If you want to destroy a nation, you would not need a million strong army, or nuclear, or hydrogen bombs in your arsenal: you just have to make it sure that the most prominent and premier institutions/establishments of that country get administered/governed by individuals who have character traits akin to that of ‘Donkeys’, ‘Snakes’ and ‘Monkeys’ as discussed below; and, I promise you, though it might be time consuming, but complete annihilation of that society and nation is imminent; that society would self destruct.
(metaphor for all beings who try to ape others blindly without careful observation, analyses, and reasoning; who think themselves to be the smartest; who exploit other beings’ weakness to achieve their objectives; however, unethical, illegal, or immoral these methods might be; who can visualise only an individual’s external aura and not their internal beauty; people who are often biased, impatient, inflexible, and stubborn; they act before they think; believe in the maxim ‘end justifies the means‘; who protect their brethren, immaterial of the fact that many of them happen to be criminals)
ASSES or Donkeys
(metaphor for beings who can neither see the external aura nor the internal beauty of a human being; who are extremely gullible; who determine quality of work solely on the basis of time that was consumed in achieving that task, irrespective of the imagination, creativity, and innovation that was put into that work; who lack critical thinking; who cannot differentiate between hard work and smart work; who cannot think independently and only know how to follow orders; and have a tendency to blame others for their follies )
(metaphor for beings who react on instincts and not on the basis of firm and analytical reasoning after careful observation; theirs is a world of food, warmth, comfort, and secure hiding spots; even if you bring a snake home, feed it, befriend it and teach it to be friends with you (all of which is possible), you can’t take away the natural instincts of fear from its mind and it is likely to panic and react if your behavior towards it change a little bit) Source: Is it true that snakes have no bond with their owners and will attack them when they feel like it?
become powerful enough, and start influencing and manipulating other peoples’ lives; taking important decisions and formulating important policies in the process; things start changing i.e. going downhill.
When donkeys, monkeys, and snakes have the power to decide the future of every other animal including themselves;
i.e. a bird, by judging how well it flies; a fish by judging how well it swims; a horse by judging how well it gallops, and so on and so forth; when an ass in collaboration with a monkey, and a snake, start influencing decision-making process through manipulation; tinkering with past, present, and future; training all the other animals (students) including themselves on the basis of their judgement, acumen, and incompetence,
it is only then, we cultivate, inefficient, corrupt, inept, incompetent, and irresponsible administration; and hence, a corrupt, irresponsible, and an insensitive society.
What would happen if we start building mortars, shells, guns, and bullets of gold, and jewellery and crowns of iron?
We would not only be doing injustice to the items being made, but also to the elements from which these items are created. But the above mentioned asses, snakes, and monkeys do not have that acumen or common sense. As a result, innocent people (society) suffer(s).
WHAT IS A broad-based Education?
Top lexicographical researcher Barry Popik pointed out the existence of tales about schools for animals that are very valuable for understanding the background behind the creation of this quote.
QI (Quote Investigator) has identified an influential essay called “An Educational Allegory” that was written under the pen name “Aesop, Jr.” and published in the “Journal of Education” in 1898. The author was later identified as Amos E. Dolbear of Tufts, a prominent physicist and inventor. The essay emphasized the absurdity of using a single inflexible standard for assessing the achievement of each individual student. Note that excerpts are usually indented, but for the sake of readability this extended excerpt is not indented: 3
A long time ago, when the animal creation was being differentiated into swimmers, climbers, fliers, and runners, there was a school for the development of the animals. The theory of the school was that the best animals should be able to do one thing as well as another; and if there was an apparent aptitude in a given animal for doing one thing and an apparent inaptitude for doing other things, the time and effort should be spent upon the latter instead of the former.
If one had short legs and good wings, the attention should be given to running so as to even up the qualities as far as possible. So the duck was kept waddling instead of swimming, the pelican was kept wagging his short wings in the attempt to fly. The eagle was made to run and allowed to fly only for recreation, while maturing tadpoles were unmercifully guyed for being neither one thing nor another.
All this in the name of Education.
Nature was not to be trusted in her make up of individuals, for individuals should be symmetrically developed and similar for their own welfare as well as for the welfare of the community. The animals that would not submit to such training, but persisted in developing the best gifts they had, were dishonoured, called narrow-minded and specialists, and special difficulties were placed in their way when they attempted to ignore the theory of education recognized by the school.
No one was allowed to graduate from that school unless he could climb, swim, run, and fly at a certain prescribed rate. So it happened that the time taken by the duck in learning to run the prescribed rate had so hindered him from swimming that he was scarcely able to swim at the prescribed rate, and in addition he had been scolded, threatened, punished, and ill-treated in many ways so as to make his life a burden, and he left school humiliated, and the ornithorhynchus could beat him either running or swimming. Indeed, the latter carried off the prize in two departments.
The eagle made no headway in climbing to the top of a tree. Though he showed he could get there just the same, the performance was counted a demerit, as it had not been done in the prescribed way.
An abnormal eel with large pectoral fins proved he could run, swim, climb trees, and fly a little; he was made valedictorian.
- 1899 October 12, Journal of Education, Volume 50, Number 14, An Educational Allegory by Aesop, Jr. of Tufts College, Quote Page 235, Column 2, New England Publishing Company, Boston, Massachusetts. (HathiTrust full view) link link ↩
For details regarding the evolution of the concept behind the above story, kindly read an excellent article by the Quote Investigator.
