HIND MALIK | STAFF WRITER
Have you ever wondered why nowadays it takes more time for a person to “find themselves” or their niche in the world. Sometimes, I hear fellow students speaking, shortly around graduation, that it is now the time to venture, experiment, experience, and find themselves and purpose in life. Approaching my own graduation, I am beginning to wonder, is it time for me to find myself? Then, what have I been doing in college all these years? Was I simply observer absorbing information for later use or was college itself a medium through which I am supposed to find myself through long years of exploration, engaging with different subjects, activities, and forming relationships.
When I was first admitted into college, let’s just say a long time ago, I began with an almost feverish excitement. I had an eagerness for information and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge; or was I hungry for wisdom? I was young, spirited, and ready to take on the world. I bought into the mainstream idea that college was key to that world, and so I fastened to my dreams. Armed with my will-power, books, and brand-new computer, I entered the battle for the key to my world. I was naïve and innocent, fiercely ambitious, and mysteriously wild, like the “uncivilized” jungles of Africa accounted by European colonialists; I attacked every book, conquering every test. I was honored in the dean list every semester. Now I am civilized. I am tamed.
I cannot undermine the role of education because, it’s necessity is unquestionable. However, we live in a reality of global mass production including mass “production of education.” Therefore, questioning and thoroughly analyzing educational information and its source is crucial for thinking individuals who wish to stray the guided herd and remain unique and at least partially unpolluted by others ideologies, society’s expectations, and cookie-cutter education.
Let us explore the following example. One that illustrates the risk of passively learning and the falsity of books, science, religions, and the people behind it along with the educational institutions that promoted it. In recent history, scientists, scholars, governments, and different societies applauded the “scientific” research and supposedly “religious” facts proposing inferiority of the black race. Books were written and lectures were presented and societies nodded and applauded in approval. Would you, as an individual at that time, owning nothing but your original thoughts, have objected or would you have stood there, helplessly in front of their “scientific findings,” agreeing with such propaganda aimed only to justify subjugation of Blacks around the world and exploitation of their sources? Think about it for a moment. This is not a decaying historical truth but a reality that we continue to live while the tools of propaganda have only advanced reaching to the classroom. Unfortunately, we are so occupied with our Grades that we do not pause to question it.
Before questioning education material, I think we should begin by questioning ourselves. For example: How do we construct our reality? And by reality I mean everything that exists and is real to us including our personalities, relationships, dreams, perceived ideas and views on the world, etc. including spiritual matters since religious institutions play a huge part in homogenizing society. Secondly, how much of this reality is borrowed? Be it borrowed from parents, religion, school, family, books, TV, internet, society, leaders, role models, governments, lives of others and off course, educational institutions. And last but not least, how much of it is a product of our own invention? And in that last question an invitation and the recipe for a different approach of education.
I’ll leave you with that thought and remember– a “Rebel” is not necessarily a militant but a member of society who rejects the codes and conventions of society. He or she is “a person who exhibit great independence in thoughts and actions.” They are, in my opinion, the unique few who most often make up our history books.