© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher

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On Education

Education is a tool of society. Its purpose is to depress the best as it can everything in ourselves which is unacceptable, immature and abnormal at one hand, and praise, encourage and reward everything in ourselves which is normally seen as a virtue and appropriate, on the other hand. It’s like that tool that I forgot its name, that is used to weed out specific components while keep other specific components, like when we drop pasta and hot water into a bowl, and get rid of the hot water and preserve the pasta.

Education does not necessarily bring happiness. It could be logically possible that people with no education whatsoever can be happier than those who are. Happiness in modern society is a threat on its high levels of consumptions, because if we are to be happy, it would be less likely that we would buy and consume many things on a regular basis, as happiness is the equivalent of satisfaction. Therefore we learn as students the importance of success, of aiming high and of having grand dreams, for we are “the next leaders of our nations”. We are discouraged to be static, and instead we are constantly encouraged to be active as much as we can (giving to the community, having a rich social life, take interest in the country’s news and status, consider higher education, etc), while we learn that this is good, even if it may bring us suffering by constantly chasing after desires, and never finding satisfaction with the already existent. Basically, education is there for us to become better citizens, not better in being satisfied.

I remember a specific day when I was a student in middle school, that we were asked what are our ambitions for the following year we were just about to begin. I replied with honesty that I have no ambitions and that I am satisfied with the things I currently have and experience in life. However, even though I was a satisfied boy, I was still encouraged to think more of the question I was asked, until ultimately I was blamed for slothfulness. “Are you serious?” I thought to myself, “Why is it that much of a necessity to have ambitions in life, if satisfaction has been already attained, making more ambitions unnecessary?”.

Education is the tool of the state. With this in mind, the main importance of education is to turn us into the next obedient and functioning units of society. Thus we learn the history of our nations, so we would feel connected to our motherlands; we learn math, just in case we could serve in high-tech positions that shall bring pride and fortune to our states; we learn languages so we would be better exposed to the media, and so forth. Do our states wish us to be happy? I don’t think they, as bodies of high authority, really care about what we feel as individuals. As long as we won’t cause harm to others or to ourselves, we are left alone by them, while they expect from us to care about them and about the content that they create, from culture and media, to politics and international relationships. This is just one logic argument that presents the possibility of society’s egoism and patriotism; they don’t care specifically about us, but we are encouraged to care about them, and we are especially praised when we are proud and loving of them.

Higher education neither necessarily makes us happier, as this type of education can be not only very expensive (at least in most countries), but very intensive, potentially-stressful, and time consuming. We are praised when we are to learn a degree, even though having a degree won’t necessarily make us happier either, and we won’t necessarily find employment in a field we have spent many years and much money to learn it. Nowadays the prime purpose of high education is to get better paying jobs, even though even they may bring us much stress and take time from our private lives. As said before, reaching to a more luxurious and better paying job won’t be always possible, and even when we are to find ourselves in such applauded positions, we may need to fight for them and be in a constant state of competition against other people that could potentially be more preferred than us, ultimately leading to us being fired, sometimes regardless of the effort we contributed to the corporation we worked at.

Sure, we can learn other academic fields, which won’t necessarily increase the ability of us making more money in the future, but even such courses refer us to sources that can be used regardless of said courses and without paying for them, if at all. How unfair is that, ladies and gentlemen? We could literarily earn more knowledge without paying much money, by being auto-deducts.

Thus, again - much of the things which society applauds and encourages us to achieve, won’t necessarily change possible feels of depression, melancholy, frustration, suffering and so forth. Even a person who reaches luxurious achievements, still won’t necessarily be happy, regardless of the positive feedback they receive from others. Many famous actors and singers, for example, that were and are very desired and known, committed suicide or are potential of doing so, or at least may feel depression on a regular basis. Why therefore should we surrender ourselves to the collectively desired and attractive attributes and statuses, if they are not necessarily beneficial for our wellbeing and the possibility of serenity? For even in the social “heaven”, where we are learned to aim through educational and general socializations, there may be much trouble and much struggle, despite of praise. So, what’s the point of reaching for this “heaven” in the first place?