Education is something that many have stated much about. Most of these are complex or vague. Consider the Greek philosopher Aristotle’s saying that education is ‘an ornament in prosperity’ and ‘a refuge in adversity’. There have been several attempts to explain this description, but none have quite succeeded in satisfying my curiosity. Alternatively, this is what the English essayist Joseph Addison has to say on education: What sculpture is to a block associated with marble, education is to an individual soul. This too, has a large number of explanations and elaborations. But will it really tell us what education is? Does it tell us why we need education and learning? Not really, since the concept of the soul is, till date, a shadowy area. So how can we begin to comprehend what everyone claims is important to life nowadays? To put it simply, education is really a process of training our mind to ensure that we can apply it in a field of our choice: which is why we have education less a single seamless entity, but in general made up of various divisions: music schooling, scientific and technological education, artwork education, even teacher education!
Training can be considered similar to picking and eating a fruit. Picking a particular fruits on the tree is akin to selecting a field to get an education of. When we bite into it, we obtain our first taste of the issue. As we chew on the bitten portion, we begin to understand its various aspects – the tastes, textures, intricacies and complexities of it — and when we are ready to move on to the next portion, we swallow what we have assimilated so far so that it can be used for further application. The tree we have the fruit from is the entire body of past thinkers’ teachings and the voice that tells us which fruit to choose is the interpreter of that knowledge: the particular teacher.
Throughout the lifelong course of schooling (no, it’s not like school or even college which ends after a set period of time), we get to know regarding things that always were, still are usually and always will be around us, waiting to be recognized and identified. Light plays a central part in education – both literally and metaphorically – for visible inputs are the best learnt and without lighting – of the sun or electrical – we would be missing out on a whole world of knowledge. In fact , this is where phrases like ‘light of knowledge’, ‘throw light on the matter’, ‘kept in the dark’ and so on came from.
You might be considering, how can we narrow the infinite field of knowledge to select what we will require or want to know? This is where the component on ‘training the mind’ is available in. The mind, as psychology tells us, is the centre of cognitive faculties which enables consciousness, thinking, perception plus judgement. It is the kitchen for the info we acquire, where we can season and prepare the bits and pieces associated with data into comprehensive knowledge. Similar to good kitchen, the mind has unlimited capabilities (which is often the reason for confusion among us youth when it comes to deciding on a specific field to ‘specialize in’ with regard to higher education) and therefore needs to be been trained in order to make this choice clearer as every good chef has to know what to or not to use for a dish. Unfortunately, the world we live in does not allow us to experiment with the capabilities without being ostracized or decreased to penury. Thus the need for specialization. And thus the need for education.
Another obvious question would be: how can we get education? It’s easier to use metaphors plus analogies when describing something like this, but a parallel in the real-world is sometimes hard to provide. One answer could be a school, college or university. There are also additional means to formally get education. For example home-schooling, distance learning etc . All of these provide us with a forum to exchange information – where we can gain along with give. This is a guided and limited form of education, especially in the Indian scenario. It is difficult to find a good school exactly where we can tailor our education according to our needs and interests. Often , we fail to avail of the opportunity even when it is within our reach. Peer pressure, our parents’ and elders’ desires, whims and wishes and societal trends all play a role in influencing us. And this very often has an adverse effect with the student being unable to cope with the contradictory inputs and buckling under the combined pressure. An educational system where students can fulfil their desires and not bend to transient trends is necessary regarding proper development and realization of one’s full potential. An example of how this can help could be the famous English poet Ruben Keats. Trained to become a doctor, Keats renounced his apothecary’s license to follow his desire, eventually creating a route for himself that no one otherwise has quite been able to match.
Education is not just a pathway to cash, as is often considered nowadays. The truth that it provides a doorway to affluence is secondary. Education is first and foremost, I believe, a source of joy and pleasure that is also a way of enhancing our capabilities. It is a getting that provides us with infinite entrances to choose to continue into, each leading to a different yet interconnected walk of life (after all, how can we forget that will science and philosophy, despite being ‘at odds with one another’ go back beyond human comprehension? ).
The needs of the human in order to lead a productive and satisfactory lifestyle have long been debated. Yet one point stands clear in this issue: along with the basic necessities of meals, clothing and shelter, education is very necessary, especially in today’s material world. After all, without education, one are not able to gain employment and without employment, 1 cannot fulfil his/her basic needs and is considered a failure by society.
The knowledge we gain through the guided education is definitely useful for existence in the sense that they will be required to succeed in attaining and maintaining employment, a must to be accepted in society. Not having a position is enough to have you labelled lazy, a failure, even weird or odd. And any employer will require you to have a thorough knowledge of your field, which is easily available for the taking through education.
Education provides us having an endless canvas. How much of it we all put into use is up to us. Brand new fields seem to emerge everyday — parapsychology, particle physics, noetics, to name a few. Although relatively ‘unknown’ or even ‘obscure’, these have as much significance as the others we know of. The particular flood of engineers and accountants that India is facing seems to know no end. Easy money is apparently all people seems to think of. They are becoming flat characters within the play of life: although given names like ‘security of future’, lust for a fat wallet seems to be the only motivation.
On the other hand, there are billions of people around the world who want to get an education but are unable to due to lower income, geographical isolation, familial conditions or ignorance. Like the Lady Law, education and learning is blind to the faults or even favours of those who take a sip from its pool. The people who are not able to get to its banks because they are dragged back again by the brambles of shortcomings — economic, social or cultural : have to endure a life full of superstition, fear, hopelessness, helplessness, poverty and exclusion. The literate but uneducated are considered equal to the illiterate as their life pretty much goes to waste (not everyone is the Old English poet Cædmon, after all). We must, however , keep in mind that this ‘education’ is totally career-oriented – a trait that has emerged in the past decades.
Let us now consider another angle. So far we talked of the relevance of education in the tangible corporeal world. But , getting human beings, the intangible yet similarly expansive world of our feelings is definitely equally important. Education plays a significant role in helping us find the niche here as well. We people are inherently social. Even ‘loners’ have at least one person in their self-confidence. In fact , the more solitary one is, the particular stronger the bond is with the ones that person does interact with regularly. Also those who have large friend circles come with an inner circle of those who these people trust. So , where do these friends come from? Most of our buddies and acquaintances come from school, college and our workplace and schooling is the line connecting these dots to one another. We go to school plus college to get an education, as do those who become our friends. All of us talk about things that we have learnt someplace down the line: academically, through music, movie, news bulletins, books, etc . These types of, too, are an important part of our education. Academia alone is not more than enough to make us a complete person. It really is definitely important, but our character and personality depends on our schooling as well. As we grow up, we learn new things and experience various feelings and emotions. Events and circumstances, too, play a part in education. Growing up, we have quarrelled with our parents. These types of sometimes go downhill over time plus ruin the parent-child relationship. Additionally, it can also teach us to give people room and motivate us into wanting to understand before blindly contradicting. No matter that outcome, it teaches all of us what not to do when we occupy the mantle of parenthood. Regardless of whether we put it to use is, of course , a totally different question altogether.
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