We cannot deny the fact that humans are intelligent. If not for the human intelligence you would not have been reading possibly even within seconds of my writing this blog, given the fact that we both may be on opposite parts of this globe!
Thanks to technology, we can communicate with each other at lightning speed, we have mapped the universe, we have dived into the pacific depths, climbed everests, automated every possible activity including having a piece of software play chess with us, created clones, mapped the DNA, cured numerous diseases or have alternates to them, walked on moon, sent messengers deep into the space, enquired into the beginning and end of the universe and what not.
But lo behold, we have caused holes in the ozone, caused the ice in antarctica to melt, wiped out entire species of life types on this planet, spilled petroleum oil into the oceans, have butchered and mass murdered our own species, increased the planet’s temperature, have invented WMD which can destroy this planet more than a thousand times, made air unbreathable, water undrinkable, food uneatable, planet uninhabitable.
This proves the fact that while we are definitely intelligent to understand nature, to discover scientific details, to invent new things, we humans as a species are definitely not wise in terms of using this intelligence to achieve sustainable goals which do not have negative effects on the life of this planet or on the planet itself.
Reason? GREED GREED GREED
Want to make quick bucks, no care or concern for others, (this others might belong to our own species or to other species), want quicker not cleaner options, the term I is given importance over WE, where I stands to humans and WE refers all life form on this planet.
There is a saying in Kannada, where a cow asks a man “Neenaarigaadeyo ele maanava?” which translates to “Oh Human, What is your worth to others, alive or dead?”. The cow says, “When I am alive people milk me and this milk is used by you humans to satisfy your hunger. People make living by selling my milk. They dont give me money. They just look after me, which I am anytime capable of doing by going out in the woods and grazing on my own. The food you provide to me is given to you freely by nature. When a mother who just gave birth to a baby is not able to feed her child due to lack of milk in her mammary glands, cow’s milk is used as an alternative. Then when a cow is dead, the skin is used to manufacture all your clothing.” What about a human being? Dead or alive, is he ever worth as much as a cow?
We say we are intelligent, we invented vechiles that run on petroleum. Today the whole earth is polluted because of this and we are searching for less polluting alternate energy resources. If humans were wise enough to know that petroleum causes pollution, wouldn’t they have invented non polluting technology in the beginning itself, instead of waiting till the whole planet is polluted and their own existence is threatened now due to global warming??? Well, earlier the humans did not bother because it was not a threat to them, they didnt bother as long as the technology didn’t affect them negatively even if it meant wiping out other species. Only when it comes to our own existence, we are having global conferences, statistics collection, alternate technology research and what not ??
Only if there were a court of law where law was same for all species, all humans would have been hanged till death over a thousand times for mass murdering of millions of lives of other species.
Consider a situation where we bring in a new refrigerator to our house, which uses less power but gives out some kind of polluting gas which causes suffocation while breathing. Would we keep that refrigerator in our house?? NO. Because we dont want us or our family members to suffocate. Why dont we think so when we build a factory which pollutes the entire planet ?? Narrow mindedness?? A limited definition of WE?
Arent we aware of the fact that we all will die of starvation if say for ex: ants are wiped out of this planet?
I like the vedic education system of ancient India for this very reason. It creates a “Vishwa Manava” (which means citizen of the world, not of any particular country, species or religion). The concept of “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam” (whole world is a family) is embedded in this educational system. It aims at creating a human who has social and moral responsibility towards his fellow humans, nature, other species, air, water and what not.
In sharp contrast, the westernised education system of the day embeds a concept of “I” in the child, teaching the child that “I” comes first and everything else is after that. The child should get a first rank, mug up more things whether it understands the subject or not, is made egoistic and self centric concentrating only on an individual’s achievements.
As opposed to this kind of education, travel to some remote village in India, (where ancient Indian morals and social responsibility prevails, say for ex: to villages in the western ghats of south India), and you will find people there are more well educated than any of the urban class in any part of the world. They may not have a graduate degree certificate or a gold medal or a first class. Yet they treat you and the nature around them on equal scales.
For them cutting down a tree is a sin equivalent to violating all the ten commandments. When a family is in trouble or an indivual is in trouble, the entire village comes to their rescue. When a baby elephant falls in a well, the entire village carries out a rescue operation to save the baby with least harm, and then will try to unite it with its mother. They dont worry that they wont get the day’s pay or that their earnings will be hit if they dont go on their job.
In urban society we dont even know our neighbours properly, where as in these villages the entire village knows each other. I have heard stories from my mother about how they used to leave their doors unlocked while going out to the market. Trust was the factor there. Crime rate is high in the so called educated cities, not in the so called uneducated villages.
To summarize, literacy is not education, nor is westernised education system. I feel these villagers are more educated than a harvard or stanford MBA graduate. Education is not knowing more information and bringing down your values. True education improves on your values, makes you equally responsible to your society, to the naturem as you are to your family.
If the urban education was really better or atleast equal to the mindsets of these rural people, then people in cities should have been more friendly with their neighbours, should be ready to give a break to their fast life and help those in need when the need arises, have respect to vehicles travelling in the opposite direction by not using high beams all the time, not to treat social service as a fashion or a hobby but as their whole hearted duty. Not to waste water, electricity. Not to throw plastics and other non biodegradables in natural places, not to let sewage lines or toxic waste into the rivers. Which is definitely not the case.
Another proof that urban education spoils a kid. Let therebe two kids in a village. Bring one of the kids from the village and give him/her a urban education till graduation and then take the kid back to his/her village. See the difference. Superiority complex/Ego/lack of humbleness/lack of politeness/disrespect to elders – all these qualities would have developed in that educated graduate, in stark contrast to that rural counterpart.
Probably earth would have been a better place to live in if instead of humans some other species, say for ex dolphins had been gifted with our intelligence.
Now that we cant undo history, let us concentrate on educating the younger generation towards a social centric broad minded human instead of a self centric narrow minded genius.