Editor’s note:This article was written by Fr.Clement S.Jolly, C.S.s.R, and published in the June 27th,2008 issue of Chronicle Newspaper.
It is right to suppose that the goal of all institutions of learning is the educated person. It is noteworthy, however, that these institutions do not define the relationship between their students and the highway of human life.
Proficiency in particular disciplines is sought. But what is the object of all this? What is the meaning of education?
Is the acquisition of knowledge an end in itself, or, rather, a springboard to greater things?
Education should inculcate self-discipline in students, give them a reverence for life in all its forms, instill in them a reverence for life in all its forms, instill in them a desire for harmonious relationships and the quest for beauty. It should be considered as an embarkation on the human journey and an initiation into the mystery of human life.
An educated man is not merely one who has amassed a wealth of knowledge. He is not merely a man who can count the heavenly bodies and name the stars. He is not merely a man who has earned the ability to earn a living or become prosperous, Rather, an educated man is one who can use his learning to understand himself and the world in which he lives. He is a man who has learnt to measure well his acquired knowledge and realise that there is much that is still to be learnt. He is continuously involved in the quest for knowledge.
An educated man is one who has learnt to order well his human activities and use his skills to build up himself and his fellow-men. His knowledge gives him a sense of direction, a purpose on his journey through life. He recognises that there is a Superior Being. He knows that there are values in life which transcend his immediate satisfaction and call him to move into areas which lift up his spirit and serve to build him up as a man among men.
An educated man does not turn his back on his lowly past. Rather, he reflects on his past and measures well the long journey which, by God’s grace, he has undertaken. He does not scorn the rest of mortals. Rather, he endeavours to draw them up with himself to higher heights. He recognises that his chief responsibility here on earth is to bear up, to work for, to promote the welfare of, his fellow-men.
For too many, education is merely a passport for selfish living, for an elite social life, for lauding it over the lesser mortals. The educated man is not one who exalts himself and indulges in vainglory. Rather, he is one who has built himself within. He recognises there is a world within which far transcends his exterior posture and social condition. He has a deep secret which no one knows, for it transcends the stars!
An educated man is a thinking man. He realises that the mind is very elastic and can lead him into regions far beyond what he has learnt. He recognises that there is a whole universe of ideas waiting to be tapped, challenging him and urging him on to greater heights. Indeed,as one historian put it, “There arc things greater than men, namely, great ideas.”
An educated man is one who has learnt to love the land that gave him birth Indeed, throughout his:, life he will be defined by his roots. He has learnt to love his people of all social conditions. He continues, throughout his journey to share their fortunes. He does not use his country to build up himself and prove to the world that he is better than the rest of men. Rather, he’s always asking himself: “What service shall I render?”
Learning should be the stepping-stone to wisdom. However, Modern educational systems apparently do not seek to inculcate wisdom into students. Wisdom remains a private affair, something which has no roots, no solid foundation, but is subject to the whims and fancies of everyone. Perhaps it is this which is the cause of gross contradictions in the lives of many men and women of this age.
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