When you go to the beach, what do you see?
I see the sky, the clouds; moving. I see the possible rain drops forming in the clouds that will come down one day, when and if the temperature gets cooler and its weighs heavier.
I see the rolling waves. It comes and kisses the sand of the beach ever so diligently because of the winds from the ocean where with different pressures, it gathers speed and momentum to push the water into waves; waves that we see after hundreds of miles on end.
I see the beautiful forest standing nearby, like a giant carpet of art. They grew from years of healthy community living with its cousins and brothers and sisters – the sea, the sun, the wind, the waves.
I also see that “they” are made up of many individual trees and plants, to be there not just as any living organisms but also as homes for the living beings of insects, wildlife and even birds of the air. They provide shelter and they also provide comfort from the scorching sun and the stormy rains.
The minerals that come from the ground cannot be discounted too for without them, the tall, dark and handsome barks will not be there to dance at us when we bid them a smile, or a wave.
I also see the sand on the beach as particles that can be morphed into glass. How great? Tiny, seemingly without any purpose but when together, they provide a comfortable bed to roll on and when damp, a playground to sculpt to our artsy desires. When heated, they go invisible, almost. Quite unlike the speckle of sand when they are alone, almost useless to anyone except maybe for a little ant.
Together, I see this picture as a great scenery for us to paint when we go home or when we return to school. It inspires us of what a great day that was, staring into the horizon, looking into nothingness, thinking, thinking; the air, the enormous wonders of life and the expanse of space.
We come to appreciate that every life form is precious, we come to understand someone might have created this perfect order for us, to rest, enjoy and be reminded of the goodness within.
But would this assimilation come to our senses at all had we….or rather, how did we come to appreciate the nature and the purpose of all things around us? How have we come to understand that there is such a thing as symbiotic relationships between lifeforms and if an animal can be called organism? Might we have not been able to even replicate the sculptures into stones had we not been given the magnificently flexible compound of silica. And I believe, this is the reason for one to say – stop and smell the roses; and more than that, it is a reflection of the importance of education.
Education my friend is more than just time in school or time with books and exercises. It is time we spent to learn the nature of life and why it goes so. It encompasses experiences formulated into theories and concepts of history, science, psychology, mathematics, human relations, politics, film, arts, commerce, and to whatever your mind can conceive and believe – yes, you will achieve.
But the importance of education is beyond understanding the mechanics behind every living being. It is not just about living the efficient life. It is about being able to perform life in an enriching way more than the numbers can justify – and yes, I do mean money.
For instance, to perform life in an enriching way at home, foremost would be the respect for each other, the understanding of quirky behaviours and the acceptance of it, to embrace harmony above hostility and the negating of our thunderous temper to assert our selfish desires.
In the corporate world, it is likened to cultivating a mutually great work habits, healthy camaraderie relationships with fellow colleagues and the tenacity to weather through stressful deadlines when the vision is clear and precise. It also beckons followers to lead by example to follow the leaders, and for the leaders to serve by example to facilitate an environment permissible to achieve goals and objectives.
If the above two sound ordinary, perhaps another example may do justice. Take two children for example. One grows up with the perfect living environment – parents’ availability, active school participation and attendance, community appreciation across races, gender and age, as well as the opportunity to travel and experience something beyond their ordinary travelling radius of school, home, recreation and grandparents.
The other, growing up positively too with all the workings of the child above. He too enjoys the beauty of life with parental availability, good schools, friends of all walks and travels.
Who do we think will grow up to appreciate life a little more and one who will appreciate people a bit more? Who among them will grow to understand the vital points of being together rather than as a lone ranger? Who will grow up to be a great contribution to society instead of being a nuisance at home? And which between the two children will come to terms with shortcomings, failures, inadequacies and the necessary steps required to attain a breakthrough? Who among them? How do you distinguish?
Ladies and gentlemen, the answer to this question is not a clear-cut one, but one worthy for us to inspect ourselves in the mirror.
- Do we live up to par to a life of our dreams, minus the finances and materials to make us who we are?
- Are we as discerning as we had hoped to be given the exposure we’ve had thus far and be able to call every shot with precise accuracy without failure at every call?
- How do we accept rejection and denial? Can we go on?
- In what way do we behave when nobody is watching?
- How do we view the old folks when they are alone at home? Or when they call us, alone at home?
- What do we think of crying children?
- What about abused animals left to die, breathing still?
- Where do we see our gay friends go with their lives when they aged to 65 and beyond?
- In what way do we evaluate ourselves when we utter famous four letters without qualms to describe an extreme pleasure or achievement?
- Can we really look into our children’s eyes and tell them porn, cigarettes and drugs are bad?
- And what about a flirt, affairs and adultery?
- Where do we stand about corrupt practices – be it scoring a free lunch or bagging a billion in the bank?
- Where do we draw the line? How to we distinguish them? What becomes of our barometer?
More than just academic education, we need purposeful education – not just from schools and the books but also from people around us.
We live in a world today where we glorify achievements just because they are visually appealing and audibly interesting. But we forgot, the greatest achievements of civilisation rests not on just our abilities to decipher codes that can earn the next buck but in our ability to examine ourselves to see if we actually live up to the mark to what we think we are, and ought to be.
What if we’re not? Then, bid yourself a little mercy and justice, like how you’d expect others to extend to you when you perform less than perfection, today, tomorrow or just the next minute.
Life’s too short to fight for perfection. But life is short enough to learn all we can so we can live a joyful and enriched life at home, in the office, in the battlefield and when we see the little crabs coming out to play on the beach, as if teaching another how they should really walk.
Education my friends, purposeful education – where you can accept greatness of theories and understanding, and embrace when one falls short.
In case you’re wondering, how will the two children grow up to be? The fruit in the end depends on their everyday life experience i.e. it’s in the process of how they grow up.
Image courtesy of chrisroll at FreeDigitalPhotos.net