Education Changes to a More Fulfilled Life
We live in a society that believes in one-size-fits-all when it comes to success in life. Success is measured in material accumulation and career achievements. In order to achieve this rather narrow perception of success, and forming part of this accumulation, is a scholastic path with high grades through high school and
university. Yet, most great life coaches speak of a fulfilled life as being a balanced life. These teachers speak of various components of life that we should try to keep in balance. An example of the various components to a fulfilled life would be:
- Spiritual life
- Business career
- Physical health
- Social life
- Mental Development
- Family life
- Physical fitness
This is an 8-fold division of a person’s life. A quick internet search brings up 5 (spirit, mind, body, relationship & work), 7 (social, spiritual, personal, physical, family, financial & career) and 10 (family, spiritual, emotional, work, social, financial, cultural, recreational, physical & intellectual) alternative divisions to a balanced life. It is okay to be out of balance and focus on one area of one’s life for periods of growth in that area, but to maintain balance means devoting time to the other areas thereafter. To balance an 8-fold division of life means spending on average 2 hours on each area in a 24 hour day where 8 hours is given over to sleeping. Yet, our societal demands are that we spend 8-14 hours on our career and making money and neglect six other key areas of life.
Is it any wonder that people feel stressed and out of balance, unfulfilled and depressed?
Business/Career and financial success should be about having enough instead of being about having excess. Striving for excess drives the world economy, true; has brought about higher standards of living than ever know in history, true; and resulted in people living longer than in recorded history, true. Or is the one really a result of the other?
If we include the development of consciousness of humankind (see for example Power vs Force by David R. Hawkings) then the higher standard of living and longevity, that have increased with the increase in human consciousness, have been subverted by a greed that propels the drive for greater world economy and undermined our understanding of success as a striving for excess.
“Rational” people ridicule, for example, astrology because, with 8 billion people in the world, they argue, it is not possible that there are only 12 personalities. This argument immediately presupposes that “rational” people believe that they are different from their fellow human beings and that, in fact, all people are different. How different though? Different as in having different aspirations, different interpretations of fulfilment, different understanding of success? Different in the educational needs; different in the positive contribution each can deliver to society; different in the reward each deems appropriate to their contribution? Why then is the societal definition of success so narrow, when even “rational” people argue for their inherent difference to their neighbour?
Where do we, who see a need for a broadening of society’s definition of success, begin to help society change its view of success? We see, worldwide, an increase in suicides, especially among the young in many countries of the world. Stress and depression are often at the root of these suicides: stress and the resultant depression because of not being seen as successful.
If we begin with the premise that every living thing is a miracle, because we cannot yet recreate life; and then that every person also is a miracle, therefore everyone is successful, we would have to investigate what it is in each person that makes him/her uniquely, inherently successful. We would end up with 8 billion definitions of a successful person and the one definition of living in excess would be swamped by uniquely individual definitions. Education would no longer view a child as an empty vessel to be filled with a prescribed quantum of information, but instead would become a way of extracting what is uniquely individual in each person and helping each individual develop his/her uniqueness while identifying the unique challenges of each unique individual, the overcoming of which will grow him/her uniquely to outshine the unique potential with which he/she is born. Education would become the domain of the highly gifted, the people who truly care about others, care in a way that they can identify the uniqueness and the unique challenges of each unique individual. A pipe-dream or a starting point for a new future?
(This post was triggered by the suicide of a 14 year old girl who decided to end her life quietly in a shopping mall.)