Don’t Be An Educated Illiterate!

Photo: fraeulein girot

A friend of mine forwarded a joke on Whatsapp today. It goes like this -
 An English lawyer went duck hunting near Truro Cornwall. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer’s field on the other side of a fence.
As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing. The litigator responded,”I shot a duck and it fell in this field, and now I’m going to retrieve it.” The old farmer Peter replied, “This is my property, and you are not coming over here.”
The indignant lawyer said, “I am one of the best trial lawyers in England and, if you don’t let me get that duck, I’ll sue you and take everything you own.”
The old farmer smiled and said, “Apparently, you don’t know how we settle disputes in Cornwall . We settle small disagreements like this with the ‘Three Kick Rule.’
The lawyer asked, “What is the ‘Three Kick Rule’?”
The Farmer replied, “Well, because the dispute occurs on my land, I get to go first. I kick you three times and then you kick me three times and so on back and forth until someone gives up.” The lawyer quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old codger. He agreed to abide by the local custom.
The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the attorney. His first kick planted the toe of his heavy steel-toed work boot into the lawyer’s groin and dropped him to his knees!
His second kick to the midriff sent the lawyer’s last meal gushing from his mouth. The lawyer was on all fours when the farmer’s third kick to his rear end, sent him face-first into a fresh cow pie.
Summoning every bit of his will and remaining strength the lawyer very slowly managed to get to his feet. Wiping his face with the arm of his jacket, he said, “Okay, you old fart. Now it’s my turn.”
The old farmer smiled and said, “Nah, I give up. You can have the duck.”
When you are educated, you’ll believe only half of what you hear. When you’re intelligent, you know which half.
 Although I found it hilarious, it made me think how people typecast education with intelligence and those who lack it are dull witted. I agree that education is the most powerful tool for learning and hence improving one’s intelligence and wisdom. But, it is still a tool and what’s important is how we use it. I know more highly-educated-ignorant-arrogant people than I would have liked to believe and am sure you could count a lot many too. Similarly I have also met extremely wise, sensible and intelligent people who happen to be illiterate!
 Another such hypocrisy seen in India is being able to talk in English. Now English is one of the universal language and it’s splendid if you know it, but you shouldn’t feel ashamed if you can’t. I mean French, Chinese, Japanese, Spaniard or any one from non-English speaking country doesn’t feel the way we Indians feel about lacking the knowledge of English. Things have reached a point where grandparents nowadays are under extreme stress because kids look down upon them if they can’t converse in fluent English. Which is quite pathetic considering, English is just a language after all, would you feel the same way if you were ignorant about any other local Indian language?
 We should feel ourselves lucky that we got the opportunity to read and write which in turn opened up endless opportunities for us, but that doesn’t entitle us into some kind of elite beings and we should never look down upon people who are uneducated. Everyone has something they are good at, so just because they lack formal education doesn’t mean they are incompetent as a person. Give people a chance to prove their worth and you will be amazed how they surprise you.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
 — Albert Einstein

Originally published at on February 22, 2016.