The Importance of Eddjukayshun.

Seven billion. There are over seven billion people on Earth and counting. Seven billion minds each with countless thoughts. Seven billion people looking to take on the world in their own way. Seven billion people who are not numbers, but are individuals who have the power to impact the world with the power of knowledge.

What does it mean to be well educated? As a current high school student who is a contestant in the infamous ‘race to nowhere’, my initial thoughts are warped by fear of failing to answer this question effectively. Well, to answer this I could use definitions and try to manipulate language in attempt to summarize the complexity of the topic at hand. I’m not going to do that. A fish can live its whole life without knowing what water is, but it does not change the fact that it is important. Education is our water. My goal is not to create a definition that impresses people I do not even know, but to simply offer thoughtful insight that might provoke second thought.

While writing this I was brought to the attention that education philosophy is closely in line with life philosophy since education at its core is to help people approach the problems they face in their life. What that means for me is that I am tackling a very large question. What that means for you is do not expect to find an answer to your educational and life problems. Like I said earlier regarding second thought, all it takes is a moment to reflect and decide if the choices you are confronted with is a time to utilize to develop skill and character, or to move along with your life to another moment that actually matters to you.

Now, there is really no good way to talk about education without mentioning schooling. People go to school in hopes of being educated, however, it is a system that can appeal to those who rely on memorization for learning. The key word is ‘can’. It is the ownership people take that truly determines the impact of their education. By ownership I mean not letting grades and stress determine the way you approach your learning, but by accepting these factors and controlling the amount you are impacted by them. In other words, ownership means taking control.

Anyone can memorize facts but when you take it upon yourself to internalize that information and try to apply it to the world around you it opens up a world of possibility. Let me just say that this is an ideal that is much easier said than done, especially when success is measured numerically and can be achieved through taking shortcuts. Some could argue that cheating is even a way to prepare for the future because like people say, ‘life’s not fair’, ‘survival of the fittest’. I mean, why should you put forth the initiative to internalize learning if someone who cheats can achieve the same level of success if not more? Again, this further emphasizes personal ownership of learning and disregarding how people perceive you based on things like a number. Until you find purpose in what you learn, you are merely absorbing facts.

Critical thinking is a fundamental skill as it is fundamental for forming choices, decisions, and all while understanding personal justifications and purpose. What is difficult is that critical thinking is not entirely teachable. You can learn it but you can not fully be taught it, maybe encouraged, but not truly taught. At one point or another it solely rests on the responsibility of the individual to understand their own thinking. The world depends on the development of individual intellectual identity because without diverse thoughts and methods of taking on a task, our world would not progress.

I am one of seven billion people. I am 16 years old and (hopefully) have many years ahead of me to make an impact, to follow my dream of becoming a filmmaker so I can make those around me happy through the power of movies. The ideology I presented to you is not easy to follow. I myself still lack ownership. I still let stress from high school rule my life and it sent me to the doctors with a small ulcer. If at every single moment there is an infinite actions you can take that have impact and you take the time to reflect on every one of them, you will drive yourself crazy. This is just a gentle reminder to find the balance between being purposeful with your education and to simply enjoy the life you have.

In the end what I guess I am trying to say is to make things matter to you and truly take the time to understand your own thinking. Educate yourself on your own thinking is the best way to open your mind to the world around you. Everyone wants to be unique and special but the thing is, everyone already is unique and special, you simply need to stop and ask yourself how and how you can use your uniqueness to make the world a place you enjoy and are glad to call home.