Education is the cheap defense of nations-Edmund Burke.
Education is a formidable tool. Its virtues are not confined to the conscripted. Its a genie that unleashes life. Pursuit of fulfillment is given a path.
A commitment to education is a collaborative effort. It demands individual discipline cultivated by family, school, society and nation as a whole.
As a fortunate recipient of a dedicated collaborative that churned out some of the wisest humans from the humblest of beginnings, I share with you my traipse in life.
I have had the privilege of a lifetime to be a cardiologist in Bakersfield for last thirty years.
Education is the ultimate equalizer. The promise of education is not zero sum, distributive or regressive. It empowers all and raises the tide.
An enlightened society or a society seeking enlightenment is best focussed on educating all. There is no better return on investment that enriches all aspects of life. An access to education demands a system that guarantees safety, health and shelter.
Such ambition can’t be dismissed as a platitude. The alternative is a collective decline.
Incarceration and recidivism don’t have a stellar record in shaping productive humans. We need to seed accountability, discipline and civic cohesion through universal education. Cohesion does not imply a communist or Nazi parallel of ingrained agendas. Here in this country, we have already established the merits of critical thinking and audacity of self belief. The entrepreneurial spirit in education undergirds our leadership in science, finance and others.
Those wheels need to stay on the wagon.
The riddle is in universal access.
And in welcoming meritocracy, again.
A watered down math and elimination of standardized testing has aroused passions in a segment of intelligentsia. Such passions have understandably kindled hopes among our competitors that we are choreographing our failure.
We don’t win by scoring against ourselves.
A rigorous commitment to STEM syllabus is a national imperative. Math makes it mathematically impossible to have double standards.
This training wheel needs to come off.
All knowledge grows in the cradle of present, supported by past progresses.
Human bias is a constant of nature.
It pulsates with every heartbeat.
Education, discipline, conscience and moral underpinnings continually struggle to rise above the biases. Overcoming profit motive is a perennial challenge.
The exaltation of humanity, conceived in the constitution, suffered and submitted to the prevailing biases of the times.
Yet, as a first in humanity, it laid the foundation of the road for eventual emancipation and parity.
Racism of 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century was embedded both osmotically and maliciously, in American culture.
Malice in some, osmosis in all.
Just like now.
Bias is a mountain, always uphill.
But we have walked uphill for a long while and triumphed many steep slopes. In our frustrations to reach the top we can’t disparage the sacrifices of generations, who made today possible for us.
Cultural appropriation needs to shed its pejorative insinuations. Sharing is a thing of beauty. Its cultural evolution and is emblematic of societal integration. Cultural assimilation may better intuit the soul of camaraderie.
Trans-generational score settling is another conundrum.
Violence, plunder, pillagery, rape and murder have been a failsafe recipe for the few and powerful to decimate the rest of us.
In my part of the world, British colonialism drained millennial treasures from India.
On the way out the colonialists bestowed a partition, that killed and bloodied millions. Temptations aside, reparation is in asserting self actualization.
Education comes to mind again.
Its been said there are two kinds of illiterates. Ones who can’t read and others who can but wont.
Education may fail to lift the veil of prejudice in all, at least it can offer a choice to some.