Monday, August 22, 2011

Only the Poor would Survive

I’ve been raised in the belief that in order to survive, I need to have a good education, so that I can get a good job, a lot of money and from there I’ll be able to take care of myself.
Having moved to South Africa, this belief of mine has been challenged.
In coming to live on a farm, I quickly realised that all the knowledge I gathered over the years through schooling, had become completely useless – none of it was able to be applied or used in this new environment. I had to learn how to do everything as though I had never done anything my whole life.
All that I was able to do, was limited by that which I had learnt and studied in school. Anything outside of that was ‘unknown territory’ and I believed that it was ‘not for me’ because I hadn’t prepared myself through schooling/education to participate in that.
In my stay on the farm and in South Africa, I have met several people who have done a whole range of things during their life and who seem to be able to take on any challenge, no matter in which ‘field’ or of what ‘type’. This is in sharp contrast to the (adult) people I knew in Belgium: they had a stable job, which they had been doing for years and which they would probably continue doing for years. They had studied to ‘become something’, then they became it and then they simply remained as it. They have one profession and that’s it – one profession that requires a certain kill-set. Anything outside of this profession and skill-set, is ‘unknown territory’ and should be taken on by people who have educated themselves/ specialised in different fields, professions or skill-sets.
survival-425What I see here, is that the overall economic situation in Belgium is simply ‘more stable’ than in South Africa. In Belgium, you can afford to study just one profession and remain as it, because you’ll probably be able to keep that particular job for a very long time. In South Africa, however, the economic situation is not as stable and one requires to continuously look out for new opportunities or jobs in order to generate an income. Here one requires to adapt to the environment. “These are the available jobs/opportunities at this time: either adapt yourself to these jobs/opportunities, or suffer.”
Therefore, in general, people here are better at adapting themselves to change and if ever world war III breaks out, or a world-disaster occurs – it is those people who will be able to survive – as they will simply adapt to the situation and become whoever they require to become – not defined by any education or studies. Whereas, in a country like Belgium, people are so used to everything remaining the same, that if a war breaks out or a world-disaster occurs, they won’t know what hit them and they will literally be like fish on the land – because they didn’t ‘design themselves’ to adapt to change effectively.
And so, again, all is in reverse. Those countries with high levels and standards of education believe their population to be superior to countries with low levels and standards in education. But the result is that if you train yourself really well and really long in one thing, you are excluding yourself from everything else. In terms of living-skills and survival-skills – you’re useless if you cannot adapt to change. It is those who live in countries where the economic situation is unstable and the education standards are low – who are superior human beings.
Within designing a new, Equal, Money system – we require to re-design our education systems as well – because, you won’t require to study really hard to become very good at one profession, to get a ‘good job’, to have a lot of money in order to survive. Money will be here, will be provided unconditionally.
Education should train a person in a wide variety of skills. In school, I chose to study Latin-maths – and the only ‘skill’ I learnt here, was to study something by heart. In other studies, one learnt how to cook, in another one learnt how to work with engines and so on. Why are those classes not available to everyone? And why are all classes where someone requires to make their hands dirty, seen as ‘less’ and ‘for dumb people’?? With all my knowledge, I wasn’t able to do anything when it came to practical living!
If money and income don’t determine the value of a certain job, profession or skill-set anymore – people will actually be willing to develop all kinds of skills, whereby we are no longer limited and completely dependant on others to ‘get things done’. Each one can then explore themselves into various different applications, fields, skills and professions. Herein, the focus of education will shift from survival to life. Education should not exist for the purpose of survival – survival should be a given – education should focus on life and how to live effectively.
Currently – with all the education in place – still no-one knows how to live. How to live is not something that you learn in school, it’s something you have to apparently ‘figure out’ in your ‘spare time’. If education were to actually focus on Life and not Survival – what would the world look like?


  1. Also the thing is with knowledge, you learn stuff and you forget it. I have to learn big books now, and before smaller ones, and a lot of the information just goes out of your brain.
    But when I learn things practicly, farming for example or simply dancing or anything physical, it stays with me and I dont forget it.