Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The God of Academia

I recently heard a quote from somewhere that one needs education in order to influence the world. Each time I hear it, I find myself disagreeing more than I can agree. Yes, the world needs those people who will  sacrifice their lives to plunge full boar into education... not to mention debt. But somehow, we forget that the world is not made up of academia alone.

I've been in school for a year now. I've noticed that people tend to treat me differently when I tell them I'm a student. They speak positively about my future & encourage me to keep pressing forward. At least I'm doing something with my life. But folks tend to treat you differently if you aren't a student, have little aspiration or opportunity to be one. They'll talk down to you, imply you're lazy... They treat you like you're a little less smart or valuable than the rest of the population. It subtle, but it happens. I used to think this way, even about myself, but  I've realized that school is not the end-all-be-all.

I'll eventually get a paper that says I accomplished something. I used to think that was a big deal, but I pack diploma paper & other office products every day. What makes it so special? Is it the calligraphy? Is it the ceremony? Is it the signature of some guy you've never met before in your life? Is it the $$ you paid (or are in debt) for it?! Or is it more about the representation of dedication & sacrifice? If that's all that's needed to be a successful  influence in the world, I can think of far greater endeavors than years of debt to academia to accomplish it!

I'm not sold on the necessity of education as a means of obtaining a "better life". It can be beneficial, of course, but necessary? I'm not so sure. I don't have an insatiable hunger for status, $$ or things... I may die poor in spirit & penniless, but if I lived my life for what matters, it will have been worth more than a hundred degrees. This is foolishness to the world. We should want to conquer, to seize the day, to stake our claim! Education seems to be the answer to anything you could ever want in life. But the wisdom of God tells me I'm just a sojourner here. This place is not my home. Who will get the glory in the end? The almighty "god" of Academia or God Almighty of Heaven & Earth?

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