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Soulless Education

"I fear most the new highly educated class of this country. They have high IQs, are very intelligent, very skilled and professional. They're eloquent as well. But. They lack basic human elements and qualities & courtesies such as humbleness, sacrifice, humility, etc. etc. They have become soulless."

This thought reminds me of the conversion story of former British PM's relative, who went to Palestine on a visit. During a cold night, she was trembling in cold because she didn't have blanket or stuff to sleep in. Then a Muslim lady, her destitute host, shared her own blanket, so that her guest could sleep well. This display of generosity changed her perceptions about Muslims, where she previously considered Muslims to be sort of demons of terror, and now she encountered angelic behavior from same people.

The lady might be very poor and be ill-educated (by educated i strictly mean getting modern school/college education), she might have least of IQ, or awareness about social sciences and what not. But, the quality of character, which impressed an educated lady, is also unmatched and operates at a different plane, of which modern education has no sense of.

In fact this moral education is no more a part of modern university education (at the least). "Julie Reuben, a professor at Harvard has written a book about how morality and character development were explicit goals of university education in the early twentieth century, but these goals were abandoned in favor of a purely technical education later on," writes Dr Asad Zaman who became a victim of the social sciences of West during his education at MIT. In the same article, he narrates how imitation of Western professionals and philosophies of life turned him into a soulless human:
At a personal level, I saw my fellow students attitudes towards others to be selfish andexploitative, instead of caring and compassionate. Having absorbed the implicit message that professional accomplishment was the goal of life, I was shocked to learn of the really pathetic personal lives of many of the professionals I had thought to emulate. The general philosophy that individual goals are valued above social ones leads to betrayal of wives and families, violation of commitments of all types, and pursuit of personal and career goals even at expense of society. The purely technical education offered by the West does not teach us anything about the crucial parameters which govern how meaningful our lives are. In several crucial dimensions, the lessons of Tableegh were diametrically opposed to those which I had absorbed in the course of my Western education. These lessons showed me that the teachings of Islam are as fresh and as revolutionary today as they were fourteen centuries ago; they do not stand in need of updates for modern times. It is impossible to convey these experience-based lessons in writing, so I will just describe one of them.

What you personify is what you should become

You might have seen a young Pakistani boy fly a fighter jet using his hand, or drawing aircraft sketches on his notebooks. He imitates a pilot. He is thrilled by the sound or image of a fighter jet. He has, what psychatrists call, personified himself as a fighter pilot. The level of association surpasses every boundary and attains the rank of janoon, or craze. Such men, as per experts of mind & body, do extraordinary thing. Only janooni people do that, who like a crazy science students "do not wish to go home (from their lab)." Who want to do that thing whole day 24/7.

The role of parents is not to come in their way, assuming the passion is not unIslamic or unethical. The role of school is to aid that passion by giving them opportunity to play such roles. It may be in form of an activity where the student can live that character. For instance, if a girl wants to be a teacher, she be given apron, a class and students to teach to. A student given all authorities of a principle, and is trained what to do on working day, and then given the task to run the school.

This way of learning is most effective. Its hands-on knowledge. When they grow up and actually come to perform these roles, they'd have confidence to do it inshaAllah.

We should ask our children to solve our daily problems. If the gate cannot be locked from inside, ask them for a solution. Encourage them. Even if you know solution, make them to think, so that they can become problem solvers.

(These were some of the thoughts I gained from the company of my mentor Dr. Agha, who's trained in psychiatry from Royal College of Psychiatry, UK.)

Deep Smart

SO i have also come across a deep smart, whose intuition power is very strong - but not for the first though.

We're travelling in a car from city A to city B. One of us got a call reporting that one suicide bomber has been caught in metropolitan city A in a bank. My father said that he can't be a (regular) suicide bomber. He must be using it loot the bank; he'd have shown it to people and thereby terrifying them, would have tried to get his hands on bank's cash.

MashaAllah, i quote DAWN newspaper, leading newspaper of Pakistan, which confirmed my father's intuition the next day:

"Robber held with fake bombs

LAHORE: May 28: In what appeared to be a Hollywood-style adventure, an alleged robber tried to loot cash from bank by displaying two fake bombs at Akbar Chowk in Township. The suspect was however captured by the bank's security guards and handed over to police."

Don't Sacrifice Quality for Short-term Profit Goals

Books on productivity would tell you that management's decision to pursue short-term profit goals by curbing quality would result is various kinds of losses, including, rework, defects, loss of customer goodwill, etc.

Well i tasted this thing on the first day of a small start-up - namely a juice cafe - in college. I brought a labor guy with me, trusting his experience working in homes as chef, etc. He after seeing how costly our drink was, as it used 4-6 different kinds of fruits and/or fruit juices (packaged/unpackaged) concluded on day # 1 that this business won't make a nickel. Hence, he started to use some water in it to dilute it, to reduce costs. This juice was never meant to use water. Nonetheless, i made a big mistake and let him do that, thinking what difference can this little amount of water can make.

During the day & afterward, the most crucial negative customer feedback we got was that there was too much water in it - perhaps he mistook water for fruits & juices! Some asking to add something else apart from water.

How disastrous! From next day onwards we didn't add single droplet of water apart from what was coming through fruit juice; except in 1 juice which has to have water in it.

I forgot a fundamental business lesson: all investments are not covered on day 1! Moreover, you saw how low commitment to quality resulted in loss of goodwill & defects. Its important to note that the excess of water is "critical-to-quality" (CTQ) in juices for customers. It wasn't something customer didn't care about.