What is the purpose of education?
The Oxford dictionary explains the meaning of the word education as “systematic instruction, development of character or mental powers”. For most of you, the purpose of education would be to get good results, gain admission to a good college or university and land yourself the job that you want. Then, of course, you would want to do all those things like buying a car, nice clothes, posh condominium, travel around etc. All these things are fine, but how would you like to do have all these things and still enjoy your life? Puzzled?
Do you think that when a person has all these goodies, he will be on top of the world, and live happily ever after? Well, these people must be either very good pretenders, or you are too blind to see the truth! Make it a practice to observe these people closely, and you will learn much. Most of these so-called “successful” people actually are unsatisfied, lonely, troubled, worried, and miserable.
If you look at the definition once again, you will see the word “character” is put before “mental powers”. A person who is a complete success can be considered as a person who is prosperous materially and leads a happy, fulfilled life. And to do that you must have developed your character, which means you must have the positive qualities of love, kindness, patience, self-respect, confidence etc.
Character and mental powers; these are the twin assets you need to develop in your period of education. Your job as a student is to learn to develop both. The government has recognized this and introduced Moral Studies in schools to strengthen the character of students. If you neglect this area, you will suffer the consequences.
What do you think of school? What is the purpose of going to school?
A very big part of education is learning how to get along with other people. Of course, you may feel that many of the students who attend school are morons or jerks or hooligans. But think again, who isn’t in one way or another? If you think you are not, chances are you are the worst of the lot!
Anyway, even though there are difficult characters in school, consider them as “training material” for you. Once you are out in the world, you will meet worse specimens and you will need to handle or work with them.
The school is not just a place to study. It is also a place where you develop your creative interests and character-building qualities like leadership, team spirit and sharing. Take the opportunities given in schools to participate in the clubs and games in which you have an interest. These are avenues for you to practice skills which will need later as an adult.
If you keep away from these activities, you are depriving yourself of this “free” training, which will be of great use to you later when you are working. Also, remember that this training is among your friends, so it is easier. When you are working, you will be among new faces, all of them older than you, and they will not be as helpful or forgiving as your schoolmates.
Then again, some of you think, school is the time for you to get together with your friends and have a good time. Having good friends is fine, but don’t forget the purpose that you and your friends are in school is to become better-qualified people in all aspects; physically, mentally and emotionally. Many students are quite well-behaved before attending to school, but they become worse characters after spending some years in school due to the influence of friends. Are you one of them? Read about the Power of Association in this book to understand better how this happens.
Your school may have some faults, but try not to concentrate on its bad points and look at the advantages it offers and make full use of these advantages.