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Education is only meaningful to the educated.

07 August 2012, 07:10

Education is only meaningful to the educated.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Lawyers; fight your lawsuits. Doctors; heal your patients. Accountants; crunch your numbers. Marketers; sell your products. Economists; make your guesses. The world and all we know it to be, is in its twelfth hour. How we got here, what caused it or asking why it turned out to be this way, are all irrelevant and redundant questions. What does matter however, is what we do from here onwards. What do we do to fix it? How do we get it right? Where do we start?

Our financial systems, our economics, our livelihood, our environment and every other aspect of human life have reached a point where a continuation down its current path is one doomed to fail. It doesn’t take someone of intelligence to see that something – or everything – is broken, society is not happy, governments are untrustworthy, banks are going bust, wars are rife and the powers that be are becoming more neurotic by the day. Fear and all it encompasses has taken a hold of us, slowly but surely turning what humanity we have left, against us. Kindness has turned into insecurity, love into jealousy and the soul into money.

There is no way one is able to change the mind-set of every human being on this planet, and when I say change I do not mean in a manner such as ‘trending’ or ‘fads’ but in a way such that the veil of untruth and muck can be lifted from the eyes of those who wish otherwise and especially against those who place it there in the first place. The only way to hope for change is to alter what is to come, not what we think should be but by enlightening the future by loving the present. The foundations of a nation is where it has the highest chance of failure, addressing what those foundations are is the only manner of finding solutions.

“A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.” – Albert Einstein

Children are sponges, they absorb every bit of information around them – they become mimics of those that teach them. It is here – with the future and humanities foundation – that we have the opportunity and duty to mould change. We have the technology, we have the ability and we most certainly have the knowledge to do so. Schools and teachers keep teaching the out-dated, keep showing the irrelevant and keep ignoring reality. Life is not what we are taught it is, life is not what we are shown it is and life is most certainly not what we believe it to be at any one point in time. Maybe it is time to turn those ‘sponges’ into ones that can manifest their own thoughts. Teach not what I must think, but how I must think.

Technology has replaced us. I watch the labour force of today and feel their anger, their frustration and their silent cries. They are the ones who suffer, for those educated enough, utilize machinery at a premium rather than watch turning cogs do the work at minimum wage. Sometimes I wonder how it must be to know that the machine one is ‘operating’ – or babysitting – is superior in nearly every way to you. It is there because it cuts costs, increases efficiency, has less down time and runs on a much cheaper energy source – it’s benchmark? The human.

It is with this that it boils down to one solution – one which we have heard many times before but that does not get heard merely because it will undermine what the ‘grown-ups’ and ‘successful’ of today do not want – change to the fundamentals of modern day mankind. The ‘dream’ everyone is chasing, the idea that success is ahead of us only to be grabbed up in both hands – all complete and utter bollocks. What is progress? Who decides it? Which way is forward? Is growth quantified? What is growth? All theses questions, all face the same problem – perspective and current situation. We can only circumvent them by being on an equal footing, when all stand on one platform it is possible to answer them, before then it is merely progress for the sake of progress.

“In response to people saying “you can’t go back,” I say well what happens if you get to the cliff and you take one step forward or do a 180° turn and take one step forward? Which way are you going? Which way is progress? The solution to many of the world’s problems is to turn around and take a step forward. You can’t keep going trying to make a flawed system work” – Yvon Chouinard

Education is the only meaningful, across-the-board enriching answer to the entire dire situation. Humans will find technology becoming more and more involved in their every day lives, no matter if its in the food you eat or the way you pay for it – technology can and will make it all faster, better and more environmentally friendly. It is true that not all technology is green, yet just like with any painting, one must start with a smudge in order to reach the masterpiece it becomes – doing it smarter and with less error is the key. However every way ‘forward’ has the ability to be a way ‘backwards’, meaning that even though technology is set to replace us, so then we need to find what it is we will replace else we land up with the flaw that is our current society.

If we have a look at our existing outline we have corporations, banks and governments investing in technology to cut costs, leading to a greater number of obsolete – and unskilled workers, leading to a greater vote for the party that will benefit the unskilled the most, leading to lower rates in advances on the technological front, ‘helping’ the unskilled stay exactly where they are as the governments agenda is not geared towards changing it – but rather maintaining it – while finding compensation for it from elsewhere. The uneducated do not want to stay unskilled, just like the educated do not want to stay stagnant in their current set of skills. If we are able to move more people across the ‘line’ from obsolete to sophistication it can and will only have positive outcomes – we outdate the unskilled by giving them opportunity. The more educated a nation, the more advances in technology, the more positive prospects for the skilled (majority) and the greater the ability in the future.

Is it that simple? We just make sure our education systems are working properly, that they are teaching relevant material, that all pupils are being taught how to think rather than what to think? We get the generations to come to understand that education and-in-turn technology, is the sword to beat back poverty, disease, famine, unemployment, food scarcity, water shortages, overpopulation – it all, being possible by opening the minds of those who can find solutions. Already just by having an educated nation it is possible to see the positive kickbacks arise; lower birth rates, conscious spending and consuming, employment, better understanding, greater ability and a much cleaner and clearer future.

“I think first and foremost, people only protect the things they love. And you can’t love something unless you inherently identify with it.” – Kris Tompkins

It is hard for someone to love mankind if one does not understand it. I do not believe I understand it in its entirety, but I do believe that education is the only way to get to that point. If one has no love for something then it is of little importance. I wish for a world where understanding is interchangeable with love, so that the problems we have are addressable through thought and collaboration on an equal foundation, rather than passing the blame or sweeping them under the carpet for the next generation to trip over.

There is no shame in making a mistake, there is in hiding it. We have to come to understand that all our investment in defense, in police, borders, security and all other negatives is only placing a cap on an already volatile cocktail. Take this money and invest it where it will count, where advances in technology can be utilized and thought of by many rather than few, where crime, reason for war and all fears of insecurity – whether it be food and water or on a personal level – can be eradicated by simply extending a hand downwards and pulling whoever grabs on, up.

The potential benefits of education are not guaranteed, whereas the cost of education is certain and very real, however I feel that there is greater risk in not doing it than the uncertainty of its payoff. Invest in people and you invest in our future. Start with our foundations and allow children the time to ask. The voice of silence is one of ignorance.

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance” – Derek Bok

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