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How is this similar to that?
When we seek to understand the fundamental building blocks of our education system, we will come to realize that it is all based on a single idea of searching for what is different. Our whole schooling and education system is based on identifying and naming different things.
What begins as a simple classification for the sake of understanding things becomes a real dividing factor. Existentially a tree is not divided into branches, leaves, fruits and flowers; every part of the tree is the tree. We begin to divide the tree in order to understand it and eventually make it a consortium of different parts.
This is how we have divided the whole world. The more educated you are, the more divided your world is. Knowledge is simply a process of breaking things down; it has its uses but it changes the basic rule of what is life and who we are. Quest for knowledge has isolated man from everything around him. He is more sad and miserable now than ever before.
Children are taught to seek and identify different things. We all remember how we had to identify different parts of our body; eyes, nose, skin, hands and legs. This is how it begins. When a child is put on a path of seeking and identifying different things, he/she continues on that path forever, eventually dividing the whole world.
What we fail to teach a child is that all our divisions are only for the sake of convenience, in reality existence is not divided; in reality everything is one. The message of oneness is probably the most important thing that is missing in our world. This is the reason for our misunderstandings, anger, jealousy and violence.
A part of the blame for violence in the world has to be taken by our education system that does not teach us the fundamentals of oneness. Children should be taught how to identify similar things. For example they should be made to seek and question the similarities between different things by encouraging them to ask questions like ‘Name 10 things that are similar between a dog and a tree’
Just by answering a simple question like this, you will begin to see how similar we are to everything around us. Our differences are only on the surface; scratch the surface and you will see that the stream of life flowing through all of us and everything around us is the same. We are all nourished by the same life force. Deep down we are all one.
Love, compassion and kindness come naturally to human beings if they are not blocked by an attitude to divide everything. When we see ourselves as a part of the same larger whole, it is extremely easy to be responsible, loving and caring. Knowledge should not just be about dividing things; it should also be about connecting things. The most important question we need to introduce into our society and our lives is ‘How is this similar to that?’
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