WE render the first half of our life to education. As early as four, we bring children to school and they spend the next 18 years attending school until they obtain a college diploma.
It doesn’t stop there. If they intend to pursue other courses, they need to spend another four to five years to establish the profession they dream of.
It’s true that in school we train our minds to master basic competencies. We develop literacy in math, language, sciences, communication, history, geography, and others. And then, we ask how these play a vital role in our daily life.
Every day, we find the answers.
Our mathematical skills will help us solve and analyze problems, our language and communication skills will make us understand each other, our scientific skills can help us in our evidence-based decisions in life, history will help us analyze social realities in the present, geography will make us understand cultures and political systems, and whatnot.
We educate the mind.
It is only when the basic knowledge we learn in school is translated into actions in our daily lives that we know they have become effective. We apply them to improve our lives.
We apply all our learnings to achieve our dreams, to become the next great leaders in our organization or in the country, or to become successful in all our endeavors.
But there’s one more important aspect of education. It is something that does not only focus on the curriculum and cognitive aspects but also all the qualities that give us meaning in our lives. It is something that makes us more human.
As Aristotle puts it, educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.
Therefore, the education that matters more is the education of the heart. It is where we find joy and peace then contentment. It is where enlightenment takes over above all things.
Character and integrity matter more than being highly versed in different subject areas. People will not remember how well we spoke or answered math problems, they will remember our kindness, generosity, and humility.
Yes, the basic competencies we learn in school give us the confidence we need to face the world especially when it is focused on survival. They are important to keep us updated and well-informed especially when life becomes like a race.
But the values that our parents and every teacher inculcate in us are the reasons why we achieve things joyfully, react to things composedly, and love unconditionally.
It is educating the heart.
We listen to our hearts. We relearn the values that we have almost forgotten, we unlearn the things and ideas that keep us away from the truth, and we learn that life is full of mysteries.
The things that surround us and the events that are happening to us do not always need an explanation. Sometimes we just have to listen to our heart because all the essentials in life are written there – love, courage, hope, and faith.
Just like in loving. Science will explain about neurotransmitter dopamine (sure, we don’t understand this) but the heart will just tell us it’s there. Does it need an explanation?
When we tame our heart, we cultivate true love. We do not demand what is to be given or not, but we understand. We do not hurry to get all things done in a moment, but we joyfully anticipate. We do not analyze math as in the length of time, we just simply wait.
This all happens because we only do not educate our minds but also educate our hearts.