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A Homage to Education

empowerer, character-builder, freedom fighter

  I believe in education. In all its forms. Academia points out that the previous sentence lacked a predicate and its entourage of syntax buddies, and also that academia can’t point. Good point, but the self-taught artistic freedom of a writer allows for unconventional sentence structures and personifications. Education ≠ school. Education happens, willingly or unwillingly, all around us, in all of us, all the time, lifelong – our teachers can be songs, travel, our inner monologue, social milieus, cultures and society as a whole. It’s good to know what the scholars have to say, but many of the most valuable lessons in life are taught one-on-one by experience.

I think education empowers people to take agency, think critically, ask questions and have a choice in life. It is the key driver in a person’s intellectual development and, more importantly, character evolution. Academia traditionally feeds the intellect more, while social ties mostly enmesh our character. Both have their raison d'être and their own tools: school is institutionalized and measurable, while most other forms of education are highly individual and hard to track.

I doubt that the school system, albeit its utter importance, is up-to-date. I’m a big fan of the alphabet and simple math, but I think that ethics and character-building should occupy more space in classrooms filled with overly theoretic dust collectors; what’s potentially lacking and untraceable in the moral department at home could be addressed in the curriculum, and any dangerous indoctrinated ideology should be juxtaposed here to lay the groundwork for a mentality of critical thinking and openness.

I claim that nobody is born a racist, a bigot, or a homophobe and that we are talking nurture here, not nature. Such man-inflicted narrow-mindedness is not natural. No blue animal discriminates against green animals because of their skin color. It is within the empty space left by a lack of education that a person fails to understand the concept of one human species or the value of each single human life, and it is the wrong education of false doctrines that drains a young person's compassion for another, which naturally dwells in us.

I know who’s to say what the right education is: common sense, a spine, Immanuel Kant – take your pick. If you are against gay marriage, you are ill-educated: you demonize what’s natural, you act out of fear of what you don’t comprehend, you make somebody else’s private space your decision making place. If you are against women’s rights, you are wrong. Not right or wrong; just wrong. There are many sides to many stories and the human experience is as subjective as experience gets. But some matters are just black or white, right or wrong, good or bad. We need teachers, inside and outside the schools, that are simply good humans teaching values of tolerance and open-mindedness.

I argue that education is a freedom fighter and our strongest weapon to combat the atrocities that come along with ignorance – discrimination, oppression, division, war. That’s why it is so important that responsible teachers take this powerful tool into their hands and pass it on to their students, lest they be misguided.

I trust that education will uncover the contradictions of religions and the wrongdoings of their abusive institutions with their divisive schemes, while acknowledging the peaceful teachings that unify them all: love and benevolence.  

I criticize that education is a privilege when it should be a basic human right.

I imagine that education will allow you to form your own opinion about my opinion and education.

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