Sunday, July 29, 2012

Literacy Vs Education:

It’s a very thick line between being literate versus being educated. A person who just knows about stuff on the surface is a literate person but somebody who actually understands something and practices it is in reality, an educated person. Oh yes, sometimes it takes ages and peeling off layers of ego to shift from the first to the latter.

Let me give you an example.

I know two women, both in their late 20s and early 30s. S is a graduate and risen in her career due to her brilliant work. She loves kids to death and is touched by human stories. She pays for the education and welfare of a girl child somewhere in rural India. Whenever I broach the topic of environment, she gets bored and tells me categorically that she is not interested. That human life and humanity is more importance to her than environmental issues. Yet, when we discussed about not bringing in plastic bags in our houses, she readily agreed. Now even after 5 years, her house is plastic free. Though she is not overly fond of animals, she has made friends with a neighbour’s dog and tries to help out stray kittens and dogs. Moreover, she’s conscious of wastage of water, over use of electricity and other environment related things.

And then there is N. N is a journalist from a good institute and therefore doing well in her career. She told me that she likes wildlife and environment and wants to pursue that from her career perspective. Yet, when I told her that she should stop taking plastic bags, she just laughed. I even gave her a foldable cloth bag which she has never used. Her house is littered with plastic bags of various size and shape. Like all others, she takes a plastic bag when she buys even a toothbrush. She hates stray dogs, cats, crows and even squirrels. She wants more resorts to open up near wildlife reserves to help wildlife lovers like her.  And she switches on the light in the morning instead of opening her window.

To others, N is far more intellectual, educated and aware than S will ever be. But for me S will always be a better human being and a higher soul than N and others.