Knowledge is power. No doubt about it!! We spend the best part of our childhood garnering this knowledge zealously. Slowly, painstakingly we master the nuances of the myriad subjects that we study in our schools and colleges.
We know and understand that our knowledge is the only asset that we can totally rely on for our entire lifetime. Parents know the value of good schools/ colleges and ensure that their children get the benefit of expert teachers.
The scary scenario!
Somewhere along the way, we have lost our balanced outlook regarding our education and knowledge.
Education now translates to marks.
More marks mean more knowledge.
But does more knowledge mean a better human being??
“Of what use is all your bookish knowledge if you do not know how to interact with others?” is a common comment that is heard in most houses these days.
Youngsters are cooped up in their rooms all day long – hunched over laptops – busy mastering the skill of some software. They seem to be working long hours. Their syllabus seems almost scary to even look at!
And yet – we have been to college too. We have studied the same scientific concepts too. Language and literature are no different today than it was yesterday or a decade ago.
No, I am not comparing two generations. That would be very unfair because every generation faces different challenges.
But we need to shake ourselves out of our virtual slumber too…………virtually!
Think a while
A student may have:
A masters degree in architecture but does not know how to fit a leaky tap at home!
Studied the intricacies of human emotions and thought patterns in his/her Shakespeare lectures– but is unable to express himself clearly or is at a loss when it comes to discussing his feelings and apprehensions with his friends or even parents.
Is the knowledge that we are working so hard to gain helping us in any way in our real lives then??
The cocoon of the virtual world!
The virtual world has opened up several channels of communication and learning. But it has also created a big rift between real people in real life. It may take a lot of courage and honesty to admit and accept this fact – but deep down we all know that this is the bitter truth.
Bookish knowledge alone is never enough.
Interpersonal skills, clear polite concise communication skills, humility, courage, team spirit, co-operation………the list is truly endless……. are all various facets of our character that make us good human beings.
We will lose out on learning all these life skills if we choose to stay cocooned in our virtual world!!
A glimpse of real life!
We all have electricians, plumbers, carpenters visiting our homes regularly. They do not have fancy degrees or a big portfolio to showcase their skills. They plug that leak, fix that fuse and create a sturdy wooden showcase for us with skills that they imbibed from their parents. They worked as apprentices and learned a lot from their ‘hands on’ experience. They will find the fault in your pipelines and fix it perfectly without even knowing the spelling of hydraulics!
No, we are not asking all our students to simply toss aside their books and learn these skills.
Neither are we asking you to dismiss this manpower as trivial.
We are just trying to make our students see things with a balanced perspective. Yes, we need to keep updating our knowledge and fine tune ourselves to the needs of the market. But we also need to get our basics right first.
Step out of your virtual worlds dear students!
The real world is waiting with open arms for you.
Learn from real life experiences.
Real life is meant to be experienced!
Step out of your rooms and talk to your friends/parents/relatives.
Talk to real people and understand the problems that they are facing in their day to day lives.
Talk in the local language to that vegetable vendor or that person who sells ‘mungfali’ on the streets every day.
- You will learn about entrepreneurship.
- You will appreciate the nuances of the local dialect!
- You will master the art of doing business with a smile!
Look at the way the building construction workers slather the cement onto the bricks.
See how the contractor negotiates with the people who supply him with all the material.
- You will learn the art of negotiating politely and firmly.
See how the bank clerk works swiftly and currently with the currency notes and how he adds up a long list of numbers mentally (without using a calculator!J!).
- You will appreciate the sharpness of his mind.
Learn how to knead the dough in the kitchen along with your mother. For a change just minutely observe the routine of your mother. See when she wakes up and how she gauges the quantity of food that needs to be cooked every day to prevent unnecessary waste of food. Look at the way she balances the budget of the house. She ensures that everyone leaves home on time every day after eating their breakfasts and with good nutritious lunch packed properly.
- You will learn time management, budgeting, man power management and much more from her.
Disconnect and reconnect!
We live in a world that is online 24×7. We will reply to every WhatsApp message within seconds of receiving it.
We will upload umpteen selfies in a day on our Facebook pages.
Nothing wrong in remaining connected all the time.
But if the connectedness is creating such a strong disconnect in our real life then that is something that we all should be worrying about.
Knowledge+ Character+ Values = Personality!
Our character and our values are as important as our knowledge is.
That is the difference between that humble plumber, electrician, vegetable vendor or construction worker.
They have only their character and values to create their reputation.
They have to prove themselves every time with every job if they want to stay in business.
We are more fortunate.
We have the added advantage of books and knowledge with us.
We have in depth understanding of how things work on a scientific basis.
It is easy to understand and infer that this bookish knowledge alone is not enough.
At some point in time in our lives, we will realize that we need to detach ourselves from our virtual worlds if we want to create a life for ourselves in the real world.
The real world will make real life demands on our personality.
Only if we spend time nurturing all the aspects of our personality – will all the knowledge that we have accrued over the years be of any use to us!