From the moment we are born until the moment we die we are being educated.
Life education is more than an approximate 20 year span of academic studies. However education is generally seen in this limited fashion because of how it’s come to be taught!
The wise ancients would laugh at modern day education; they would say that today’s structured education is missing vital ‘spirit’ elements of education.
Over the past twenty years there has been a dramatic upsurge in the number of adults seeking various avenues of spiritual education – not religious education for that is an individual choice presently included in today’s education system – a spiritual understanding of academic studies and their application to life must therefore be lacking if this need has arisen.
Education has in many instances become a business rather than a privileged service to youth. In days gone by wise tribe elders who proudly shared their wisdom held the honored position of youth educators. Nowadays because of a vastly different lifestyle the tribe elder of a family instead pays a stranger to educate his children!
Today’s education system has replaced tribal elders but is this system offering students wisdom together with facts or it is merely facts alone?
The ancients honored that the fact that we are all spiritual beings briefly passing through the experience of life. The ancients further understood the importance of practicality – they knew that students had to be able to count how many trees were in a forest as well as appreciate and respect trees because of their continual life supporting service to planet earth!
Today humanity is suffering because of a lack of understanding and respect for life! Our education system irrespective of whether it located in either a privileged or under privileged counties is missing this one vital element.
Many would assume at this point that this is the role of parents. Yes, parents today can be equated with tribe elders but how can they teach this to their children what they them selves didn’t learn!
In recent years when I was involved with education in the Middle East I was horrified to discover parents supporting an out sourced course teaching ethics be added to the school curriculum!
Ethics I consider is something every child should instinctively learns from every adult he or she encounters in their formative years – not something that requires mastering through academic studies!
This led me to ponder the following aspects of education.
- Education is not just a structured system
- Education is an inherent aspect of the essence of life
- Education is something at birth we all instinctively yearn
- Education’s foundation is sourced from an inner awareness that we are all involved in an infinite learning / teaching exchange process
- Educational resources are continually available from life itself through life’s continual guiding examples
- Educating youth is easy when adults realize that they teach by example and that youth display to adults what they need to be taught through bouts of frustration and lack of interest directly related to lack of understanding
- Structured Education Systems can only produce outstanding academic scholars from students who have insatiable appetites for learning
- Structured education alone in its limited time frame cannot solely stimulate ‘student learning’ appetites – nor was it ever intended to
- Learning appetites, like any appetites are only stimulated by something passionately desired
- Learning appetites can only be stimulated by those who passionately desire to teach. Unfortunately not all teachers, (parents included) are passionate teachers
- Likewise teachers who aren’t passionate about learning can’t instill a passion for learning to their students
- Passionate teachers are constantly seeking new and more effective ways to teach
- Unmotivated teachers generally produce unmotivated students
- Unmotivated students cannot grow into the full awareness of the full worth of education
- Students detached from the awareness of the worth of education cannot grow into their full life potential or that of an effective adult educator
And so it is!
- Those who are passionate teachers are also passionate learners!
- Those who are passionate about what they do are successful in all that they do in life!
- Education systems and educators world wide are not perfect!
- Parents world wide, who are also educators are not perfect!
- Nothing in life is perfect!
- Perfection is a state of being toward which we all should strive even though we know we will never achieve perfection!
- Perfection in this ever changing transforming world is like chasing an elusive butterfly, but everyone knows that children love chasing butterflies?
- As children we intuitively knew the worth of a life chase even if the catch remained elusive!
Several years ago I made the self declaration – ‘If my heart isn’t singing I’m not doing it!’
I made this declaration which I can honestly say I’ve adhered to because of adult employment dissatisfaction and because of how I felt the education system had let me down many years earlier. Had the education system not let me down I may well have found fulfilling adult employment!
When I was 13years old my spirit craved to be practical and creative, so when selecting high school subjects I applied for creative courses only to be refused being told that my ‘IQ’ was far too high to study such courses, and furthermore I was accused of being lazy for making these choices!
Not only was I in disbelief but my spirit was immediately crushed. My spirit placed absolutely no importance my ‘IQ’ results! My spirit knew perfectly well what it most desired! Unfortunately for my spirit my school administrators felt I’d be best served honoring my minds potential rather than my hearts desire!
I did initially attempt to study the mind serving I’d been forced to take but my interest soon waned as boredom set and before I knew it I was regularly skipping lessons until enthusiastically quit school the very day I turned 15 and was of legally permitted to do so!
Life I have discovered is not always easy following spirited heart guidance alone. I’m sure a diploma or two would have made my life much easier but the education system in one decision destroyed any and all passion I had to pursue a formal education! I believe it is the right of every student to pursue the call of their spirit with the expectation that the education system will support them in this pursuit!
Students cannot achieve optimum success being boxed in to conformity. Limiting students could equate to ‘personal potential’ imprisonment. Students should not be directed to the belief that there are limited ways to achieving personal success!
Education is supposed to help every student reach their full potential. To do this students require encouragement to be self expressive and arduously explorative in their every learning endeavor.
I believe that most present day formal education systems in either privileged or underprivileged countries are in many ways bypassing vital life serving wisdom that was once handed down to youth from tribal elders. I see this missing element of education as a gaping hole in today’s education system. If this hole were blocked up not only would students benefit but so too would the whole of humanity!
I grew up in Australia which is considered a privileged country and in more recent years have lived in Egypt, considered an underprivileged country and having been involved with both education systems I see only administrative similarities rather than differences.
Some schools are expensive and have incredible resources while other schools are inexpensive and have very limited resources, but the greatest resources any school can ever have is passionate teachers!
No amount of money or styled curriculum or technological resource can ever tap into a students learning potential the way a passionate teacher can! Passionate educators are the most valuable asset any learning facility can house!
Life has proven to be my greatest teacher by allowing me total freedom of choice and self-expression in both moments of personal failure and personal triumph. Life has educated me in ways a formal education never could have! If the education system today could balance life teachings and academic teachings I’m sure it would be on a winner in every county of the world irrespective of social standing!
Maybe today’s education system would be greatly enhanced by being reclassified and restructured to being a Complete Life Education rather than a Structured Academic Education!
Maybe then the world could as ‘John Lennon Imagined’ many years ago live as one and we could alleviate the separating terms privileged and under-privileged from the definition of global structure.
NB# I wrote this essay for a competition but after completing it I realised that I had misunderstood the required topic to allow my essay entry eligibility so I decided to post it here. I sincerely care about the education of our youth. I’m sure there are some school systems around the globe that are respecting the spirits of their students together with the spirit of life in their curricula activities. One day I hope this becomes the rule of education rather than the exception to the rule.