My Thoughts on Education

The problem with education is that we have collectively accepted it as a system of linearity. We almost treat it like it’s a factory. That once you go through kindergarten, grade school, and college you’ll end up with a degree that will guarantee you a job which will make you bank. We force our youth to virtually take the same classes, subject them to the standardized testing, and judge their future off a grade point average. While factories are great for manufacturing parts, you can’t treat education in the same manner because life isn’t linear — it’s organic. This process threatens future generations that will need to depend on innovation and adaptive thinking to stay competitive with the evolving world.

One of my bosses from one of my previous internships once told me that companies don’t hire people because they have a 4.0 GPA or because they’re a graduate from Princeton University. Companies hire people because they see enough value in you to invest in you. They expect you to triple whatever they’re paying in you into profits and if you can demonstrate you could do that, then that is what will get you the job. So, it’s not the degree that guarantees your job, it’s your repertoire. And, that’s important to understand because education isn’t something you only get in colleges anymore because it’s becoming more and more open and accessible to us everywhere. Soon, the whole world will have internet access, and whatever you learn in your classrooms won’t be enough.

We need to redefine what it means to be “educated.” Our classrooms should have teachers that inspire and guide students at a personal level to focus on our individualistic tendencies and unique strengths that lie within us. Our Founding Fathers, innovators of the 18th and 19th centuries, and current technology leaders thrived not because of our standards and inherited systems but because they thought differently and broke the status quo. Guys like Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, Nicolaus Copernicus, Thomas Edison, and Steve Jobs are the reason why we think differently today, because they created that vision for us. Their creative thinking and imagination are the reason why we understand science, technology, engineering, and math that way we do today. As Albert Einstein once said,

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

I hate to think how many Albert Einsteins or Steve Jobs pass through our classrooms today without us even realizing. We need to bring out creative thinking and imagination in everyone and help people discover their true passion and path in life. Don’t tell our children to become engineers or doctors because that’s where the money is, because innovation only happens when our hearts are into it not for the sake of money. Don’t chase the paper, chase the dream, because when you love what you do and become the best at what you love to do then the money chases after you rather than the other way around. Passion is a powerful thing, it would be a shame waste it.

We all grow up with tremendous capacities to achieve beyond our own wildest imaginations, but somewhere along the way we forget how to live our dreams. We all have the same purpose in life: to fulfill our destiny. But, we get so caught up with how everybody else lives their life, that we forget how to live our own. We fear that we will fail, and then we settle for whatever is easier. I am a firm believer in living life without regrets. Grow old and be proud of the life you lived than the life you could’ve lived. Follow your passion, inspire others, and contribute to the world while you’re at it.