Remedying sick societies through education

By Aftab Ahmed Khanzada

No human being wants to become bad; his environment, his ignorance and his unreality force him to become so

Greek dramatist Menander says, “I know many people who were not naturally evil, but were made evil by compulsion and misfortune.”

These words sum up the moral character of the 3rd century BC. Even though there were a few exemptions, these were afraid rather than hopeful; and the purpose of their life was to escape from misfortune.

Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius has said, “Every man flees from himself, but in reality he does not have control over his own escape. Then he clings to himself and hates himself too, because even though he is sick, he does not know the cause of his illness.”

We are a reflection of the society we are part of. And we will always be what our society will be. Historically and psychologically, every child who is born carries some characteristics of his parents. In the first fifteen years of his life, he cannot fully use his understanding, consciousness and intellect. Not because the state or the society forbids it, but because his own understanding, consciousness and intellect are not sufficiently developed during this period. People around him and their thoughts automatically affect him. Even if the state and the society try to ensure that he remains completely free in his understanding, consciousness and intellect and there are no obstacles or interference and disturbance, almost every individual will be the same. Actually there is a substance of imitation in man. He follows others without any commands or desire. So like father, like son. Like society, like citizen.

Therefore, it is impossible to change the individual without changing the society and changing the society is not possible overnight. This only happens under a process. A young mother asked her doctor when she should start her child’s education and training. The doctor inquired how old the child was, to which she replied: two years old. The doctor said then you have wasted exactly two years.

American physician and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes was also asked a similar question and he replied that a child’s upbringing should begin with his grandmother.

John Stuart Mill, the British political thinker and writer of the 19th century, admitted that his mental crisis was rooted in his childhood training, and that since the training was faulty, his moral feelings were not developed.

Greek philosopher Epicurus has said, “A man who is not virtuous can never be happy. There is no treasure in the world as valuable as the knowledge of the purity of the soul. In order to maintain this purity, it is necessary not only to avoid bad deeds, but also to avoid impure thoughts because they can destroy the purity of the soul.”

No human being wants to become bad; his environment, his ignorance and his unreality force him to become so. A child learns from the environment. But by the time, he knows the real truth, reality and life, it is already too late. Then he cries out: May God create a pure heart in me and renew a righteous spirit!

There is no human being who has not felt sorry for his sins and misdeeds. Dishonesty, wickedness and immorality are the result of ignorance. All developed, successful, prosperous and civilised societies around the world have gone through dirty periods. They had absorbed all the vices and filth in themselves. Then they started learning to change through the tool of education and knowledge, and turned civilised. The savage human beings also became civilised.

Remember, people do not stand on legs, but on morals. If we are fed up with the evils, disorders and filth spread in our society; and individuals and environment have gone beyond our tolerance, then we should light the candles of education and knowledge to bring our society and people out of darkness

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