A. The Problem: What does it mean to be ‘educated’? According to the dictionary, it is to be cultured, knowledgeable, well-informed, skilled, accomplished, refined, learned, erudite, sophisticated, etc. Surprisingly, nowhere does being educated guarantee good character and commitment to our respective duties, swadharma!
This western idea of education that we’re blindly aping is focused only on IQ and the 3R’s, and our evaluation of how good or bad we’re, is based only on our marks and grades or status, vocation, wealth, etc.; and nowhere does being educated guarantee good character!
1. Who are the Mentors, role models, leaders of society today? Who are the Mentors who can guide and inspire us to be good after explaining what goodness means and convince us that it is good to be good and show us how to strive to be good and better towards the highest and best?
2. Isn’t it surprising that modern leaders, governance, schooling, etc all have no plans and processes in place for making the good people, the enlightened citizens, who have been educated and inspired to sincerely strive to be committed to their swadharma, respective duties, and work selflessly for good of society.
3. We’ve criticized our indigenous time-tested social and educational systems but have ourselves failed to create alternatives to prepare and nurture the young to be good. And evaluating, identifying and nurturing only those to be Leaders and Mentors of society, who have the potential and the disposition to be ethical, moral, virtuous, selfless, of good character, etc. in whatever vocation they may be.
4. Modern societies are totally ignorant of even how to define goodness because we’ve no idea of what is the ‘highest and best’ against which only can we really evaluate how good or bad we’re and how to become better towards the best.
5. As a collective we’ve yet to decide who is good because we haven’t yet discussed and explored the ‘plan and purpose of Creation’ and what is ‘the role of our daily work and vocation’ in ‘attaining and fulfilling our purpose’?
6. Unless we’ve clarity on the purpose of our work and life, how can we prepare ourselves to remain on the optimum path to it? As a society we’ve no idea from where and why we suddenly come into the world; why in a particular family; why are we all different, with our unique inherent tendencies and characteristics, etc., and why we suddenly go out of existence!
7. Schooling makes no attempt to allow us to study, reflect, discuss, explore, how our sages have understood these issues.
B. Vision for Future: We have to build a society where teachers, professionals, leaders are not just men of IQ and the 3R’s but are men of wisdom, who have the potential to be Mentors. Those fit to be Mentors can be identified during schooling and nurtured and inspired to be our guides. Mentors can then focus on striving for the highest and best and inspiring the young too.
1. Schooling must plan and focus on giving us an intellectual conviction on the profound ideal that our vocation and daily work and life itself is our opportunity to attain and fulfil our role in this Creation, provided we strive to selflessly work for good of society. Every educated person must graduate with the inspiration to offer his best for good of society. If we do not, the result is obvious – growing selfishness, materialism, intolerance and divisive world society that remains in a state of perpetual purposelessness.
2. This clarity on the direction of growth and development towards the higher should have come through education, philosophy, religions, and political leaders, but they have miserably failed to come together on a common platform to inspire us to strive to become good and better towards the highest and best, in and through our daily work and life.
3. We must appreciate that unless we are made aware of the ‘highest and best goal of life’, ‘higher and better’ doesn’t have any real significance; they would make sense only when benchmarked against the highest. And, only those who sincerely strive for the highest are really suitable to be our Mentors, teachers, and elders!
C. Healthy worldview of ‘Oneness’: The ‘highest and best’ ideal placed before us is that: man-and-man; man-nature; Creation-God are not ‘separate’ but are ‘one’, interconnected, interdependent, interrelated, ‘integrated whole’.
It is this grand ideal that is the foundational wisdom of all religions and faiths; and it is this vision that gives rise to all goodness, ethics, virtues; of ‘love thy neighbour as thyself; of ‘as you sow, so shall you reap’, etc.
Thus good, better, best can be judged from our ability to grow in feelings and experience of our oneness, and love, care, concern for more and more till we actually realize our oneness with the whole Creation.
This in a nutshell is the plan of Creation and the role of our daily work and life is to continuously strive to expand our consciousness from just me, my family, my community to actually realize the whole Creation as our very own family; we’re actually one with Creation; it is our I-ego sense that keeps us separate!
Through daily prayers, worship, meditations, and fulfilling our respective swadharma we gradually purify our minds, grow in humility and reduce ego-sense and expand our consciousness till we find fulfilment, bliss, Ananda, in oneness with everything!
D. Thought Management: Childhood is the best opportunity to imbibe the habit of self-development Practices to improve the Quality of Thoughts and Direct them towards feelings of oneness with more and more.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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