I asked a wise man,
“Tell me sir, in which field could I make a great career?”
He said with a smile,
“Be a good human being. There is huge opportunity in this area and very little competition”
-Jalal – Ud – Din Rumi
What is Education, what is learning and what is life? Education is an enlightening experience, one that requires a holistic approach to understand the meaning of life. For what is the essence of life, if our minds and hearts are consumed with conflicts?
Children are natural seekers. Their curious minds constantly lead them to a path of discovery. As educators it is our responsibility to ensure that these curious minds are free from conformity. Free from conservatism. Children should be allowed to progress and education should be focused on their holistic development rather than the content or the teacher.
One should understand the importance of self awareness, and how essential it is to be acquainted with oneself as a whole. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama teaches the great importance of not only educating the mind, but also educating the heart. “When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts” – (His Holiness, the Dalai Lama). It is true that academia is an essential part of learning, and as teacher educators we must teach in the best way possible so that children excel in their desired field. But so should we teach acceptance, compassion, reflection, tolerance and adaptability so that they become caring, reflective, compassionate and responsible citizens of tomorrow. A classroom environment can be an exhilarating cocoon for children to learn in, as long as the course structure, student engagement is handled in the right way, and in the most delicate way. Once the children leave this “cocoon” they are exposed to a world full of wonder, beauty, love and mystery. But they are also exposed to a world full of deception, bullying, discrimination and conflicts. Which makes me reason, why is the world in a conflict today – where hunger, greed, deception and authority supplant humanity? A trained mind does not necessarily mean it is an efficient mind. Today we lack the freedom of thinking as we are conditioned to follow a systematic and structured approach to a certain set of ideologies. One who has learned but not understood may often feel conflicted, miserable and often mediocre. For what is that learning, which does not give one the freedom to think differently, or to act differently or perhaps to feel differently? Surely the meaning of true education and learning is when one obtains a sense of security from within and does not subject to the chains of social conditioning.
Children should be free to make mistakes. For when they make mistakes, they also create great opportunities for themselves to learn. When we as educators define or differentiate for what is wrong or right, we also steal their experience of navigating their own minds, which in turn leads to subjection of the true meaning of life. Accomplishment and integration of oneself can only occur when the educator understands love and there is true guidance. My interpretation of “love” here means ‘Selflessness’. For an educator can only truly educate, when the illusion of hierarchy is dissolved.
Cohen, Leonara. “Section – 111 Philosophical Perspectives in Education” Oregonstate, https://oregonstate.edu/instruct/ed416/PP3.html . Accessed 15th July 2020.
Krishnamurti. J. “Education and the Significance of Life”.
Lama, Dalai. “Educate the Heart”. The Dalai Lama Centre, https://dalailamacenter.org/educate-the-heart . Accessed 15th July 2020.