The love of so much material benefits has extremely spoiled the real purpose of education in our society. Therefore, society continues to be a victim of countless conflicts. Education, be it academic or vocational, is meant for the acquisition of requisite skills in order for a person to contribute to the betterment of society.
This is its fundamental principle. Therefore, having a majority poor and a rich minority populace distorts the spiritual reality of our creation. We were created to know God and to worship Him. In so doing, we show forth love and compassion to each other and contribute to the building of a just society. We need to learn as a people, that one of the elements responsible for corruption is the association of education with competition. For minds that lack the patience to properly investigate, going to school or university in order to earn a high credential means one should or must cultivate a culture of a domineering authority over others. This benchmark set for a person’s relevance in society speaks volumes of how people, who are educated academically, think of others who receive vocational or some other form of professional learning.
Education calls for intelligence, sacrifice and commitment to the elevation of the standards of living of any given group of people. But the questions here are: are these constructively life changing basics clearly seen in our curricular and non-curricular school systems? Who is truly educated?
The answers to these questions, as it is with many, may vary accordingly, but let us take a look at a portion of the work of Isocrates, a philosopher taught by Socrates.
In his words: “Whom, then, do I call educated, since I exclude the arts and sciences and specialties? First, those who manage the circumstances which they encounter day by day, and who possess a judgment which is accurate, in meeting occasions as they arise and rarely miss the expedient course of action; next, those who are decent and honourable in their intercourse with all whom they associate, tolerating easily and good-naturedly what is unpleasant or offensive in others and being themselves as agreeable and reasonable to associates as it is possible to be; furthermore, those who hold their pleasures always under control and are not duly overcome by their misfortunes, bearing up under them bravely and in a manner worthy of our common nature; finally and most important of all, those who are not spoiled by successes and do not desert their true selves and become arrogant, but hold their ground steadfastly as intelligent men, not rejoicing in the good things which have come to them through chance rather than in those through which their own nature and intelligence are theirs from their birth. Those who have a character which is in accord, not with one of these things, but with all of them-these, I contend are wise and complete men, possessed of all virtues.”
In line with the above quote, let me humbly admonish all of us that we should seek happiness by limiting our desires rather than attempting always to satisfy them. Let us redefine education in line with its objectives and succumb not to the transitory things of this planet. The reason is that we never take them along with us to the world beyond; for we do not come with them at birth.