The Sacred Duty of Education

teacher's desk

To learn is one of the most noble pursuits of man. To increase one’s knowledge is synonymous to increasing one’s self worth, as least in a secular mode of thought. Value determines relationships, careers, and happiness. Knowledge is a foundation for where one goes in life and will ultimately determine the person one becomes.  Where beauty and physical prowess fade and wither, an education, if oiled and kept in good repair, will last longer than any other human capacity.
So knowledge remains the most valuable stock in the market economy. It will always return, but not always in a pecuniary manner. I am thus obligated to be a giant sponge, and let scores of teachers swarm me, some who have degrees and work in schools, and others less formal. Some I call my mentors, others my friends and families, and many my flaws.
The ethereal manner of some of my teachers remind me of shades, and they dress in gauzy costumes and dance like leaves who haven’t been told it’s not autumn. They entrance me with beautiful colors and show me hidden alcoves where fish and denizens flash in pristine pools. Their innocent natures deceive me and I watch as their pretty faces stretch into wolfish fiends as their jaws begin to tear at my soul. They are my mistakes and flaws, and I fend them off limply with a flyswatter.
In the end, whether my teachers bring me joy or bring me pain, I must invite them into the forum of my thought’s, where receptors in my conscious carefully sift facts and truths into a receptacle for later use. I dare not dismiss any of them; the ones I despise teach me the hardest lessons. Besides, it is my sacred duty to listen.

A New Outlet

In a world like ours, an audience is one thing that is not lacking. A few simple keystrokes and the world knows your intimate thoughts. What an idea! In centuries and millennia past, the labor of publishing an idea was one of great toil, and lacked instantaneous results present in today’s age.

One of the earliest forms of publishing was practiced by Sumerians as they practiced one of the most early writings called cuneiform. Egyptians used pictograms we know today as hieroglyphs. Paper, revolutionary paper, was first widely created by ancient Chinese. Another great bound in publishing an idea was accomplished in the printing press and movable type, thank you very much Gutenberg. Even with all this, the distribution of anything valuable in the written word was costly, and only reached a small portion of the population. More was needed.

Transportation was one developing technology. In the ancient Americas, lack of a swift pack animal forced the innovation of a mail system by runners, called Chasquis, along their extensive road system. Romans established a more effective system with horses and new road-making technologies. Roads and horses were followed by Fulton’s commercialization of the steamboat and the iron horse. Before transcontinental trains the East and the West kept contact through the legendary Pony Express. Clipper ships then ships running on coal and other fuels began to dominate the ocean and made the world small. But not until the telegraph was distances once great made small, and the earliest idea of ‘instant messaging’ was put forth.

Collecting of published ideas to give scope to these were needed as well. That means libraries. There was the ill-fated Library of Alexandria, the gathering of knowledge during the Ottoman empire, the collecting of invaluable tomes in monasteries during Medieval times, and the establishment of the largest library in the world, the Library of Congress. This made information readily available to any seekers, and yet they weren’t so readily available until the dawn of the Information Age and the VAST data-bases that cyber-space offers.

And yet another step was needed. Literacy was needed to make a book anything more than fancy toilet paper. Literacy remained often to the privileged upper class and skilled class for centuries, and even then small amount of populations could read. More advanced alphabets and the increasing of reading material opened up more to the need to learn reading. But literacy would have to wait for liberal thinkers of each era to advocate widespread education. Steps backward were even taken, such as the fall of the Roman Empire, and the Catholic clergy hold upon Europe’s knowledge in the Medieval Ages. But as liberal governments were established and education reforms took place, the eyes of the world were opened.

All these evolutions and more had to take place before I could type this message, before you could access it, and before either of us could master this system of markings known as the English alphabet. It’s amazing, and it’s beautiful. It is a manifestation of the ultimate quest of freedom.

Yet I have one complaint. Such an universal ability to publish has made getting ideas out so easy, so popular, that the written world has become inundated with a payload of drivel. Writings that are crude and pointless and shallow have swamped us. These wastes flood and drown out truly worthy ideas in an ocean of words. It is an indication of the falling value of one’s opinion, and the diminished power of word.

This explains my new blog. I have chosen what I think is the most appropriate outlet for my written word, my thoughts, to express to the public word with the maximum ability to be spread without being sullied. I promise quality of work and quality of thought, something I consider refreshing and pure in today’s world. It is a great desire of mine to do this, and I hope that you, dear reader, may take the time.

So I begin