An essay competition had to be called off when it turned out that almost all of the entries were the same, or rather, copied from the same source. The irony? The topic of the essay was: “Creative and Original Thinking.”
“The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life—by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, i.e., conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past—and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort.” — Ayn Rand.
Today, let’s explore, how we have moved from the above Ayn Rand quote, to a situation where the meaning of the word “education” has been loosely reduced to a mere means of earning a living. We can’t return the word its glory until we acknowledge the problem; and being the hypocrites we are, it is unlikely that we would ever admit to being a part in vulgarizing its meaning.
So we bring to you a test. If you find yourself relating to even one of the points below, you, my friend, are knee-deep a partner in the above-said crime.
(Also, self-discovery tip #1: If education means any of the following to you, Aap _______ hain.)
Education refers to:
1. The subjects we are taught at school.
(If education to you is that passing certificate from the Sibal-screwed-system, I have bad news for you.)
2. Being able to read and write.
(The ghost of Ms. Rand just hanged itself.)
3. Being able to bag a job with a four or higher figure salary.
(Congratulations! You have been successfully human-machinized by the Corporate world.)
4. Being able to bag a job better than the neighbour’s.
(Yes. We all want to see our mothers happy, but this just isn’t the way.)
5. Having an enviable degree.
(No matter how enviable it may be, you’re still an idiot.)
6. One of the main pillars to nail a “lucrative” spouse.
(If the prospective spouse is going for the same criteria, you’re a perfect match. Just don’t breed.)
7. Speaking fluent English/ knowing “arduous” words.
(If that’s all you can do, it’s like wrapping an empty box in a shiny cover. No matter how attractive it looks on the outside, it’s still empty inside.)
8. Impressing others with your “general knowledge”.
(Being able to bash national politics for endless hours—surely that’s the best possible use of “education”.)
9. Knowing your religion’s scriptures/shlokas/verses by heart.
(This has been censored fearing the Shiv Sena.)
10. Scoring high.
(Chatur from 3 Idiots. Anyone?)
11. The means to become an engineer.
(Because it seems we have after all cracked the purpose of human life—to become an engineer.)
12. Being “disciplined”, i.e. to never question/violate the society.
(Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Galileo would beg to differ.)
13. Embracing the “Indian” culture.
(Censored again fearing an endless list of Jackholes.)
And now, see if the following definition makes any sense to you:
Education is actually the means to wake people up from their ignorance, the means to make them think, the means to make them absorb, wonder and question, the means to make them follow their hearts, the means to make them understand happiness, the means to understand where their own happiness lies, driving them to work towards it with all the passion in their hearts, so that they do what every man is born to do: full justice to the beautiful gift they had been blessed with—LIFE.