Dr. Simmi Gurwara
There are peaks and there are troughs just as there are nights and there are days and it all continues in a pre-meditated fashion, the more it changes, the more it remains the same. But this sameness is in no way in conflict with the desire to learn and grow and evolve as a human, to be able to understand the perpetuity of regularities that resist any change in the form and nature. We weigh and consider all that transpires within the orbit of our cosmic existence. But learning brings the change which allows us to view the same from a different perspective. This difference is remarkable for it gives a vision that helps in our improved understanding of things around us. With this enhanced understanding our treatment of the stimuli around us changes for the better. We start applying creativity that stems from thinking divergently. Our attention as a result shifts now to the solution rather than the problem. Multiple solutions arrive to address the same set of problems.
The entire education system is based upon bringing about desirable change in the behavior of the learner. We learn our lessons within the four-walls of a class but learning demands more exposure that we get in plenty in the external world with its multifarious opportunities that keep on unfolding before us. Life offers much to learn only if we are ready to learn. Readiness is a compulsory condition. Knowingly and unknowingly we apply the principle of selectivity. We pick and choose and apply discretion (or indiscretion as the case may be) in its full propensity. So far so good. Problem arises when this multiplicity of ideas crowds the by-lanes of clarity and we are unable to figure out the right course of action. This problem of plenty is as critical as that of scarcity. The granaries are overflowing but the hungry are still unable to grab one square meal a day. The structural deficiencies stare us in the face. Where does the buck stop? The who’s who seem to be completely clueless.
One remedy to the overly brimming and scarcely implemented ideas is to unlearn the few before we adopt the new arrivals. Let old give way to the new. Not having adequate foundation could be detrimental to the application of fresh knowledge which might have been a revision of the old ways. Apparel-change is immaterial what is crucial is welcoming the new knowledge with open arms. Not necessarily after bulldozing the previously built structures but making mandatory repairs and reconstructions to accommodate the freshly arrived. Over crowded and congested minds rarely accept an approach which is bias-free and prejudice-free. For thought provoking ideas to bloom, we need openness of both mind and heart.
If the challenge to unlearn scares our souls we can resort to expanding our horizons so that it help the novelty fit in. Doors need to be left ajar to let the fresh breeze sway our innards into some worthy action. Celebrating the co-existence of old and new is the best way around, as the old-age wisdom suggests. Without squandering our energies in castigating the otherness-filled phenomena, we need to be liberal and welcoming to the deluge of variety in all spheres- be it political, social or economic. Proper streamlining of both- entrenched philosophies that give birth to all policies and processes of our system and the new school thoughts that cry for adoption- is vital to our growth story. Replacements are not bad if they remain to be the only panacea to weed out the corrupt and the callous.
Learn the Lessons
Dr. Simmi Gurwara