This might turn out to be the longest post in a while. Not because I spent 23 years of my life studying nor because for the last six years I have been working with children, guiding them in a way or another but because this subject is so versatile and complex, inexhaustible. Plus I am going to say things many will not agree with, so bear with me if you wish.
Oxford Dictionaries define education as being “The process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university”. But I think education is more than that. There are things, important ones that universities and schools can’t teach you, because it’s not in their curriculum. Actually, all this education we achieve in school is 90 per cent non sense. It’s unlikely that all the theorems and parabolas I learned in Math will help me pay the bills or living a happy life. It’s unlikely to remember, after a couple of years, all the formulas I learned in Physics and the reactions in Chemistry, unless you choose to study one of these subjects. But before I get too much into this, let me tell you a little story.
I grew up in a communist country, with communist perceptions of all sorts. If you want to know how it was back then you might find some documentaries on YouTube, but they show only a side of the story, their way of seeing things. It wasn’t very bad, but it wasn’t very good either. Somewhere in between, I must say. It’s true we had to wait at long queues for different aliments, it’s true there was a ratio on that food, it’s true that there were items you could buy only if you had connection and it’s true that some had better lives than the others. But thinking about it, there wasn’t much difference from today, where there are load of things money can buy, but only if you have them, money that is.
So in the communist regime school and education was very important. You went there to become a respectful person, a man of the community, someone your parents would be proud of. Some things might never change, no matter what. Parents sent you to school every day to get better grades, to do better than they did, to be on the top and be somebody one day. So there is where the stress began. But for some, no matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t make it as there were not enough places on the top. So they ended up being punished at home, being told of same thing over and over again “ I work for you to go to school and you are an idiot! You’ll become a looser!” and so on. Bruises were not always visible, but they were there, in the child’s heart. So the child grew up and became exactly like his parents, working as a slave, trying to provide a good life for his children, pushing them to learn and study, not to end up like him. It’s like a never ending story, where people become zombies, walking slowly towards their grave. And who is to blame for all those?
You guessed that right: EDUCATION. Because education doesn’t promote losers, doesn’t promote failures, it just wants the best, the elite. It wants people to train other people in a way they can’t see the beautiful rainbow behind the clouds. Education prepares minds to enslave the others, to get the job done. Long before the Internet ruled our lives, no one ever wondered why there are only few books recommended in schools. No one questioned why History teachers never made children wonder how Egyptians disappeared or how Inca and Mayan great civilizations died. No Geography teacher told us that in the vast universe there might be planets like ours. Because those things make you wonder, which makes you look for answers and read as much as you can. Generations after generations never thought to look outside the box, because they weren’t taught to do so.
And even now, when Internet is everywhere, where human communication is reduced to some emoticons, there are people who never wonder. People who just take whatever they are taught for granted. And who is to blame for that? Education again. Because most of the teachers, don’t just present you the facts and let you ask the questions, they give you no option but to learn the things as they told you to. Why? Because that helps society. That brings money in the world and makes things “important”.
And if things are like this, how are we supposed to ever wake up? To ever realize that being on the top of you class is not an achievement, nor is having a Bachelor or Master Degree. None of these really matter in terms of existence. They only matter if you want to enslave yourself in a 10 hours day job, six days per week, in order to pay your bills, for a life you cannot enjoy.
The answers to these questions lie in the hands of parents. They can make you, save you or brake you. I was very lucky to be born in a family that respected my views as a child that trusted me as a teenager and gave me wings as an adult. I was always encouraged to do whatever makes me happy and if the energy in a place wouldn’t resonate with mine, to close the door and move on. And that is the approach parents should take towards their children. They should encourage them to spend time alone with no distractions, to go in nature and just listen, to turn off their phones and enjoy the silence, because in all these lies the true education. By doing that, you’ll become more aware, you’ll question more and you won’t accept the values that education promotes. Because it’s high time they change, in order for us to evolve. We’re braking the circle and creating new abstract shapes that are meant to make us grow