The Slow Awakening Toward the need for Holistic Personal Growth and Learning for the joy of learning.

Education has always been a cornerstone of human progress and should always be aimed at empowering mankind at every level: existentially, morally, mentally, physically, environmentally, socially, and spiritually. However, its trajectory has been shaped and sometimes warped by various power structures. Education has changed and is in a process of constant evolution. These changes range from its monopolization by the church to its transformation during the Industrial Revolution. It is time for a new dawn in education that fosters true enlightenment and holistic development not just for economic growth.

Education for the Elite

Historically, education was designed to serve humanity’s intellectual and moral growth. Ancient civilizations, such as Greece, Mesopotamia, and Rome, all valued education as a means of cultivating informed and virtuous citizens. However, during the Middle Ages, the Church became the key curator of knowledge, meaning that it was selectively disseminated to those who could influence the course of history, restricting it to the clergy and the elite and withholding education from the public. This exclusivity and monopolization preserved the social hierarchy and reinforced the Church’s authority, ensured education served the church’s interests, maintained control over those in power, and perpetuated its influence. By limiting access to education, the Church effectively suppressed intellectual freedom and innovation, ensuring that only a privileged few could challenge or reshape societal norms.

Education for the Workforce

With the beginning of the Industrial Revolution came a significant turning point in education. As industries expanded, there was an urgent need for a skilled and literate workforce. Industry tycoons, recognizing the economic benefits of an educated population, pushed for educational reforms. Governments implemented compulsory education, transforming it into a tool for producing efficient workers. This change was less about enlightenment and more about economic utility, preparing individuals to meet the demands of industrial society.

The Rise in Living Standards

After this, living standards gradually improved as wages increased. People wanted to learn more to earn more. So, we saw that once it was only the select few that would be able to attend university, it became the norm and expected that individuals would attend university. Education was free and all you needed was to pass the standardised tests that showed your deemed standardised intelligence, the doors to your education were opened. However, governments are now capitalising on this need and higher education is becoming big business. Again, we see that a divide is emerging between the haves and the have-nots, the elite can afford to attend prestigious schools where cutting-edge education is offered and the lower and middle classes are reduced to the standardized education that prepares them for the treadmill of life. History is repeating itself and the population is being controlled by those in power.

The influence of Technology

Technological advancements led to the reduction of the need for manual labour, leading to increased leisure time for the sectors of the population while for others this meant minimum wages or unemployment. For those with newfound time, information disseminated through social media has sparked changes in societal values. It is still unknown what the long-term effects of these changes will have on a society that is incapable of discerning truth from misinformation. Generations who are now growing up bombarded with a plethora of videos and images of all kinds are intoxicated by a technological high and addicted to social acceptance. This is a self-perpetuating addiction. As I heard someone say once society has the idea of what causes addiction completely wrong. Addiction is caused not by chemical hooks or predispositions but by a lack of connection to others or holistic happiness and fulfilment.

How many of you have seen a group of teenagers or even adults for that matter sitting together and glued to their phones scrolling and texting to others? We are losing our ability to connect to others and creating this self-perpetuating addition to digital social media connection which ironically, increases our feelings of disconnection. What is more the content that turns viral is more than likely not at all enlightening or fostering our personal growth but instead simply scams or time wasters.

What is more the effects of confirmation bias are seen in all search engine algorithms driving individuals into more and more entrenched and extremist views and causing cognitive dissidence when they find information that fails to support their preconceived views and beliefs.

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have indeed democratized information enabling individuals to share ideas and challenge established norms. However equally, while they can empower and inform, they can also be used to spread misinformation and manipulate public opinion. Governments and powerful entities exploit social media to maintain control over the population, using fake news and propaganda to influence beliefs and behaviours.

Learning for Learning’s Sake

That said these changes in society, employment, and free time spent on social media have played a role in a slow awakening. People are beginning to question the traditional narrative of life as merely a pursuit of work and wealth. There is a small sector of people who now believe that education and lifelong learning is something that we should seek out and the idea of learning for the joy of acquiring wisdom and personal growth is again starting to take hold.

History shows that societies flourish when learning is pursued for its own sake. The Golden Age of Athens, the intellectual achievements of the Library of Alexandria, and the philosophical advancements of Ancient Greece all illustrate the profound impact of education driven by curiosity and the joy of discovery. These periods produced significant advancements in philosophy, science, and the arts, emphasizing the value of enlightenment.

Given these changes, the current educational model is outdated. Despite government claims to reform education for the holistic benefit of society, true holistic education that encourages critical thinking and individual growth threatens established power structures. A truly transformative education system must emerge from grassroots movements rather than top-down mandates.

A holistic education emphasizes the interconnectedness of all aspects of learning. It encourages individuals to explore diverse areas of study, integrate knowledge, and develop their ability to think critically about abstract ideas. This is an education that truly nurtures creativity, empathy, and ethical understanding, and it will prepare individuals to navigate the increasingly complex global challenges that we face today. It promotes self-nurturing and positive evolution, fostering a society that values human connections and ethical leadership.

Conclusion

Historic events around education prove the government’s need for an educated but malleable and submissive population. This new model will not emanate from government or elite circles but from grassroots movements and community initiatives. By taking accountability for our actions and responsibility for the effect we have on those around us and our immediate environment, we can and must choose to nourish our lives holistically from within, with an education that prioritizes human values over economic imperatives. It is fundamental that we actively choose to nurture ourselves to evolve positively globally.

True progress is not solely driven by wealth or power but by the connections we forge and the legacies we leave behind. Education should inspire individuals to contribute positively to society, fostering a sense of responsibility and interconnectedness. By setting examples of compassion, integrity, and innovation, we can create a ripple effect that transforms the world.

The historical trajectory of education shows its potential for both enlightenment and control. We have a pivotal decision to make. We must choose to advocate for a new dawn and an entirely new definition of education. This transformative vision will empower individuals with holistic learning, enabling them to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to a just and equitable society. By accepting this vision, we ensure that education once again serves the true purpose of advancing humanity.

The call for educational reform reflects a growing sentiment among the global population. Studies show that as the types of employment available change the lifestyle of the digital nomad is becoming ever more popular. People want to work to live and not live to work as they always have done. However, now we increasingly we can value personal growth, mental health, and meaningful connections over material wealth. These trends indicate a collective desire for an education system that fosters holistic development and prepares individuals for the complexities of a rapidly changing, modern life. Don’t be left out!