The Basic Fault
From the very beginning of our life we are taught to create our own self individual excellence. We are indoctrinated by our family & society about the concept of individual brilliance so that we become better than the rest of the individuals. The cardinal principle inherent in the above indoctrination process is the assumption of the concept of “zero sum game” in our very existence.
Our very basic existential doctrine postulates the philosophy that worldly material resources are minimal and the aspirations are exponential and in order to succeed we have to outdo each other through various intellectual competitive processes. The intellectual competitive process is nothing but our educational, economic and political systems through which we weed out the weakest of the claimants to the resources.
The Foundation is The Problem
The prevalent education system is the most potent and formidable of all the indoctrination processes through which we lay the basic foundations of self over the many, me over us, we vs they, sharing over hoarding etc. The near unanimity in accepting the philosophy of the present educational system points towards the prevalence of acute selfishness inherent in our traditional social thinking process.
Our family wants us to excel in education so that we can secure a very good livelihood which can make us comfortable for the rest of our life. But there is another invisible thinking process at work in our collective consciousness which wants to create individual power, privileges and the wealth around our own self. As a society we cherish individual success more than the shared success of everybody particularly in the matters of economics, power and privileges. The question is why ?
The answer is that we vehemently believe in the concept of the “zero sum game”. If someone has to win then someone else has to lose. For a moment also, as a society, we are not willing to accept and try the philosophy that when we share with everybody, even the most minimal, we all win.
The Indoctrination Process
The same values are taught in our schools and the universities to be in the rat race. We are conditioned by our educational system to compete with our fellow beings and to see them as mere competitors and to value ourselves more than anyone else. The stakes are so high that those who fail this selfish test are assumed to be failures and outliers of the society. Perhaps the greatest failure of our educational system has been its contribution in instilling, in each one of us, the ability to think about ourselves only and that too with huge rewards.
In the pursuit for individual excellence the competition gets stiffer and stiffer which makes our emotions and desires less amenable to sharing, caring, collaboration and cooperation. Our outlook towards life and humanity becomes more constricted and myopic over a period of time and in fact hardens further till it reaches the proverbial “ self actualisation” stage.
The Existential Bias
Our pyramid of collective existence has been designed to be biased favourably towards knowledgeable and intelligent people rather than towards all of humanity specially the weakest amongst us all. We as humans forget the fact that we obliterated many of our similar species and fellow beings only because one was more knowledgeable and intelligent than the others. But we must remember the fact that we as humans have survived till now, not because of our intelligence alone, but more because of our kindness, empathy, compassion and the desire to collaborate, cooperate and coexist.
The educational system prepares us for the job market where knowledge and intelligence matters more than anything else. We exist in the job market only because we are knowledgeable and intelligent or both. There is no space for those who are otherwise less educated, skillful and intelligent. We cannot exist in the job market simply as a human being and there is no scope for it. Thus the route is ardently set for all of us to be individualistic, isolationist, selfish and personal. There is no second thought about it.
The moot question which arises now is “ what about the less intelligent and less competitive of the human species ?” Are they doomed to fail and squander away their existence ? The answer first lies in our educational belief system more than any other thing else.
The Deviant Approach
But still out of this outdated indivilustic system the deviants do come out from time to time. They are the ones who change the course of history along with the new thought process. They are the people who value humanity over self obsession and try to create an egalitarian resource distribution system in society. But they are more an exception than anything else.
The idea that the resources of the world belong to the most intelligent, knowledgeable and skillful of the lot is abhorring in itself and an affront to the concept of humanity. The resources of the world, especially the economy, belong in equal measures to everybody irrespective of our intelligence and sophistication. This is the first right of every human being. If knowledge, intelligence and skills alone are the sole criteria for living the good life, then in future the robots with AI should own every resource of humanity.
One of the ways to come out of this self obsessed mindset is to impart education that values compassion, teamwork, kindness & empathy more than mere knowledge and intelligence. Our education system should create more wisdom rather than knowledge and more kind people rather than intelligent people. Our school system must teach philosophy before they teach science and mathematics and it must teach philosophy from the very beginning itself. There is no excuse for not letting the children know about the purpose of humanity per se. A journey well begun is half done.
The New Education System
Our purpose of the educational system should be to transfer as much knowledge and intelligence to the Machines as possible, to do the bidding for humans, so that we are free from these routine knowledge gathering exercises. We must allow the machines to do their specialised knowledge level jobs and free our minds for the progress of humanity. We must use our intellect to create machines for creating mass prosperity rather than mere individual excellence. The Thought Leadership born out of the new education system must emphasise on creating systems that churn out mass prosperity rather than individual billionaires and millionaires. We need such knowledgeable and intelligent people out of our education system.
The Historical Lessons
History is a testimony to the fact there is no guarantee that a more intelligent and knowledgeable society would have the most wisdom in it. We have to just go through the Nazi era German society to realise this absolute fact. If we look in history we would find that those who had the higher level of kindness quotient have done far more for humanity than those who had the higher level of intellect.
Our search for the mere intelligent & knowledgeable society may well turn out to be a chimera until unless we also do not search for compassion, kindness, empathy and egalitarianism in it. Let us remember the fact that our aim is to create a wisdom society which only comes through human values alone. Nothing else.
The Best Human Yardstick
As the technology is exponentially progressing the traditional knowledge capabilities should no longer be the measurement of an individual excellence. An individual who can multiply 8 digits to 9 digits random numbers and get the correct answers can be labelled a genius in the traditional thought process. But it should no longer be the criteria to judge the intelligence and knowledge level in the present times. What technology can do should no longer be the measurement of human capabilities. What technology cannot do should be our yardstick to measure knowledge and intelligence.
As of now the technology is incapable of expressing and understanding kindness, empathy, love, justice, equality and equally incapable of the level of human imagination, creativity and innovation. Also the concept of wisdom is still alien to the machines. Our aim should be to achieve all of these qualities which machines cannot accomplish through our educational system.
The New Leadership of the Minds
We need people who can feel the pain of others. We need people who can bridge gaps between people and societies and can take everybody along. We desperately need minds that can tell us a thousand ways to distribute the wealth of the world in equitable ways. We obviously need education that tells us the innumerable path to ending poverty and destitution in the world. We certainly require people that talk, know and act to end the wars and chaos around the world. We also wish for people who do not discriminate and who do not create dissensions in humanity based on any ideologies. To me those are the real knowledgeable, intelligent and skillful people of any educational system.
Our Mission on Earth is not to create merely an intelligent society but to create a kind, compassionate, just and poverty less society. This is what the new generation of leadership must aspire and aim for. The new education system that promotes humanity is essentially important because from it will come the future leadership. This is why it is a life and death question for humanity for everything essentially is dependent on the leadership we create in the future. If there is no humane leadership there would be no humanity in our existence. Climate change may or may not extinguish us in the future but before it the valueless & unethical leadership certainly would obliterate us all.