Are we learning for the past?

This post is inspired by the work of Mr.Sugata Mitra, whose TED 2013 talk served as the starting point of my thinking on this subject.

Despite the advent of new and improved techniques education (in India) still retains one basic cornerstone – the retention and reproduction of information and data in the form of memorization and examination. 

Those were very essential characteristics for individuals who seek excellence in whatever field they chose to – in the past. A statistician had to remember formulae so that he/she could do work at speed without having to resort to a visit to a library, a person working in statutory compliance need to remember the laws which apply to the job he/she was involved  in as it reduced time spent on searching, This came at a cost – i believe, as it reduced the amount to time, energy and mental space a person has to invest in other aspects of life and work – creativity, analytical thinking just to name a few.

Today, our world is in a place where literally the entire knowledge of human civilization is in the palm of our hands, faster to locate than in any library and it is only bound to get more accessible as data networks and devices to access them become cheaper and more widespread in their usage.

So why do we train our children in a skill which appears to have no definite usage in the future? 

Individuals can be trained in situational responsiveness and other skills which will have a direct impact in their professional and personal lives, education can free itself from being a training tool and move into being a learning experience which encompasses every aspect of human lives, creating a workforce and society which is capable of harnessing the resources, developing and creating new systems, process and ways of thinking.

We stand at the door of a new era, the era of information and connectivity. Mis-steps in enabling the individuals who will become the standard bearers of this era to utilize it to the maximum of their ability and potential will be a mistake that human society may sorely regret.

(for the TED Talk of Sugata Mitra please visit – http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud.html)

Stumbling in the dark

Stumbling in the dark,

Struggling to reach my mark,

Endless chasm’s surround,

Plea’s for help unheeded.

 

When will this end?

this void in me,

When will i be free to see,

the beauty of the tempestuous sea.

 

Falling without knowing,

stumbling without purpose,

a race without an end,

and a life to contend.

 

My spirit, my soul

is it what i think it is?

Can it go the distance

or break down when faced with resistance

 

I dont know,

when i must know,

just when i think all is well,

i realize, how dark is the well.

Friendship

Friendship, an amazing relationship especially from the sociological standpoint. How can people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds come together and form bonds which are at times stonger than the relationship between blood cousins.

How did this come to be? people in the past put blood relations way above any other relationship. Friendship is about having something in common, its just a product of people bonding or understanding another just by agreeing or disagreeing on something. This actually extends people being so close that, people are prepared to do anything for friends and sacrifice a lot for friends.

People tend to trust friends more because, they have been through experiences together, Its my belief that life experiences when experienced together form the basis of any strong relationship,right from love to friendship the only exception being the parent-child relationship.

Today may not be friendship day, but take sometime off. Chill with your friends, grab a drink and experience the wonderful thing that is friendship!

Live Life!

I came across this wonderful quote by one of the icons of the 20th century Che Guevara

“We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it.”

It got me thinking, Do we all have something that we are willing to die for? Something that is soo crucial for us that we are willing to give up everything else for it?

It was quite a simple answer, YES.

We all, without any exception have something that we all will die for but we all are just afraid to follow it.

Why?

We are afraid, afraid that the rest of society will scorn us, will make a mockery of us. But it is no shame to be mocked at when you are following something which means so much to you. Nicolas Copernicus believed in something and was willing to put his life on the line for that – He believed in the helio-centric theory (the theory which says that the sun was the centre of the solar system), something which any kid in the 2nd standard today knows. If he had given up then, would we have had the understanding of the universe now?

There are people who believe in aliens now (myself included), I am not talking about the kind who claim they were abducted and tested on. Isnt there a distinct possibility that in 100,000,000,000 (one hundred billion) galaxies in the universe that there could have been the same set of conditions and the availability of sufficent water, oxygen and temperature for the creation of life?.

The words of Che, still ring true and will still ring true for ages to come. Life is just not worth living if you don’t have that point of anchoring for which you are prepared to do anything! So go out there! find your own anchor-point! Defend it! Nurture it! and Live life!

 

 

The Small Things

“Life is all about the small things, instances” is something i thought was a cliche. Till today.

Life is about the small things, the small things which make you smile, the small things which set you thinking – and lead to a big idea. A lot of us fail miserably in noticing or registering them. The pace at which our lives move is too hectic for most of us to pause, look and proceed.

It is always good to have a mental traffic light. When you think that you are saturated, and about to explode. Switch on this traffic light.

Stop for a moment, look around you or think about something. Something which will make you smile, something that will make you feel that whatever you do is worth it. They are all around you, the reason we fail to see them is something called selective blindness. We tend to think of them as inconsequential or a waste of time.

and after you have stopped, and looked around. Process what you have seen – You will find that the burden inside you eases. Now is the time to proceed! Go for the kill, do what you have to with a zeal of a jihadist terrorist (I mean no disrespect to any religion with this comment, I just find their fanatic, tireless motivation to a cause fascinating). You will succeed what whatever task you have at hand.

Think of things from the past too, the time when you dad carried you on your shoulders, the times when your grandmother told you stories to make you eat, the countless times you and your friends have had special moments together. These will ease the saturation inside you.

Like it is said, The ocean is made from the raindrops.

 

The power of curiosity

We as a race, have for ages have sought out because of our naturally instinctive curiosity which we have been blessed with. I say blessed with curiosity because that is the urge which made us to look beyond made us evolve into homo sapiens sapiens from the primitive Sahelanthropus tchadensis  through a wonderful process called natural selection, it is that curiosity that made us the dominant force on the planet.

Curiosity helped us discover fire, the usage of tools and the urge to travel from the cradle of human civilization in africa and colonize every known landmass on the planet. It has also helped us to question our society, helped us build social structures and patterns which makes life as we know it possible.

For without this natural urge we would not have had electricity, paper, the wheel or any of the human inventions which we take for granted. Infact every thing we utilize today or was discovered or invented by humans stems from our drive to divine everything we come across.

Apart from this, curiosity also plays a part in the development of every single human being on the planet, the curiosity we show as a child enables us to learn the language, customs and other aspects of social behavior, in fact a child with out curiosity becomes a social recluse or in a more vulgar to put the same thing – a retard.

So, if you are wondering why i am talking about all this is that, i came across this wonderful phrase, “be passionately curious”. I honestly believe this will help anyone grow and learn, passion is one of the many keys to success – but that is the topic for another post.

For now, dont lose that child inside you who always has a million questions. Be passionately curious about everything you do!