Saturday, April 3, 2010

On education

Dear Divya
You have been away for more some time now; Away from all of us ; to study at the best place there is, for the profession that you have chosen for yourself. I understand that this pursuit of knowledge is essential for you to have a successful future.

You know, in the last month, sine you have been away, I have been chewing on this question  - “How essential is it to disseminate this education,  that we are all working so hard to give you - our children.”  After all, most of us have gone through the system as it stands today. It’s true that people would weigh our capabilities based on what our qualifications are. But, we also know that what we need to do well in life are the relevant skills and a great attitude. I wonder then how, just going through a process of rote learning is going to add value, in this meaningless race that doesn’t really matter. Why are we asking you children, to bear the burden of such an education? To what end?

My agitation about this issue has increased in the recent past, triggered by the fact that you are away from all of us. I have been wondering if we have made a wise decision in sending you so far away from all of us for “higher” education. Will the end result of this major compromise justify the hardships that we are all enduring today?

As all these thoughts churn through my mind, I think of the Gurukul system that we used to have, where the child is sent away to grow up in his Guru’s house as soon as he is old enough to learn - Away from home at a tender age where the intellect is not mature enough to appreciate the reason for the separation but yet feels its pain. It struck me then that ultimately, whatever the process of learning or system of education, whatever its flaws, the ability to learn and grow is only in the hands of the learner himself. 

We could come face to face with expertise and yet not be able to pick up even a part of that knowledge. How much we yearn to seek knowledge will determine how knowledgeable we get. All people bear an inherent potential to become knowledgeable in any area they choose to pick up. Human spirit and intellect knows no boundaries. It expands based on the challenges that it faces. We have to accept that we are the ones limiting ourselves due to our own unreasonable fears and limiting imaginations. We are often so bogged down by picking holes in what is there before us that we fail to take the positives and move on. After all no system or process can be totally hopeless or perfect?!

So, we all need to learn enough to create a good future for ourselves. We must learn all the skills and knowledge that will enhance our perspective to this beautiful world, the people around us and our ability to manage all of it, ethically. Knowledge is the only wealth that will remain and grow with us provided we apply it with the right attitude. It is the only tool that we really need to succeed- of course like I have said it has to be tempered with the right attitude to life and work.

We all need to appreciate and learn to work on the tremendous potential that we have, to evolve into whatever it is that we wish to be! Limits exist only in our mind!


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