I have recently concluded to the following sentence, which I now treat as a fact: “Everyday is a choice.” We, humans, have every single day and moment to choose to live with and from our heart or not. We have the chance, the opportunity, the risk and the cost that comes with the choice to add value to this world for our time on it and for the years to come, or not. Each one of us has the choice to cheat, to be negative, to speak behind the other’s back, to lie, to operate from a source of fear and selfishness or not. We all are given with the same coin every day, which we really get to choose which side it will show and thus define our day. We are given with the chance every single moment, to show up. For what we believe, for our loved ones and for what deeply matters to us. We are gifted with the opportunity to be nice to each other, to respect one another, to try and support each other, to listen each other and try and solve our problems together. Each human has the ability to turn our hearts and minds to operate with one way or another. When you meet someone that is either respectful or always focuses on the negatives, tries to pull people down and be judgmental, remember that that person has made his/her choice. The idea of hell, punishment, karma etc that exists in most religions, is great in some aspects and really bad in some others. The bad thing is that it fails to bring people face to face with the impact of their actions, now. Not in the next life, when they may be born as a grasshopper or a dolphin, but now. I am a strong believer that everything we give to the world, it comes back to us. Do we put out negativity and self-obsession? This is what will come back to us.
And as our actions define who we are, who we are defines our actions, too. Can we change? We can. If we choose to. If again we don’t, it is our choice, we are not the victims of anyone.
What does that mean for education? How do educate our kids and youth, our societies to be conscious of the choice they are given everyday to lead a life on these 2 scenarios, these 2 sides? And how do we make them confident enough to always lead a life, by being true to the best of human nature?
The best of human nature in my view is expressed and manifested in communities. In tribes, in circles, in gatherings of people and not in isolation. Technology has isolated us, many believe. I see an opposite trend. I see people in need to be part of a group, of something bigger, of something they can co-shape, co-design and co-create with people that care as much as they do. Technology has enabled us to expand and keep a virtual community, that answers our basic need of belonging and at the same time feeling that we are special. How do we bring that offline and what role can Education play in this?
In a fast-food type of world, as I call it, where we ask for shortcuts in everything we do, how will we “convince” people that they need to invest time in actually building authentic relationships that help them be closer to their heart and advance, excel not only in their careers, but as complete, entire individuals?
This is why school in its traditional form of a place, where learners come together to learn, experiment and create is so crucial, compared to any other time in history. Either we choose to replace our schools, classmates, first day of school, schoolyard games with a laptop and an application or we change the system – and that can only be done if individuals, corporate and public sector work together – so that it not only uses technology for learning, but it also helps to build communities of learning, of co creation and of innovation. We have focused a lot on teacher-centered education, we have moved to student-centered education, maybe it is time to move to the community-centered education, where we actually teach our kids to realize the power they have as individuals to support, empower and develop the community and through that, themselves.
If we talk about sustainable innovation that will move the world and our communities forward, we don’t only mean about changing a habit, we talk about changing a culture. When we talk about changing a culture, there is no other way than investing in education, or in other words in purposeful, structured and reflective learning. Any other effort to attempt systemic change, that is based solely on technology, money or by people that do not see themselves as serving a community and its purpose will fail. And that is their choice, too.