Becoming a Knowledge Seeker

The evolution and progress of human society since its origins has been possible through acquisition of knowledge and application of that knowledge. Subsequent generations have been able to accelerate  this progress and take it to the next level by building upon the knowledge and experience of their ancestors.

Though knowledge has always been critical in human society’s evolution through the stone, bronze and iron ages, it has become fundamental now as we have already crossed the information age and entered the knowledge age.

Acquiring knowledge through formal education has become  so fundamental to human society that it is almost followed like a religion except in extremely poor sections of the society. On the other hand, we can  also see that  poverty is a common curse among the illiterate masses. Also, the education and income levels of parents have a direct consequence on the education and income levels of their children. It’s not very hard to see how education and poverty are interlinked.

We have been very fortunate that our parents were able to overcome the barriers of poverty and acquire education which had a profound positive impact on us as well as my siblings. From early on, we remember how our parents raised us through struggles of life due to poverty and how through hard work and perseverance, they raised the family. It inspired us to follow their footsteps. We realized education was  the path to secure the future and take the next generation of the family a step further in progress.

These ancient words of wisdom in Sanskrit couldn’t be more relevant in this context:
"विद्या बन्धुजनो विदेशगमने  विद्या  परं  दैवतं". Transliterated, these are recited as, “Vidyaa bandhujano videshgamane vidyaa param daivatam”.  This means, “During one's stay in a foreign country, Knowledge will be the friend. Knowledge is the greatest fortune.” We can vouch for this wisdom through personal experience as we owe our career and progress in USA, our country of naturalization, to the education obtained in India, our country of birth.

Although formal education through school and college is the first step towards the path of knowledge, learning must not end or slow down after formal education. In fact, it is just the beginning in the path of knowledge. Continual education through experience, self study and formal training must go on for enrichment in all spheres of life.

We are very fortunate to live in the age of technology where alternative resources for continual learning can be easily accessed through social and digital media. Extra efforts for self learning are needed not only after formal education, but also to supplement it. Additional parental guidance for holistic learning is very important to ensure a child’s holistic development. 

Formal education systems around the world  have quite a few gaps due to which they fall short in fulfilling all the needs of a child’s  physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development. As parents, we must pass our respective family and cultural values to our kids as part of their education. We can employ the additional resources available through various  social and digital media platforms, not only to fulfill our own quest for learning, but also to augment our children's education.

Acquiring knowledge must not be limited to mere acquisition of facts. This is more relevant today  than ever before as facts are  available at our fingertips in this age of technology. The best skill one can learn is “how to learn”, so that our knowledge and experience does not remain static and we are able to learn, and apply what we learn in our respective professions to fulfill our  respective duties  in  the society.

As the old saying goes, knowledge increases with sharing. As we benefit from the invaluable resources of learning on the internet, we should also give back by creating content to share our knowledge with others.

No pain, no gain. One needs to work hard in the   journey of being  a knowledge seeker. This journey becomes even more joyful and rewarding  when we become inquisitive, start exploring deeper meanings, and asking the “why” behind.

As mentioned earlier, the education systems around the world  have to go a long a way in relating learning to practical life, and not just produce book worms but well rounded individuals in the service of society. Until that happens, we need to take charge and fill the gaps for us and our children through self learning.  There is a great responsibility on teachers and on us to educate the underprivileged  masses who do not have easy access to education. It will go a long way in fostering positivity in the families  and the societies.

Looks like being a lifelong knowledge seeker, applying it to improve our lives, and sharing it for the benefit of others can be a good goal for all of us. In future posts, we will share some excellent resources to help us towards fulfillment of this goal.

No comments:

Post a Comment