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Education, Supernaturalism and Madness!!

Today, we had our formal farewell function at school but just before that we had 3 to 4 hours of pooja ( its a Hindu ritual like an invocation).

I think I can safely say that my position on such things are clear for most people who know me (otherwise it will be as you read along) but what disturbed me the most is not the fact that most of the students didn't even care what was going on but the fact that even when the teachers are "trying" their best to help the students (through the pooja) the students still remained unruly and kept played pranks on each other. What's the point of prayers if you cant behave well to our friends and elders?

Well, I couldn't bear all this, so I said so to my class teacher and moved out of the room. A nearby classroom was empty, so I just went inside and found a note book lying around. Inquisitive as I am, I started reading the book and guess what?
I found even the answers of an 8th standard student revealing!!

It was the English (as in English subject) notebook. The first page was an essay on positive attitude. (Too bad I don't remember the contents of the book exactly. They were much better. But I'll try my best to convey the meaning). It said , in the first line,
 "Positive attitude may not make much of a change but the fact that I annoys people enough makes it worth the effort." 
The teacher had circled 'annoys' but I am of the opinion that she (the child) was very much right. Notice the word 'enough'. That conveys that it (annoying) actually performs some function other than just for the sake of annoying. Sometimes people just wont listen to reason but something annoying certainly catches any ones attention!

I continued flipping through the pages and I came across another revealing essay.
It  was about "Supernatural vs Realism". The first paragraph was about supernatural. It said (approximately)
"These days we see a lot of rituals and functions to move away negative energies, so I believe that supernatural exists".

The second paragraph was about realism which said (again approximately)
"Realism is the tendency to view or represent things as they really are. ...( some other stuff that said something like realism is to how things really are etc. ) .... I believe in the supernatural than realism!! 

That last comment made me think, what are we teaching our children. Whose ideals are the real and true ideals. Who is right about anything when it comes to such controversial topics. Most will believe what they hear without giving it a second thought. But what I find unacceptable is the fact that if we feed small children with certain thoughts or opinions, especially by people whom they trust completely (like their teachers) then it will stick to them. They will never even think about question it. They will never have the power or will to break out of that web which weaves around their mind! That box which closes itself pretty tightly! Well, most don't. Some however do, and when they talk, the others say "he's mad"

Remember Horton Hears A Who the elephant who heard little people on a clover? In it the mayor tells the city council that their centennial celebrations have to be postponed because of the anomalies caused by their moving home. And the council is too engrossed in celebrating that they forgo the safety of the citizens and says that the Mayor is a "boob". Horton (the elephant) who is the only person who can hear the people on the clover (by virtue of his large ears) too faces a similar dilemma. Nobody believes him and says (in effect) that he is mad.

For some reason, I seem to be able acknowledge such comments about me. Over the years I have heard it many a times from many of my close friends and my reply is yes. After all madness is relative. One man's madness might be another's genius!

Getting on with the events of the day, we had the formal function where some school authorities and the principal and teachers were present apart from us 99 students and a couple of juniors. We heard a couple of speeches and all the while the phrase "Good Education" kept turning up. And then one of the teachers said, 
'You should listen to and obey your teachers always. They might be wrong sometimes but you have to listen and obey no matter.' 
These two phrases totally cranked my head up.

What is a good education? For the most part of it, there is a good consensus but as in the case above, what is right is a question that can always rise up once in a while. But then people go with the majority opinion. But is the majority always right? Certainly not! Just because a hundred people solves an equation wrongly doesn't make the wrong way the 'right way'. It just makes it an attractive (and deadly) hideout.

On to the second point, how could any one justify obeying an advice that you know is wrong? Making mistakes is not a fault but (in my honest opinion) saying that one has to blindly listen to anyone ( a teacher or parent or any other for that matter) seems absurd to me. If in doubt, ask them for their justification. It may just be that they might have taken an accidental wrong turn in their thought process. Work it out. Reason and justify as far as possible. As the heroine of a Bollywood movie said (in the movie Jab We Met

"It is better to live life according to your own opinion. That  way, if something doesn't turn out right, you wouldn't have to blame others for your failure !"
Before I wrap up, I would like to narrate one more incident of the day. We all were expecting to receive our hall tickets today, but later came to know that we would have to go get it on another day. So, when I got some time, just before the beginning of the function, I went and talked to my English teacher who was about. I asked her if she knew why we were not given the hall tickets that day and she replied she didn't know and said that the "person who gives the orders" (the Principal) said so and so, it is so. Then I asked her if she could ask the Principal to give us the Hall tickets today and what she said next really annoyed me. She said "When you grow up and live your life, you come to realise that there is something called self respect and that it is sometimes better to keep quiet." That may be true to some extent but it sounded like a lame excuse for not doing things that you know are true but you are too 'shaken' or 'afraid of retribution' to speak up about. Then I just told her that
"That is what always happens. We know what is right and we 'talk about talking about it' (its not an accidental repetition but exactly what I meant) but never do so. Actions are what we need, not words."
That just about wraps up a most revealing day!! What do you think?

P.S. Reading this article, please don't conclude that I don't respect my teachers or mentors. I do respect all my teachers from the bottom of my heart for their commitment and dedication and make my best efforts to not sound disrespectful.

4 Thoughts:

Revelations: 0 February 19, 2011 at 5:30 AM  

You make an excellent point. I've often wondered why we have to obey those who supposedly know more than us, when they are just as likely to get thing wrong. Mindlessly obeying the orders of your elders prevents you from living your life, all you do is obey.

A man chooses. A slave obeys.

the spirit of life February 19, 2011 at 10:07 AM  

I recently read an article about "why people do certain things" (or a title to that meaning). The essence was that there are two sets of people around us.
Some people do certain things because they are passionate about what they do; they just love doing it, no matter what the pains are and no matter whether they reap any external rewards (money, appreciation, respect etc). For them, the sheer happiness and satisfaction they derive out of it, is good enough to keep on living, and they always lead a contented life with peace of mind.
The other group of people do things for others (for appreciation, respect, power and so on...). Like a child taking musical classes just to please the whims of her parents rather than for her own pleasure, or a student taking up a professional course even when his mind is in arts..; these people live for others, they do somethg not out of passion, but for others..Their happiness is external and such people find it hard to think for themselves, or question existing norms, b'coz it earns them ridicule and not praise.

Sky February 19, 2011 at 10:08 AM  

btw...I loved that pic of the 'book man'.. ;)

Diff.Thinkr February 19, 2011 at 6:32 PM  

Spirit of Life,
I've always found it greatly satisfying when I do things that I love, even if it doesn't yield a good result. I always get the happiness that I had been able to as much as I did and the fact that I would have enjoyed every second of it makes it even more worthwhile!

I saw that pic when I was playing Bitwise Enigma. There is actually a couple of them more and some others using vegetables, if you're interested.

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