Here is a beautiful story from India…
During one of his travels, Kalidasa (the Great Poet) felt very thirsty and looked around for water. He saw a woman drawing water from a well.
He went up to her and asked her for water. She agreed to give him water, but asked him, “Who are you? Introduce yourself.”
Now Kalidasa thought that an ordinary village woman was not worthy of knowing who Kalidasa was. So he said, “I am a traveller.”
But his lady replied, “In this world there are only 2 travellers – the Sun and the Moon. Both Rise and Set every day and keep travelling perpetually.”
Then Kalidasa said, “Alright then, I am a guest.” The lady promptly replied, “In this world there are only 2 guests – Youth and Wealth … both are temporary and hence can only be called as guests.”
Intrigued Kalidasa said, “I am a Tolerant person (sahansheel vyakti).” Now the lady replied, “In this world only 2 truly know the meaning of Tolerance – Bhoomi (Earth) and Tree. How much ever you stamp the earth or throw stones at the tree (for the fruits), both continue to nurture us.”
Now Kalidasa was completely perplexed. He said, “Fine. I am a stubborn person (hatavaadi).” The lady smiled and said, “There are only 2 truly stubborn personalities – our nails and our hair. We keep cutting them non-stop, but they continue to grow.”
Kalidasa had been patient so far, but now in anger he said, “I am a fool”. Now the lady gave a wide smile and said, “There are only 2 kinds of fools in this world – a King who rules without having any capability or knowledge & a Minister who is a sycophant to such a King and lavishes praises on such a useless king.”
Kalidasa realised that he had been outsmarted. He fell at the feet of the lady and when he touched her feet and then got up, whom did he see?
Mother Saraswati – the Goddess of Learning and Wisdom. She said, “Kalidasa, you are wise. But only if you know yourself do you become a Manushya (human being). A person without any awareness of self has not reached the pinnacle of being a Human.
The Guru who recounted this story in His Teachings said, “Children should become a Manushya & know themselves. More than teaching them how to earn more money and become rich, parents should teach them to become aware of themselves and become better Human beings.
Wouldn’t you agree?
What do you think of this ancient story and its relevance to our education today?
How far have we really come with the so called knowledge?
What legacy will we really be leaving behind for our children tomorrow?
When can we bridge this growing gap between learning for knowledge and learning for understanding?
How can we transform our methods of education where we educate not just the mind but also the human heart?
For the truth is that…
Humanity needs us all to be humane more than ever before to survive!