Education and Right Livelihood

Q: When is the best time to begin an education program for my three-year-old daughter?

A: Three years ago.

Q: Are you going against the grain in terms of schooling?

A: I’m not going against anything.

Q: Is it wrong for parents to enroll their children in a formal school?

A: There is no right or wrong. Everything depends on each individual’s needs.

Q: What do you disagree about regular schooling?

A: How it is packaged.

Q: Can you explain?

A: Time, social pressure, and awareness.

Q: What do you mean by time?

A: The time each student spends in school is mostly wasted on memorizing facts and figures, useless assemblies, quizzes, and tests.

Q: You mean teach them differently?

A: There is nothing new to teach academically. There is no point in memorizing facts and figures when we know there are far greater things that we can work on.

Q: But isn’t school important for greater social skill?

A: No.

Q: Why?

A: Social skill is a form of conditioning. If the child is socially active, she will conduct the appropriate social mannerism with or without formal schooling. If she is socially inactive, then by putting the child in a school, you are merely conditioning her to be socially active. We’ve seen this countless times in children being conditioned to follow a particular religion, clubs, and organizations in many school societies. Consequently, children have no social awareness whatsoever outside of their school environment.

Q: Meaning?

A: Students in poor schools have no choice but to cope with their societal level. Students in rich schools have no idea what’s going on in poor schools or with other children suffering from famine around the world. What they’re aware is a luxury coach picks them up every morning, they’re well-respected by their teachers (Duh! They pay a lot), and everything (i.e. a daily savory lunch meal) is provided — in other words: entitlement.

Q: But what about their future? How can they secure a way to earn a livelihood?

A: Earning a livelihood is a side effect.

Q: A side effect?

A: Yes.

Q: But all around the world, people from business, sport, art are taught to earn a livelihood at their highest level.

A: Yes.

Q: Are they all wrong?

A: Yes.

Q: Why?

A: Because they do not understand.

Q: How do you know they do not understand?

A: Because of the nature of their results. And the questions they ask.

Q: Please explain.

A: In every industry, condition waxes and wanes. In every industry, one is taught to compete. In every industry, one day a person “has it” and the next day she “doesn’t have it.” A moment one is “in the zone” and an hour later, she “falls out of the zone.” And one is “in the zone” for only a fickle moment throughout his or her career.

Q: What questions do they ask? And what questions should they ask?

A: The questions that have forever been asked relate to “doing things in order to make more money.” Financial security is traditionally pursued as a goal. As a result, it is viewed from the standpoint of activities, rituals, behaviors, and do’s and don’ts. This is not where consistent world-class individuals come from. For security cannot be viewed as a goal. One must be interested in how to “improve” oneself. One must be genuinely interested in where one lives, how one behaves, and what causes one to emerge. This allows one to become dominant in her field.

Q: Where does one live?

A: In order to discover where one lives, one must have a certain quality about oneself. One must be interested in the ultimate; a holy grail rather than a sugar pill. A fruit does not ripe because it wishes to ripe. When the requisites are met, the fruit has no choice but to ripe. One must understand the requirements to allow oneself to emerge.

Q: So what is the best course of action?

A: There is none. I can give you a few conditions, but this will not help you.

Q: Why?

A: Because they must be understood and experienced through the context of a journey. Sketching the highlight will do nothing for you.