Of all the vast resources on this world, the human mind is the most valuable resource that has to be utilized effectively. After all, no human mind is valueless. It is our approach and commitment towards utilizing our mind that makes the difference. A reflection of what our mind perceives really matters a lot. This way what we learn acquires meaning in the adventures we make during our life.
Four years back, on a sunny day, I was in a bus traveling to Asmara from a remote town. As I usually do, I had to use such opportunities to trigger or inspire some people at least my seatmates using some trigger questions. I was seated beside a young lady who was boringly holding a beautifully titled book on her hand. Of course the weather was very hot with crowded passengers, where no one could read comfortably. Triggered by the title of the book, I took the initiative to break the silence. In no time a conversation began, from introducing each other’s names to a little talk about our backgrounds and arising big issues – issues as big as technology, education and more. At first the conversation was slow and later it became a hot discussion, a debate - an argument that seemed endless. With my last trigger question, I submerged myself into the depth of a gap created by two points of views of the same subject. The subject of our talk was education and the difference was the reflection – on how every one of us attribute meaning to the life we live with regard to education. My question was not a new one, but the answer was shockingly frustrating. Yet, it was not out of my expectation, because I precisely know the reason for starting this reflection circle was in reply to such occurrences. Through this media my expectation is to see coincidence of consciousness, relatively the same understanding of many thoughts and things, interconnectedness in ideas and actions, inspirations and endless motivations of the youth through genuine reflections of educational and professional experiences.
As an educational consciousness-raising scenario, it would be nice to walk you through the details of the last part of the conversation I had with the young lady. It would be easy for you to feel what I felt and encounter what I encountered. My seatmate, was someone who has passed herself through the stairs, opportunities and challenges of education for more than fifteen years. I am not sure what she was doing at that time, but I am quite sure she has been an elementary, a junior, a high school and a college student – an adventurer of the jungles of the world of education as a learner. Expecting to hear rich collections of experiences in her educational life, I dropped my trigger question saying, “What are the insights/visions and/or big dreams you have got out of your educational experiences. And as per now, what is education for you?”
I hope every one of us agrees such questions are not easy questions, because of the ignition they attribute towards the meaning of our living. Whether we know it or not education is part and parcel of our life. If we are talking about education, we are talking about life. That is the way it is. Wait! If so what would be your answer to this question? What do you expect the lady may have said? Well, with a gently smiling expression and a hidden furiousness from inside, she replied in short and precise words, “nothing. Education is nothing to me.” When I pardoned for confirmation, she was serious and furious, and I understood the insights and big dreams she got out of education were nil. I felt sorry for a moment. By the time I surprisingly said, “Is this real! But education is meant a lot of things?” She immediately replied, “So enlighten me. How could education mean a lot of things?” She meant tell me and impress me about education. I was puzzled where to begin to advocate on behalf of education. I soon realized one thing. It was the definition of education which made such a big difference in the way we see the role of education in shaping our life.
Should I have said to her ‘education is the language of living’ or ‘the light of life,’ as said by one of my great friends, Dr. Estifanos Haile in one of his reflections on education? Or ‘it is the potential drilling system’ as I always have believed. I did say those and I added that education is the exploration to our history and to the future. For me it is an exposure to the hidden to the unknown world, and an environment for developing my mind, my thinking and creativity. I was becoming emotional with my words flowing like no other times; before I could have finished my words, the young lady interrupted me by saying, “You are killing me.” I could not understand what she meant, but I realized I was in a trap or may be in a trouble. Isn’t it a trouble to be at such a variation of ideas with education as a main subject? The worst scenario was that the bus that we were traveling on had almost reached its destination, having to stop at different locations, it seemed impossible for us to come to a common point of understanding about the raised topic.
After we got off from the bus, I was contemplating about the situation; it was hard for me to persuade her about the importance of education. After all she has been through it for more than twelve years. On the other hand I couldn't be persuaded that education is nothing as she has said. At last I came with a good idea, and it was to give her a considerable amount of time so as she would tell me more about why she considers education is nothing to her, in a conscious manner without being emotional. Here is her message which she sent to me some day later after our separation:
“… Education pretends to have come with endless possibilities and opportunities only to be found out limited and confined, without the alternative to let you meet your inner desires. It comes with pre-packed alternatives that will never satisfy one’s expectations. Education categorizes knowledge, where you can’t find yourself among the options … People who are famous of their intelligence, who have contributed to the knowledge and well-being of this world like Albert Einstein were unfit to such systems … that is the way I see things in education, which makes it preferable to be uneducated, but wise in life.”
By then I had enough words and phrases to be analyzed and interpreted. Also I can clearly visualize what the young lady was talking about; it is all about the system – the educational system, the customized classroom based learning we attend in formal educational centers, which is a global challenge every time and everywhere. But my consciousness of these days is telling me that education is much more beyond that. To make it short, I believe education has to go on in the world as a classroom paradigm, where everyone is fit to learn and to teach as stated in the article ‘Behind the Future’ by Milena Petros, “Everyone around you plays the role of both a teacher and a student, people will always have something to offer to you and you have the choice of what you decide the world should learn from you…”
In this perspective the role of the teacher is to enlighten his students and fill them with endless insights where the dynamic desired-transformation comes as an outcome. At last but not least, I am sure the case of this young lady is the case of a number of other youths. This reminds us we need to address such cases right from the outset using learner-enlightenment-projects or activities. It is the flow of conscious minds – the conscious teachers that amends this flaw. Inspiring and motivating the youth with conscious thoughts, self-motivated educators can extend their efforts as far as where the learner is, as broad as where they go. With the current platform created by modern technology, educators can create boundless virtual reflection circle with myriad participants of scholars and professionals around, committed in coming up with conscious definitions of thoughts and things in the appropriate time and space. At Cosmic Wisdom Circles, our intention is to answer the unasked questions, to clarify the age’s long doubts. We ask uneasy questions, triggering and inspiring the hidden potential of the human mind especially that of the young generation - the most valuable resource. We deliver an action based reflection – a reflection of our experiences, feelings, insights and conscious dreams. Are you filled with a sense of active participation? I have never doubted that; I believe you are the next conscious river! Stay connected.