By Ezim Osai,
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Saturday, December 14, 2013
“Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world”
- Nelson Mandela
Education [is] but a process by which a person begins to learn how to learn 1.
[A weapon] is something used to gain advantage 2.
Education in my words is simply a learning process. We learn from our teachers, families, friends, colleagues, songs, movies, books, and mistakes. It is in learning that we know what we previously were ignorant of and thus act upon. Without learning, progress would be a foreign word and without education, learning would be a myth.
In the world we live in, we were born to challenges; health, security, finance, religion, you name it. These are problems that require solutions, but how do we solve these problems? We solve them by analyzing and then proffering solutions to experts who act on them. We complain about problems and challenges in our world when really, without problems we would never grow, think or learn.
We are educated because the experts who solve problems are not immortal and their work must go on. Some of us accept the world as it and go through it we met it but some of us are pained by the world we see and we do what we can to change it so that our children do not suffer what we did.
We educate ourselves when we encounter problems we cannot solve and seek enlightenment when we are in the dark. We do it for reward, or love, or the simple joy of it. But we all have one thing in common, and that is the ability to feel pain.
Madiba says education is the most powerful tool which you can use to change the world and he is right. Without education, we accept problems and work around them. Without education, we are slaves to the enlightened and without education; we are slaves in our own bodies.
What then is the true education if we are born into families not of our choosing, sent to primary schools, secondary schools, and if we are [un]lucky tertiary institutions also not of our choosing? We are told that we have to get good grades so that we can make it in life and be successful. We write examination after examination and bag certificate after certificate but success remains a foreign concept even when we emerge with first-class degrees. We watch success stories and read inspirational books, trying to be successful in the world we were born into, trying to surpass our peers, buy big houses and drive flashy cars or simply to get the next meal. With all our ‘education’, why do we still suffer?
The answers lie in our hearts and minds; I believe we are truly educated when we possess the ability to hope and dream and change dreams into reality.
We want to be free of suffering, do we not?
Ezim Osai is a 200L Physics major at the University of Ibadan. A Taoist and a Christian, he loves Cooking, Travelling, Reading, Writing, and loves to absorb nature.