Thursday, 5 August 2010

Why acquire knowledge?

The several heated interactions with the students during the class on Ancient Western Philosophy have been very realistic and enriching (at least to me, and hopefully to the students too). One such was the one we had this morning. It all began with the whole question of why to learn, why at all to acquire knowledge? Discussing Plato, I opened up that question to the students and asked them to answer from their own personal contextual perspective. At first there was total silence. Then slowly a few of them started giving some holy and pietistic answers, most of which fell apart the moment I asked them a second question based on their own answers. Surprisingly they really had no answer or rather, I would like to think that they 'could not think of an answer'. And then came the bolt out of the blue: They asked me for an answer!! But I had my answer: to make myself useful to others and meaningful to myself. Whatever does not fit in these parameters, is not really my cup of tea or immediately required issues that I need to tackle or spend my energies on. I really want to make the most of this life, the opportunities I'm blessed with and the possibilities laid out before me. I know that I do not really make everything work for me but at least I need to make an all out effort.

I really believe that unless and until each one has a worthy answer to questions such as these, one will be going around in circles and wondering why isn't any progress or growth taking place.

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