don’t Pollute” using cute little woodland creatures.  This was, of course, directed at the children.  They did note that this did make a difference and people were less prone to litter because they got told by their kids.  Sorry, I was a child and don’t remember much except what I was told by my parents then.  So, yes, the schools are instrumental in the change in society because the children will teach the parents. 

I also remember going back to school for my second degree.  When I did my first paper, I was made to re-do it.  Yes, re-do the paper.  The talk went something like, “I know you haven’t been back in a bit, but we’ve started to get rid of the gender specific language”.  At first, I found it annoying, as it changed the whole method of writing and I had to learn to change the words and it was hard to change how I talked about things.  But over time, it got easier.  Then I also took a Woman’s Sociology course.  I learned a lot and started to see how changing one’s language could change what we see and how we see things.  Sure, it’s hard to change things over night.  It took a lot of extra work and editing my papers…but in the end, I could see how it made it possible for woman as well as men to have done great things and it wasn’t all just masculine terms.  I remember the term project for her course.  Everyone was complaining about how they would have to hunt to find enough ‘women’s issues’ to do a whole paper.  I literally found a binder worth.  I could see how the language, how the terms, how everything was working against female involvement.  I had the biggest project and got a great mark on it.  What was the difference between me and others in the class?  Well, most of them went through with the change of language and this might have been just overlooked.  Where I had to make the effort, I could see clearly the logic and where it came from.  This is the sort of thing that we need to do when talking about gender, racism, and a lot of issues.  Keep our minds open and be willing to understand that somehow we might change things by simply changing how we talk about things and how we see them.  It was the defining moment for me.  It made me realize that what you say definitely has an effect and how you say it may be formative in any movement.  People will complain, it will be resented, but in the end you will learn a ton of stuff and you will change the way you talk and see things forever.

I think mostly what I would encourage is that we look at ourselves, our attitudes and our biases.  We need to acknowledge them and work at informing ourselves better.  We all need to work on this problem.  The one thing I can tell you is that children are only in school for so many hours in a day and only so many days in the year.  School doesn’t get to work with kids until they are about 4-5 years old.  They get out of school, unless they go through secondary education, when they hit Grade 12.  If we want our children to be bias free and tolerant, happy, well-adjusted people, we can’t just rely on the school sorting out all the problems or blame the schools when they don’t meet what we expect.  We, as a society and as a community, need to stand together in not supporting intolerance of any sort.  We need to be awake to the possibility that what ails society is not fixable at only the school level.  It needs to be fixed at ALL levels.  Schools may be instrumental in addressing it, but they are not the only ones who need to be involved.  Everyone needs to treat all people respectfully.  You should not be treating the person who is non-binary differently from the person who is cisgender.  I believe that we can achieve a society that is happier, well-adjusted and more tolerant.  We may have to be willing to be less judgmental and more tolerant.  We may have to think about what we say for a short time.  It isn’t impossible, but it will take effort on the part of everyone.  I think for a better world, I’d be willing to put in the work. 

Thanks for listening to my podcast and/or reading my blog post and thanks for your interest in A & J PEI Treasures!

Just one more thing.  I have one of my children’s e-books up for a 2021 TCK award Category is General Non-Fiction.  The Big Kids Magical Path to Colours in Nature.  If you have a moment, we could use some votes.

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Every problem, like this caterpillar nest looks like one problem and sometimes it is, but often it's more complicated.  Sometimes we need to look deeper at the interconnections to solve the actual problem and not the one on the surface.
Every problem, like this caterpillar nest, looks like one problem and sometimes it is, but often it’s more complicated. Sometimes we need to look deeper at the interconnections to solve the actual problem and not the one on the surface

**Disclaimer: These are the opinions of the author, E Jean Simpson, BEd, BA, MA only and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of A & J PEI Treasures.

Published by ejstoo

E Jean Simpson, is the author, blogger, podcaster and one of the photographers of A & J PEI Treaures. A & J PEI Treasures is located on Prince Edward Island, Canada. All opinions stated in the Blog Post are my opinions and may not be that of A & J PEI Treasures. We are made up of a husband and wife team and our companion animals. There are a number of things that drew us to the Island…one of which was the natural beauty of the area. We enjoy constructing things and renovations to our place, upcycling, photography, writing, and a simpler lifestyle. Some of our e-books are winners of the Canada Book Awards ( ​​​​​​​Quotes, Poems and Thoughts: With Pictures from Prince Edward Island, Canada, ​​​​​​​Rocky Mountain Memories (Accepted for the 2020 Reader's Choice General Nonfiction- *(Canada Book Award winner​​​​​​​) ​​​​​​​Floral Photography: Hope of Life and for the Future *(Canada Book Award winner ​​​​​​​From the Lens of my Camera: This and That and a Big Black Cat. *(Canada Book Award winner How to Publish an E-book on a Budget of $0: Making your Dreams a Reality The Big Kid’s Magical Path to Numbers (The Big Kid's Magical Path Book 1) (Canada Book Award 2020 winner The Big Kid’s Magical Path to The Alphabet (The Big Kid's Magical Path Book 2) (Canada Book Award 2020 winner The Big Kid's Magical Path to Shapes in Nature (The Big Kid's Magical Path Book 3) The Big Kid's Magical Path to Colours in Nature (The Big Kid's Magical Path Book 4) The Big Kid's Magical Path to Insects in Nature (The Big Kid's Magical Path Book 5) More to follow! ​​​​​​​Thank you for your interest. E Jean Simpson/Andrew Simpson of A & J PEI Treasures (2019). You can find us at: ​​​​​​​ (Pinterest) (Twitter) (YouTube) (GoodReads) (Amazon) ​​​​​​​ (BookBub) ​​​​​​​ (LinkedIn) (WordPress) New addition, we have podcasts started on Anchor FM and can be found on the following: Anchor (Anchor). Anchor also distributes the podcast to: Breaker Google Podcasts Pocket Casts RadioPublic Spotify Apple iHeart Radio: ​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​ *(Canada Book Award winner​​​​​​​) is noted on books that won

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