The great leveler!

It’s none other than education! The moment Eve bit off that fruit, education assumed the role of being the chief weapon in human hands. I know a lot of people would disagree. But whatever the power of the nuclear bomb, the pen is still mightier than the gun.

How come you say? The cold war is over and we know who the winner of it was. But now that uncle Sam is the undisputed big boy, there is a challenge at a new level … the lack of qualified labour with Math and science knowledge!!! The onslaught of developing countries like China and India is on and no amount of defense spending can change that. The developing countries have figured it (and rightly so) that the only way to make the world a level playing field was to make education a priority. Being a alumni of the Indian education system, I can safely say that world class education may be a little way off but any education does make a difference. Indian’s and Chinese may not have as many guns but they sure do have a lot of engineers and you know that “Engineers build the world”.

Its not just the international arena where education seems to make a difference. Through out history, this scenario has be played out over and over again (history does repeat itself if you didn’t know), one race/caste/class of people keep other race/caste/class of people down by denying them education. People have always used the lack of education as a method to keep the downtrodden down. Its not for nothing that the great criminal brains had more brains than brawns!

In the great Mosaic that is India, the caste and class distinction has only now been marred because of the rise in the literacy levels of the common people. Its not uncommon to see kids studying by the street light because of the lack of electricity at home. And I do personally know of families where the parents work 18 hour days so their kids can have an education and a better future. Education is a luxury to the really needy and taken for grated by the well-to-do.

Its hard for a person to fight for his right if he doesn’t even know that he has rights. That’s where education comes in! Education has really transformed the Indian society. I just went through the richest list of India an found that more than 60% of them had started from scratch. This would not have been possible in the Indian society’s setup if not for education.

The more important affect of education is moral than financial. I have probably rambled on the caste system, dowry, segregation … but the only effective antidote to these ills that I have found in my short life is Education. I know I am sounding like an used care salesman but the effect is there for all to see. The moral effect is not only seen in a developing environment like India but also in a developed environment like the good ‘ole USA. Now that the developing countries are following the developed countries’ formula, you see a slacking off from the top 5% richest people in the world, in that they don’t think that a college education is worth it. They are just happy with their ability to play XBOX and use the IPOD. Ergo the rising economy of the third world. Not that I am complaining about a multi polar world.

I am not suggesting that education is the all encompassing solution to the world’s evil. I would be a fool to think that, ’cause if that would be the case then the dowry and caste system in India would not exist among the educated. Which ofcourse is far from the truth more often than not. The dowry seems to increase with the amount of education that the person has. It is one of those quirks of human nature called greed I guess.

Inspite of all its potential it has failed to curb the basic human tendency to destroy. The same education that opened many people’s eyes to segregation and castism also was a tool in the hands of racial and castist felons. The same education that helped cure sickness helped build the bomb. The education that made great minds like Gandhi also made Hitler.

But the fact remains that if a bonded laborer dreams of a better life, it would start with some education. Living in a country with almost 99% percent education it still amazes me how a country with 60% education survives.

I have had a few people talk to me about affirmative action in the US, the Indian equivalent of which is reservation. I do agree with the fundamental idea behind it but think that it could be implemented in a better way. But from what I have seen, I must say that it has made a difference good.

There is a fight going on in America about religion, more importantly intelligent design, in school. I would think the more important think would be what kind of education that kids are getting in school. I might not be that old but, I think I can safely say that education was not only supposed to teach us Math and Science but make us better and well rounded humans. I think schools now-a-days woefully lack on all counts specially the last one.

Now that I have rambled on the international and national effects of education, I am going to get personal. No its not about me but the slum kids that are coming to the after school program in Chennai, that I am lucky to be part of! Almost all of these kids parents are illiterate and are hoping for a better future out of the slums for their kids. And guess what they are betting on for their dreams to come true?? Education!!

The progress report that my dad gave me yesterday just lifted me up, we now have 6 class toppers and 7 who are second in their class. This is out of the 50 kids who come to the after school program regularly. I am just hoping that all of them would do as well. But it is a definite blessing to see them do so well.

I remember during my undergrad, there was this kid working for my dad, doing his undergrad just like me. He had to work ’cause his dad was a sanitation worker for the city and couldn’t afford to pay for his education. Everytime I met him, it reminded me of all the opportunities that I and most of my friends took for granted.

Got some pictures for you from the christmas program that these kids put up on their own!!

“But if you ask what is the good of education in general, the answer is easy: that education makes good men, and that good men act nobly.”

“Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.”

“To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
– Albert Einstein

We shall one day learn to supersede politics by education. What we call our root-and-branch reforms of slavery, war, gambling, intemperance, is only medicating the symptoms. We must begin higher up, namely, in education.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army. If we retrench the wages of the schoolmaster, we must raise those of the recruiting sergeant.
– Edward Everett

To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education.
– Thomas Jefferson

The highest result of education is tolerance.
– Helen Adams Keller


2 thoughts on “The great leveler!

  1. Boss

    Education..ha..we haven’t stopped eating from the Tree of Knowledge since the days of Adam..Knowledge only tells us what is good and evil..Yeah, Gandhi and Hitler are good comparisons of good and evil that education can do..Here is something to ponder about..there is a ole indian saying..Matha, Pitha, Guru, Deivam….know what it is only the mother who knows the father of the child..(yeah, Mary knew who Jesus’s father was and got a reminder from the son when Jesus was only 12 years old)..the father’s Job is take the son to a good teacher (Jesus learnt from his father, that’s why He knew what the father wanted him to do and got affirmation for it several times)…the teacher’s job is show the way to God..(several times, People came to ask Jesus, The Great Teacher, how to seek God, How to worship GOd, How to pray to God)..Jesus did one thing better..He practiced it daily in his life and called us all to practice it daily in our lives…

    When do you think we can start eating from the Tree of Life..If you haven’t read any book that gives you the Truth about life..Read the BIBLE (Behold, I Being Life Eternal)..LIFE (Love Is For Ever)..God’s Love for mankind is that they will believe that He already did what was necessary to bring all mankind to Him..if we only believe..the hardest part for Educated folks who go after the knowledge of this world is to simply believe..It’s like C’mon, we believed the Devil once, can’t trust him again..Well, Jesus is the only one who has ever claimed in History…I am the Tree of life.. I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE..not a way, a truth and a life..


    You can have the best of the education in the world, be the richest man in the world and have all the pomp and splendor that this world has to offer..(SATAN OFFERED ALL THIS TO the three temptations)..But if you want to believe the devil, you have been the given the freedom to choose..GOD IS SO LOVING, He doesn’t want anyone to be forced to make such a forced choice..But the way to God is narrow and straight..our reward is in heaven..a place that Jesus himself promised..Feel free to have only one life to live..Live it right, Live it up for the Creator..

    There is nothing free in this world, except Salvation..It is a free gift to those who believe in a loving and merciful God and the plan that he had to get mankind back on the right track..CHOOSE LIFE…PEACE..

    Merry Christmas and hope and pray that we all choose Jesus this coming year and years ahead..This world will be a better place if we do so..For GOD’s Word daily..It is all written for us in almost every language that has a written script so none of us can say we didn’t know about it when we face GOD on Judgement Day…Each and every prophecy in the BIBLE has come true..want to bet??…I speak from personal experience..Give me a buzz if this hasn’t convinced you yet..I will tell you more…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *