“He Who opens a school door, closes a prison”, as said by Victor Hugo, does apply, but only as a principle valuable in those times: no education was indeed a route that led to hardly any opportunities or choices in life. But the need for emotional and ethical balance on top of this completes the notion. If not, one can quickly be rerouted within some dark shadows and apply intelligence or even accomplishments to conceive, or even do, bad deeds. Education can bring power. If uncontrolled, this can lead to egocentric gains which may in turn quickly attract selfishness and unnecessary greed, or some ill-gained authoritative status. This can bring loss to humanity or to health, if not to both, in the long run.
Often, it seems that education is sprinkled on us, from a very young age, as a recipe for instant success in our later life. Can it be so? How many times have we heard, listened to, read about some news telling us of sordid tales which happened in some of the best educated families. How often can we be surprised by criminals that are so well educated that they can be diabolically evasive to the law. On top of this preamble, at the beginning of the twenty first century, a growing number of reports about families, in Asia to start with, where education is a strong integral part of the culture, did show that many children were found to be at a breaking point when reaching their teens or simply emotionally crashed by the time of reaching puberty. Why? Simply because education alone cannot equal success right away. We are not machines. Machines are far simpler and always will be. They can be switched on or off, they do not deal with feelings or emotions and are not part of the human tribe, with needs such as belonging, involving, care and survival within our biological make up. We, then, are far more complicated within our many life cycles, from childhood to teenage, then to senior life, with all the logistical moves required to be able to adapt within the many physical, mental and spiritual challenges it presents. Therefore, only balance can prevail. It is achieved with education which can offer choices we may not have if we do not possess any, but a moral compass must be installed as a starter. Let us begin mainly with integrity, which is a pillar of fortuity to build. Without positive ethics, one cannot choose something which is not to the detriment of our health.
Secondly, care, love and compassion are necessary ingredients to allow us to have a solid structure, permitting us to then not create negative collateral damage to other’s health – as the price to pay in return can be grand, be it in law or judgement by your peers.
Education is necessary within oneself to then open doors to more choices, but without emotional needs met and a human decency mixed with a responsible sustainable lifestyle code, one will fail. Balance is the key.
In our times, the great opportunities to learn about education and positive morality without extinguishing who or what we are, are more plentiful than what we had in the past. From smart internet learning with online courses, or well-chosen videos to learn from, to low cost community college workshops and classes, one can become enlightened within the mind and have hopes rekindled.
Education can also be orthodox or unorthodox: you may want to attend club meetings involving art or activities done on the terrain which, to mention a few, could involve nature, animals, plants, languages and more. But family love, friends caring for you, compassion towards others and a strong taught positive self-worth are necessary ingredients to truly flourish.
So, education only balanced with our sentimental needs and honourable principles can truly give us a chance not to go on the wrong path, leading to prison or a mistake with a malicious deeds, all of which we might pay dearly for.