Contributed by Mary Grace D. Bagtas – Teacher III, Pablo Roman National High School
Who doesn’t want to change the world? Who doesn’t want to make things better? Who doesn’t dream of a world without war; without corruption in government? Who doesn’t pray for a society where justice, peace and order prevail?
All of us may have the same dream of changing the world. We may even have our own idea of what a ‘changed world’ should be and reasons why we want change. For most of us, a changed world means a world without chaos, a world of peace, and whatever our reasons are, may it be for the betterment of oneself or of everyone, I believe that there is only one way to change the world, and that is through education.
Confucius once said “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” This teaching tells us that achieving peace is a long process. The first step requires that an individual has to undergo years of studies from elementary, secondary and tertiary levels to be able to finally say that he is educated. However, the educational process doesn’t stop there nor is it confined books, not even to the four walls of a classroom, because knowledge without practice is nothing. What one has learned must be applied in real-life situations.
We have been raised to be educated and to transform each one of us from a child to a man, so to speak, yet most of us do not embody the main essence of education – humanity.
It has been said that it is easy to be a human but very hard to be humane, in Filipino, “Madaling maging tao pero mahirap magpakatao.” If people are humane, then they will be honest, there will be no corrupt government; they will be God-fearing, they will kill no one; they will be open-minded and accept and understand the differences of people in character and faith, and there will be no war. If people are humane, then there will be a harmonious society.
Yes, education breeds confidence, but we should balance the confidence we feel. There are those who, because of overconfidence, do unpleasant things to others whether intentional or not. Therefore, humanity must prevail over education and confidence. In confidence, there is hope, and in hope, there is peace. For us to truly achieve world peace, we must first change the world and improve our life because peace breeds prosperity.
Achieving world peace is not easy and may even take months, years and even decades, but it definitely is possible. Those who believe otherwise are those who just sit back and wait for things happen.
By educating the young who will be the next leaders of the world with lessons of humanity, we can make it happen. It may not happen in our time but our contributions as educators at present will be reaped in the future.