“Human + Nature = Human Nature”, I read somewhere in an article. My quirky mind quickly went into what I term as the “analysis mode”, and began deciphering the meaning behind this phrase. Here is what I got to.
Humans are part of nature. Where ever we go, nature always comes first and humans next. We are interlinked to nature like a baby is, when it is in the mother’s womb. Whatever we do, that strong long “umbilical” chord cannot be severed.
We also are connected to nature in other ways. Just as a mother speaks to her growing foetus, nature also speaks to us. We hear it all the time, just that sometimes it’s just hazy sounds for us. But the intent in which it is said is clear and loud. The mother speaks to the child of nice things, of dangers, teaching it many things. The child imbibes it, but only it can CHOOSE what to do with these signs and teachings.
Nature speaks to us in different ways. Sometimes it’s apparent, sometimes it’s a little unclear. But we have the CHOICE to decide what to do with it. Children are far more connected with nature since the time they are conceived. They have more intuitive feelings, empathy, and compassion towards other living beings.
When it comes to learning, children have their own ways of doing it. If one properly observes a child, they are very observant, ready to explore and feel happiness in the smallest and the simplest things in life. Yet, as adults, we CHOOSE not to look at these qualities and put them through a rigorous path full of only things that do not go with their core nature. It makes them conform to a system where “doing “is not permitted and neither is “thinking” after a point in time.
We do the same with the subjects or topics taught. We, we strip them to their bare essentials and differentiate them to such an extent that the application of that topic is lost in transition. Each subject is differentiated into Physics, chemistry, biology and more. These subjects are further differentiated more and more.
I am not saying that we should not be separating the subjects. We need to do so in order to understand them better. But after understanding them, we need to see their place in the larger picture of life itself. This would call in for integration of the subjects, where the concepts of physics are connected to chemistry, biology, languages, literature, geography and human culture itself.
It is only AFTER we do this, we will understand that a small word, a tiny concept holds an important place in the universe.
This brings us to our understanding of the universe. We need to understand this and pass on the knowledge to the next generation in the same light. Therefore, not just education, the right education is important.
So, what is the right education?
I would say, “A system in which connectivity to universal knowledge is enhanced by a personal passion to imbibe and impart that knowledge.” This can be done only if we as mature adults see that education is not a mere commercial venture, or number oriented, or oriented to certain sectors of the job market, but as a personal and societal uplifting. Education should be something that evolves us as individuals from the plane of ignorance and apathy to a plane of wisdom and empathy.
Therefore, education involves psychological, physical, and metaphysical/spiritual areas of life. An individual’s growth in all these parts will determine the condition of the society tomorrow. After all, everything in this universe is connected one way or another. This is connecting and collective learning.
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