“The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.” Rabindranath Tagore
My uneducated paternal grandmother was a visionary. When the missionaries arrived in her farming village, she knew everything around her would change whether she liked it or not. She sent her youngest son, my dad, to the missionary school because she wanted him to be prepared for the challenging and changing world he would inherit. As she said, quite often, “A child’s fingers are not scalded by a piece of hot yam which its mother puts into its palm.” If she had a young daughter she’d have sent her to school too. Instead, dad attending school became her catalyst for change. That seemingly simple act changed the trajectory of my dad’s life.
“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.” Rabindranath Tagore
A Short story on mother and child relationship by Rabindranath Tagore
Supposing I became a champak flower, just for fun, and grew on a branch high up that tree, and shook in the wind with laughter and danced upon the newly budded leaves, would you know me mother?
You would call, “Baby, where are you?” and I should laugh to myself and keep quite quiet.
I should slyly open my petals and watch you at your work.
When after your bath with wet hair spread on your shoulders, you walk through the shadow of the champak tree to the little court where you say your prayers, you would notice the scent of the flower, but not know it came from me. Contd below…
When I read the article on Malala, I wept. Read her diary excerpts via the BBC. When education is denied to females in any community, emancipation efforts suffer and a community stagnates. Education offers both personal and community growth. It opened doors for my dad and he believed it would open doors for girls and boys everywhere. We learn about the value of an education, and its impact on all of our lives, when we open the door to education for all, and use it for massive, positive, societal change. A society that denies women an education eventually pays a price… the denial of its own emancipation. More below!
“The widest road leading to the solution of all our problems is education.” Rabindranath Tagore
Women’s Education in 3 Countries…
Education: The State of Women in America
From Home to Global Nest: Rabindranath Tagore’s Maturing Sense of Female Education
When after the midday meal you sat at the window reading the Ramayana, and the tree’s shadow fell over your hair and your lap, I should fling my tiny shadow on to the page of your book, just where you were reading.
But would you guess that it was the shadow of your little child?
When in the evening you went to the cowshed with the lighted lamp in your hand, I should suddenly drop to the Earth again and be your own baby once more, and beg you to tell me a story.
“Where have you been, you naughty child?’
“I won’t tell you, mother.” That’s what you and I would say then. By Rabindranath Tagore via Preservearticles.com
As Tagore suggested, “Service to man is service to God,” and all of us, male and female, should be able to offer our best skills in service to humanity. Education allows us to maximize those skills ans put them to use in our countries; we can then serve with knowledge, humility and focus. I decided to offer Tagore’s sage perspective on the subject after I watched the video above, and considered his 10 tips on the value and uses for Education: If as Tagore explains, that education should be for the following: Self Realization; Intellectual Development; Physical Development; Love for humanity; Establishment of relationship between man and God; Freedom; Co-relation of Objects; Mother tongue as the medium of Moral and Spiritual Development Instruction; and Social Development (source: Preservearticles.com), then the benefits to every community are obvious. When girls are denied an education, the entire family is denied a vital future. This is a global concern not just a problem for a few.
The challenge of writing this post is that I had to avoid the temptation of taking sides and casting aspersions. Female education and emancipation is not just a third world problem but a global one. Read the articles and watch the videos. This is not an easy fix topic to tackle. I pray for Malala’s speedy recovery and that her life would be spared. We must all become voices for change.
What are your thoughts? What level of education did you receive? Do you take time to encourage others to get an education? Do you see and know what they’re good at? What do they excel at? Do you do same for yourself? Do share! Thank you.
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Weekly Writing Challenge: And Now For Something Completely Different. What if we occasionally pushed ourselves out of our comfort zones and tried an unexpected post style? It could be interesting to readers, but more importantly, it could help us expand our boundaries, push past writers’ block, and spark ideas for other posts. So this week, we challenge you to step outside your blogging box and try something totally different: At the end of your post, take a minute to reflect on the experience of creating it. Was it easier than you thought? Harder? Did you learn anything useful? Will you incorporate the new style into your repertoire? Would you try this exercise again with a different style? YES!
- If you normally write non-fiction, try fiction.
- If you normally write fiction, try poetry.
- If you normally post photos, try writing.
- If you normally just write, try including photos.
*Please bear with me as I catch up on your blogs and commenting… I’m back on track with reading and responding to your blogs; albeit at a slow pace. Thank you all for your patience!
Positive Motivation Tip: We learn about the value of education and its impact on all of our lives when we open the door to education to all, and use it for massive societal change.
- Doctors successfully operate on Malala, bullet removed (dawn.com)
- Taliban: 14-Year-Old Pakistani Activist, Malalai Yousafzai (ayannanahmias.com/)
- REVIEW: Rabindranath Tagore: An Interpretation by Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (dawn.com)
- My ‘Small Video Star’ Fights for Her Life (thelede.blogs.nytimes.com)
- You: Shahbaz announces to bear expenses on Malala’s treatment (nation.com.pk)
- Rabindranath Tagore’s Prayer for His Country (literarylew.wordpress.com)
- Child rights activist shot in Pakistan (bigpondnews.com)