The entrapment of education is true for people across the society. For the poor and marginal, the pursuit of English medium education for their kids; for some one slightly better off, getting their kids up to graduation is the aim; for the vast majority of middle class, calling their kids engineers and doctors is an obsession; for the privileged a certificate of a foreign university is the goal post; and for the ones endowed in overabundance only the most prestigious universities of the world will do for their child.
I call it entrapment simply because knowledge is limiting. Caste system in India came about due to defining groups by the knowledge they had, which was inherited from their ancestors and followed a simple (yet so complex) linear progression. As we are still grappling to break the shackles of the caste hierarchy , as an escape we are drawn to a mirage called formal education.
Though today’s education allows us to choose a discipline we want regardless of our lineage, it still is regressive as it continues to label us and define us. You spend all your formative years trying to hoard knowledge what your parents or society think is needed to be “successful”. And tomorrow if you figure out that is the stream you do not want to pursue, the clear majority have no choice but to continue, thanks to the huge education loans, emotional trap of families and the monster called as consumerism.
In this whole assessment and over emphasis that we place on formal education, it really dulls the natural acumen and intelligence at large. We lose our judging capability, to think and respond contextually, to solve real life problems, to take criticism constructively, to discount praises heavily, to show kindness, to just be human. If fake news is on the rise, its because of this. We believe everything that is written is true. We don’t investigate or research anymore. We become gullible to a situation and succumb to the system.
Equally to be blamed are organisations and institutions. Vacancies are filled on basis of degree certificates, resumes, referrals and jibber-jabber interviews. No case studies, no projects and no simulations. Your intelligence in comparison to your knowledge has no takers, since the recruiters themselves have no knowledge as well as intelligence to recognizes that!
The world leaders that we have today across continents, especially in democratic countries is a testimony of how paralyzed an individual’s intelligence is. What we believe is making a well informed decision is actually a system manipulation. We are not able to assess for ourselves what kind of a country we want to live in and which leader can get us closer to our vision. For political parties, we are like Ai machines. They leverage on the hoards of knowledge that we have and base their arguments on only using past data and some statistical concepts.
If for an argument sake we say that knowledge or intelligence is just means to an end, and that end being – to live a “successful”, “happy” and “satisfying” life, then it need not matter which impostor got us there. But the irony is that, the material recognition and virtual relationships that measure as success don’t equate to happiness and satisfaction. As consumerism presides everything and everyone, we are finding life on other planets while killing the one planet that has it.
Wisdom today has sunk to the deep, cold abyss of humanity. The material has displaced the abstract. Ideas in conversations are extinct, as we are only speaking and not hearing. The over emphasis of winning is so much, that the mere fun in the game is lost. As we chase to maintain a lifestyle, we are completely missing the whole point of life. As we fight over gods and borders we annihilate their very philosophy.
Formal education is critical. Knowledge is critical. It should help you find the purpose of your being and not box you and label you. It should allow your intelligence to expand and nourish like a flowing river and not a stagnated pond. But most of all, finding wisdom in ones thought and action is what liberates you. Wisdom to know that everything that you do matters. Wisdom to know that everything you do does not matter. Wisdom to know. Just know. To be aware!