The Purpose of Education

Ever older I grow, learning along the way. ~ Solon (Greek lawgiver)

As one who left the teaching profession after nearly half a century, suffering from a slow shock at what it had become, I appreciated these words of another departing teacher: “I am not leaving my profession, in truth, it has left me. It no longer exists. … For the last decade or so, I have had two signs hanging above the blackboard at the front of my classroom, they read, ‘Words Matter and ‘Ideas Matter.’ While I still believe these simple statements to be true, I don’t feel that those currently driving public education have any inkling of what they mean.”

What is the purpose of education? A noble one. To help (primarily young) people continue the process of self-discovery that unfolded (hopefully) in the bosom of the family. From the learning individual’s point of view, it is to discover the meaning of life and who we are within it. By these criteria, our educational systems are failing us badly. They have collapsed in the face of a popular culture dedicated to “entertainment,” leading us down the spiral of competition and violence. Not to dwell on or further analyze this failure, our virtual ‘school’ is our attempt to fulfill that purpose. We do this, of course, from a specific angle, or viewpoint: nonviolence. And we are constantly bring gratified to observe how well this works. Gandhi said, after all, that “nonviolence is the law of the humans,” the very essence of what it means to be a human being, especially in this violent world. So have we discovered in our own experiments with the truth of nonviolence – the truth that we are all connected in, as King calls it, “a seamless garment of destiny.” And so we strive to help others to discover for themselves as well. Learning nonviolence is in this sense a journey of self-discovery

If we could, we would establish ourselves in a proper “brick and mortar” facility offering personal contact with all of you inclined to participate in the Metta Center’s online courses. There is no substitute, we still believe, for sustained personal contact; but in the present circumstance a “small but mighty” non-profit like ours (the words of a friend from Chicago) also has a critical role to play for people who may be far off geographically but close in mind and spirit. The nonviolent are always resourceful!