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July 18, 2024

How Changing Education Will Change Everything

How Changing Education Will Change Everything

“This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation.”

–Albert Einstein

 

Why Education Should Be About More than Giving Knowledge

In Webster’s dictionary, education means “the action or process of educating or of being educated [schooled/informed].” But in a world where fifty percent of what we learn in the first year of college is outdated and irrelevant by the end of the third year, what good is our schooling?

Even more important, with the escalating global crisis, can we guarantee our children’s education, even through high school? Because the current crisis is global and multi-faceted, the education system must adapt itself and prepare our youth to cope with the current state of the world.

Therefore, our challenge today is not so much to acquire knowledge as it is to acquire the social skills to help ourselves and our children overcome the abundant alienation, suspicion, and mistrust we encounter today. To prepare our children for life in the 21st century, we must first teach them what makes our reality what it is, and what they can do to change it.

This does not mean that disseminating knowledge should stop, but that these lessons should be part of a larger story that teaches students how to cope in the world they are about to enter. They should be able to leave the classroom and use this knowledge to grasp the full picture of reality and the forces that design it, and to understand how they can use it to their benefit.

 

Competitive vs. Collaborative Education: All About Me or All About We?

In nearly every country in the world, education systems are designed to prod students to aim for personal achievements. The higher the student’s grades, the higher his or her social status. In America, as in many countries in the West, this system not only measures how students perform, but how they perform in relation to others. This makes students not only want to excel, but inevitably makes them want their fellow students to fail.

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If You’re Against Collaboration, Self-Interested and Use Others for Your Own Benefit, then the Creator Has You Right Where He Wants You

If You’re Against Collaboration, Self-Interested and Use Others for Your Own Benefit, then the Creator Has You Right Where He Wants You

The Real Reason Why People Hate to Collaborate

As we can see from multiple psychological and sociological studies, it is more rewarding to work in a group than alone. Hence, why do we not cooperate all the time? If we are made of a desire to receive and can receive more by collaborating, then why are we not collaborating? What is it about our nature that, despite the 1,200 studies that prove it is better to work together than alone, we have not thoroughly installed these methods in our education system? And why do schools (and the entire education system), media, sports, and politics still promote competitive and individualistic behavior, extolling successful individuals? Why not extol people who promote bonding and mutuality, if evidence proves that it would work to everyone’s benefit?

The reason why this is so is because in Stage Four of the development of the egoistic desire we are no longer satisfied with achieving more. Achieving more was what we wanted in Stage Three. In Stage Four, our primary desire is to achieve more than others. We want to be unique and superior, just like the Creator. Thus, we may provide hard, indisputable evidence that it is better to work together than alone, but without feeling that this is so, our egos will not succumb to the idea. In Stage Four, solutions must first satiate the ego before we can approach daily life tactics to improve our achievements.

In regard to the above paragraph, in “Peace in the World,” Baal HaSulam elaborates on our sense of uniqueness: “The nature of each and every person is to exploit the lives of all other people in the world for his own benefit. And all that he gives to another is only out of necessity; and even then there is exploitation of others in it, but it is done cunningly, so that his neighbor will not notice it and concede willingly. The reason for it,” he explains, “is that… because man’s soul extends from the Creator, who is one and Unique [referring to the single law of bestowal that creates and sustains the world]… man… feels that all the people in the world should be under his own governance and for his own private use. And this is an unbreakable law. The only difference is in people’s choices: one chooses to exploit people to satisfy lower desires, and one by obtaining government, while the third by obtaining respect. furthermore, if one could do it without much effort, he would agree to exploit the world with all three combined—wealth, government, and respect. However, he is forced to choose according to his possibilities and capabilities. This law can be called, ‘the law of singularity in man’s heart.’ No person escapes it, and each and every one takes his share in that law.”

 

You Can Either Be Unique and Creative Alone… Or With the Creator

On october 15, 2006, Sam Roberts of The New York Times published a story titled, “To Be Married Means to Be Outnumbered,” where he referred to a census. The story revealed that “Married couples, whose numbers have been declining for decades as a proportion of American households, have finally slipped into a minority… The American Community Survey, released… by the Census Bureau, …found that 49.7 percent [of] households in 2005 were made up of married couples… down from more than 52 percent five years earlier.” Moreover, revealed Roberts: “The numbers of unmarried couples are growing. Since 2000, those identifying themselves as unmarried opposite-sex couples rose by about 14 percent, male couples by 24 percent and female couples by 12 percent.”

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Are You Benefiting from Your Interdependence With Others?

Are You Benefiting From Your Interdependence With Others?

The wisdom of Kabbalah views reality as a single entity, with humans representing the highest level of existence, in the sense that we possess the most intense and most narcissistic desire to receive. It is now time to outline what humanity can do to shift the negative trend, considering that we are irreversibly interdependent and interconnected as we can clearly observe through the daily events of the deepening global crisis. And while it is beyond the scope of this article to outline a detailed “bailout” plan for humanity’s present and future crises, it is worthwhile to point out some solutions that we believe could be implemented on a broad scale, and if done right, resolve most of our problems.

 

How Collectivism and Globality Relate to Becoming Like the Creator

Although humanity has little experience operating as a global system, since we are used to defining ourselves as individuals or members of factions of society, from family to nation-state, the current situation necessitates that we expand our view. Most of the political and financial leaders in the world already acknowledge this requirement.

Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, for example, addressed this issue in a message to the first Annual Interdependence day on September 12, 2004: “A new era is upon us. In the future…the world will be transformed…by the forces of globalization and the growing interdependence of the world’s peoples. …the more interdependent we become, the more decisions have to be taken not by one nation state alone, but by many, acting together. Unless it is properly managed, this process can entail a ‘democratic deficit,’ as decision makers are further removed from and less accountable to the people whose lives are affected. So the challenge for all of us is to manage our interdependence in ways that bring people in, rather than shutting them out. Citizens need to think and act globally, so as to influence global decisions” (The Interdependence Handbook: Looking Back, Living the Present, Choosing the Future, edited by Sondra Myers and Benjamin R. Barber).

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