“Someday, in the distant future, our grand-children’ s grand-children will develop a new equivalent of our classrooms. They will spend many hours in front of boxes with fires glowing within. May they have the wisdom to know the difference between light and knowledge.”

Plato (PLATO’S DOCTRINE: 909 Relics of Greek Philosophy).

Knowledge, Learning and Wisdom has same context no matter what age we live in (Amply illustrated from the above quote from the great 3rd century BC, philosopher).

When we were kids and young and going through our formative years not yet experiencing the rough realities of life, everything was adventure and fun. The cost of failure was often a bruised ego, simple disappointment, lost acquaintance, or a moody couple of days. Then we move forward choosing our next struggle.

In those days for most of us from the countryside and villages had the wonders of nature all around us. For those in Urban areas had the stimulation of industrial, technological and the business world. Though the experiences were different for both these groups, there was one thing which was common which was the real physical interaction with the eco system around us.

That interaction shaped the lives teaching valuable lessons enabling us with skills to take the future head on. To stand back up from the devastations of real-life setbacks.

The schooling and study complemented with this interaction, helped a chemistry graduate to excel in Computer science, or a Literature guy build a successful business. Sports, Local Clubs and Library groups were lessons and assignments in teamwork, leadership, exploration of knowledge which went beyond the subject for exams. The Physical and Mental Muscles build during those years helped us to successfully navigate situations which were thrown to us in careers which often had nothing to do with what we studied.

A Chemistry professor explaining the difference in usages of “The” in sentences and citing Aldous Huxley inviting curiosity to explore them is the experiences we cherish, moments which changed us. The teachers who had eclectic knowledge, who went beyond the syllabus to show us faculties of life were enabling us for the future. They inspired us to expand our mental horizons looking for books and movies, conversations and friends which was not simple entertainment.

This generation has the whole world in fingertips.
The skills they need and capabilities they must have, are vastly different.
They will learn and become equipped probably from their ecosystem.

“Old days were great. Now it is so messy and bad”

This could be the most predictive repetitive quote which recurs at intersections of any generations probably with a 20-year gap.  We had heard this from our parents and now we repeat that with our Children’s generation. This often reflects a fear of the unknown which we are not nurtured to handle. It reflects the anxiety of an earlier generation observing the new generation living a different experience.

Real life setbacks can be devastating. It needs much more than recovering from a video game loss and playing another or switching to another entertainment video out of sheer boredom or craving for more.

Learning is painful. The pain to create instincts and brain muscles. It demands curiosity and openness. It is not immediate gratification. It is an urge to pick, choose and chew information to taste the knowledge to savour it for times to come. An entertainment video or game cannot provide that which often creates a craving for more and make one intellectually obese.

It is in this setting; Bonny’s classroom is being introduced.

It is a Chemistry professor venturing into the realms of literature and social science.
It is a literature teacher divulging into the vastness of Universe and “Sophies World” with same vigour.
It is a window to look out and enjoy the landscape creating a craving to venture out and explore.
It is connecting learning to life.

The book on Plato’s doctrine continued the opening quote as follows.

“There should be no element of slavery in learning. Enforced exercise does no harm to the body but enforced learning will not stay in the mind. So, avoid compulsion, and let your children’s lessons take the form of play.

Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.
Do not train Children to learning by force and harshness but direct them to it by what amuses their minds.

Our love for our children springs from the soul’s greatest yearning for immortality.”

It is a pleasure to be part of conversations which shapes this Journey.

Hope joining this community Help you and your children explore and kindle the spirit of real learning. It may not focus on scoring for subjects as priority but will be a pleasant by-product.

Santhosh Varghese