EDUCATION OF THE HEART











To me, the greatest educator is the one who inculcates in me the value of living in harmony with others… What a value that is! What an education!

When I look back at my life of six decades, I truly feel, that one ability to grow up harmoniously with people of all faiths, class and character, has been my greatest education. Despite the extreme polarization we all get to witness, time and again, around us, and despite the seeds of hatred that are being sown all around us regularly, a significantly large section of people has chosen to live in this very world in peace and harmony rather than being obsessed with the illusion of living in ‘another world’ with a grander kind of life…

What is the use of hating my neighbour now, here on this very land, and still consumed by the desire of living with ‘like-minded neighbours’ when we move to another land?

To me, whoever undermines the importance of living in harmony here and now and sells me a pipe-dream about another world – a Heaven or Kingdom of God or Ramrajya or an Utopia whatever that is… well, to me, he is a charlatan. A better world tomorrow is possible only if we respect life – and people – in this world. No one has seen heaven and hell except in the dramatic stories told to him…

Let’s, therefore, just learn to live harmoniously with everyone around us. That’s enough… That’s the supreme form of education. People around us have different form of worship, dressing, eating, living… and appreciating, respecting and celebrating that difference has to be the highest form of education…

Divisive thoughts are the worst thoughts… and, whoever tries to poison our minds with those thoughts are making this world a hell. They are the Taliban… destroyers of education… They worship a dead God!

Let me conclude. To me, the only God is the ‘living God’… the human next to me. The only heaven is my immediate surroundings. And, if I haven’t learnt to worship this God and if I haven’t learnt to savour this heaven, then, the God and the heaven of faraway land are simply meaningless.

Education of the heart!


GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Kamal Kishore Rikhari


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