“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Without a doubt this one quote by Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela is one that is most often seen tied to schools for obvious reasons. I have seen it displayed throughout the hallways of schools and even as a part of someone’s signature page on their email. Education is in fact the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. The question is do we take advantage of it?
As a society we spend the first 13 years of our education in the school system being educated based on what the national or state led curriculum has been designed for us to learn about. But how much do we go beyond that learning as it is happening? How much do we continue educating ourselves when we are all finished? For me the answer to first question is I didn’t. I didn’t really have any interest to explore anything I learned in school any deeper than what was presented to me. Completely my choice and my own doing but looking back, I wish I had chosen differently. I wish I had made a much more conscious effort to dig deeper into the history, English or psychology classes that I took to learn more about the subjects and also learn more about myself. In retrospect I know I had good and redeeming qualities but I think if I had gone beyond learning just what was being taught and dug a little deeper I would have been better for it.
For the answer to my second question I’m happy to say I have really gone all in on this one. The amount that I have read or listened to in order to increase areas within my own moral compass since I left college surely made up for what I may have lacked during my years in school. And many of this had been done prior to the idea of knowing the five areas of social emotional learning and relating it to our moral compass. Whether it has been through books, magazines or podcasts I have tried to take full advantage in being really selective in that what ever I choose to read or listen to it will benefit my own growth in learning more about myself and others in order to serve everyone better. As I have said before my purpose in life is to serve others. If I can contribute to making someone’s life better then that is what is most important to me.
I want to point out that the education that you acquire can only truly change the world if you apply what you learned into all you do. If you just keep it all to yourself, it doesn’t benefit anyone really. Also what you don’t use, you lose. So use it! We also can educate ourselves by learning from others that we interact with each and every day. We are not perfect and to think we are and that we have no room to grow or learn would be pretty arrogant of us to surmise. Education can come through to us and every way and we need to be open to all modes and means to receiving it because the continual growth of our moral compass depends on it. Our education is worth the time and investment if we are willing and the ROI on it is priceless.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards defining/refining your own moral compass?