A true broad-based education prepares students for life, without losing their areas of specialisation and competence; with an ability to use all, if required at any point in time.
Universities are turning out highly skilled barbarians because we don’t provide a framework of values to young people, who more and more are searching for it.
—-Steven Muller, President, Johns Hopkins University
True education is the education of both the head and heart. An uneducated thief may steal from the freight car but an educated one may steal the entire railroad.
We need to compete for knowledge and wisdom and not for grades.
Knowledge is piling up facts, wisdom is simplifying it.
One could have good grades and a degree and still not learn much.
The most important thing one can learn is to“learn to learn.”
People confuse education with the ability to memorise facts.
If a little knowledge is dangerous, so is a lot of ignorance, which leads to pettiness, fear, dogmatism, egotism, and prejudice. Wisdom is nothing more than dispelling ignorance.
But what is good intellectual education without understanding human dignity and compassion?
SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES ARE FOUNTAINS OF KNOWLEDGE:
SOME STUDENTS COME TO DRINK,
SOME TO SIP
OTHERS JUST TO GARGLE. (You Can Win by Shiv Khera)
“I’m convinced that when we help our children find healthy ways of dealing with their feelings – ways that don’t hurt them or anyone else – we’re helping to make our world safer, better place.” —— Mister Rogers (Edutopia)
The crux of success or failure is to know which core values to hold onto, and which to discard and replace, when times change. — Jared Diamond
The illiterate of the 21st century are not those that cannot read or write, but those that cannot learn, unlearn, and re-learn. — Alvin Toffler
We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist…..using technologies that haven’t been invented……in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet. —- Richard Riley, Secretary of Education under Clinton.
“I am calling on our nation’s governors and state education chiefs to develop standards and assessments that don’t simply measure whether students can fill in a bubble on a test, but whether they possess 21st-century skills like problem-solving and critical thinking, entrepreneurship and creativity,”
“I reject a system that rewards failure and protects a person from its consequences. The stakes are too high. We can afford nothing but the best when it comes to our children’s teachers and to the schools where they teach.”—— Former President of the U.S.A Barack Obama’s Remarks on Education
These individuals are inherently resistant to change, as, even an iota of change means more insecurity. Common people have to beg for their basic/fundamental rights, and a right to decent and happy living is reserved for a select few. Justice is delivered on streets through intelligence agencies, mobsters, and self-styled godmen, rather than government administered courts/judicial system.
Train of ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’ has already left or gets too late, when ‘Lady Justice’ arrives.
Justice in such societies is delivered mainly to keep account books squeaky clean and balanced, rather than, for achieving, the sole purpose of welfare of the society.
In such societies, harassment is perpetuated under the guise of ‘DISCIPLINE’, ‘TEACHING’, and ‘Training’
The system lacks responsibility, transparency, and accountability. Stronger individuals (by means of their external power and position) start blaming and punishing subordinates for the faults arising due to their (superiors) inefficiency, ineptitude, and incompetence.
resulting in either no progress, or delayed progress, and a malformed justice delivery system.
Talent and abilities suffer; wither and wilt; ultimately dying a slow and painful death getting manipulated every now and then.
These individuals who cannot differentiate between ‘HARD WORK’ and ‘SMART WORK (Quality Work)’, often confuse studying at a college or an institution/establishment by working at a job.
Manipulation becomes the norm; people who can be manipulated easily by their superiors; who can easily compromise upon their morals, ethics, and principles, and who follow orders blindly, can survive in such a system and an order,
people who are resistant to manipulation, who favour personal integrity over materialism, are thrown out of the system, as they are unusable for the corrupt administration.
These manipulation resistant humans, are forced to remain outside the system, till the time they conform to the prevailing needs of the system.
It is like a piece of wax being moulded to get the most beautiful and tenacious candle working for the system, by the system, and of the system; a piece of wax that tries to conform to the surroundings with a little amount of stress (heat).
This is a stark reality in education and health sectors in India; hence, an imperfect produce, which negatively affects each and every sector of governance; impacting the welfare of the citizens in an adverse manner.
Eventually, the life becomes unfair.
These administrators or managers (monkeys, donkeys and snakes) treat life as a game of chess and people as mere chess pieces. Though for them (person in power) rules differ, can change after each move, and they have the liberty to change the rules in their favour (they can lie; they can cheat), according to their own convenience.
In addition to checkmate, the game can be won by voluntary resignation by the opponent, which typically occurs when too much material is lost, or if checkmate appears unavoidable. A game may also result in a draw in several ways.
I have had several conversations with many citizens of the United States of America, across various sections of the society; I have observed their daily behaviour (through newspapers, movies, social media etc.); ordinary citizens of the U.S.A are more aware of their rights, and exercise them often, without a fear, or backlash from the system, they know very well that they have an efficient justice delivery system); I can assure you on the basis of my reasoning, analyses, and observation, that they are no different from any average Indian household. Still, there are stark differences between their living status and economy on the whole, when compared to India. The answer lies in their modus operandi, how Indian institutions and establishments are being administered; they lack professionalism.
So, do not expect any Olympic gold medals, or any Nobel Prizes, or for that matter, an immediate improvement in our day to day living, till the time we are ruled by these inept, incompetent, and hence, inefficient administrators.
Such people cannot think that a fault lies in themselves and try to keep changing the world around them so that people around them conform to their liking; rather than making a change in themselves and preventing everyone else from going through that trouble.
A take-home message: People who find faults in everyone else except themselves, can never progress in life, and also, have the ability to make other people’s life a living hell.