Are You Educated?

I was lost, didn’t know where I was heading in life. I didn’t know what goals to set in life. In short, I can say, I was in a constant state of bewilderment. My shortcoming of being self-critical catered to this state of my mind. I had lost hope in myself. Stopped doing things I loved, stopped writing. I was unhappy with life, everyone, and myself. I was supposed to meet a friend. I didn’t want to, but she forced me to do so with all her strength and the notorious female melodrama. I took a cab for the venue that we had decided. The cab halted at a traffic signal. My ears were plugged-in with ear pods. I didn’t pay much attention to my surrounding; but when the Bombay heat started melting me, I took out my ear-phones to check my reality. I asked the cabbie the reason of traffic early in the morning. He told me that there was some road fight going on. “perfect!” I exclaimed. Everything around me was sad. I felt like, I was carrying this sadness wherever I went. Bored of the traffic I looked outside the window. There were few hawkers selling stuff, people walking on the road, children heading for school. However, something really seized my gaze. There was this hawker family, the mother was combing the hair of her daughter with the mother’s back towards me. The father was scolding them, don’t know for what. His gestures indicated that he was talking about time, about getting late. The mother got angry and pushed the daughter towards her father. I saw the daughter, and gasped. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The daughter was wearing a school uniform. Her father scolded her mother because she was getting late for her school. This wasn’t a very big thing; however, I was shocked because I hadn’t seen it coming. Maybe because, she was a hawker’s kid, and more importantly a girl. Her mother caught me staring at her and came to me with a bunch of fresh flowers. I don’t really like roses, but I just felt like buying it that day. I asked her, “aap beti ko school bhejte ho, bohot acchi baat hai.” (You send your daughter to school; you’re doing a good thing). To which she smilingly replied, “Hum nai padha toh kya hua beti ko padhayega. Hum padha likha nai hai, isliye pata hai ki padhayi zarrori hai.” (We’re not educated but, we want our daughter to be well read. We’re not educated hence we know the importance of it). I gave her a heart warmth smile and my cab took off. I don’t know why, but this incident stirred something in me. I was happy. Education is important; everyone knows that and chants about it, but why? If we give a deep thought, we will realize that today, the solution to every problem is Education: poverty, population explosion, pollution, extortion, crime, and the biggest problem CORRUPTION. We can control and prevent all these problems, if we’re educated to think in the right direction. Illiteracy is a root cause of all evils. literacy helps us to think, to formulate our own perception rather than blindly following others. That’s the power of education. Education is the answer to all the questions our nation is facing today. Do you want to abolish poverty, pollution, and control population? Then education will tell you how. Extortion, crimes, rapes, how are they born? Don’t we know that an empty mind is devil’s home? Keep your mind occupied, educate your mind and the devil will be forced to subside. You hate corruption/corrupted leaders, right. Then educate yourself to fight it, to choose an apposite leader to lead you. When a small time hawker of the country realizes the value of education, then I can say this, that the country is headed in the right direction. Youth is the backbone of a country, and we all know that India has a high youth ratio. So imagine the power our country will attain if all the youth of our country gets educated. Hello, wait a minute, by education I don’t mean wearing out your brains and learning/mugging all those big answers, theorems, formulae, etc. Of course, those things are important, but they’ll only help you get good grades, and then eventually help you buy your food. What I’m talking here is different; you might be a renowned doctor, but if you don’t vote and still crib about corruption, then in my eyes, you’re the biggest illiterate person. I.T Engineering taught me a very important lesson of life; Information is made up of  raw facts, these raw facts when integrated together make up Knowledge, but, when this knowledge is applied in the right manner, in the right direction, we acquire intelligence. Get intelligent; don’t restrict yourself to being just knowledgeable. Trust me; it is not difficult, all you have to do is, think. Don’t hesitate to devise an opinion; I’m not sure if anyone has told you this but let me tell you, your opinion matters. An individual’s identity are his perceptions. This incident got me thinking, solved many of my trepidations. However, I’m still lost. I don’t know my destination yet, but now I know which road to take. The road of increasing my garden of knowledge, by reading more, by learning more, by experiencing more; then maybe, one day, I’ll become intelligent, and eventually find my destination. So, if you want to know if you’re educated or not then ask yourself these questions, ‘Do I have a perception of my own?’, ‘Do I follow things and people blindly?’, ‘Do I apply my knowledge?’, ‘Do I think?’ and then, lastly ask yourself, ‘AM I EDUCATED’. Don’t be shocked if the answer your mind gives is not what you wanted. Even my mind gave me a negative answer. Your mind only speaks truth; accept it gracefully. I would like to end this post with my favorite quote of Mahatma Gandhi, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”     

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