To claim that the goal of an ideal education must be service to humanity may sound quite unusual in this age. In the secular world the worth of a human being is often measured by the degree of knowledge that one has acquired, the papers that one has produced or at best the degree of recognition that one has received from one’s colleagues and leaders. However the degree of joy emanated from these secular measurements have, invariably, little relationship to the every day life of the person. In looking for their children’s educational setting, one often hears parents reflecting these very same secular measurements, the number of computer labs, the size of the gymnasium, and the appearance of the school building, though the heart of an educational organization, from preschool to university, is the attitude inculcated in the students.
The true worth of a human being, in light of our long-term goals, is dependent on the degree to which that human being can be of service to others, because the material world and all its criteria for success will inevitably come to an end for all human beings. We all have to leave this world some day and whether we look forward to or believe in eternal life or not, we do not find another variation. No one can partake of material joy beyond a measured portion.
The Persians say that Alexander The Great had willed that for three days after his passing his hand should be left out of the grave to show to the world that though he had conquered many countries he had left the world empty handed. I was quite surprised to find that this does not seem to be noted in Greek history. Maybe this is the view of the conquered, but he did leave the world empty handed and of all his conquering what is left for us is his services to the world of humanity, if, in fact, there are any.
The history of the life of the rest of us is in the same vein though on a much smaller scale. If the goal of education is anything other than service to humanity, it will never bring happiness to the heart. For example, parents often tell their children to study so that they may be able to earn their livelihood, get a better-paying position and live more comfortably. The best of the children of these parents are those who obey them and are rewarded with exactly what the parents have inspired them to look for, a more comfortable life, a greater degree of recognition and so on.
By the time these children hit mid-life or the first major crisis in their lives, they are beside themselves and like the great Greek Emperor, may ponder on the emptiness of not only their hands but also, more importantly, their hearts. At this stage they will have to re-evaluate the chronicles of their lives and ponder where it went out of sync with the true meaning of life.
A life that is not dedicated to the service of others is often dedicated to the service of one’s self and the service to self is like salt water that would never appease the thirst or the endless pit that could not be filled.
When the goal of education is service to humanity it elevates the student to view life from a higher vista. It is like having a master plan that coordinates the relationships of every aspect of life. It inspires and benefits the student because of its all-encompassing nature. One, who knows the value of others and hopes to serve them and better their lives, would certainly respect his or her life as well and value every opportunity that presents itself.
Service to humanity raises the consciousness of the student to the point of deriving meaning from presented information and transferring knowledge, through experience, into wisdom. Since the human being is created for love, this service to humanity would clothe words with action and knowledge created in this environment regenerates the students and the world around them.
At Roger White academy, we inspire students to learn to serve humanity through the practice of humbly sharing their wisdom gained in academic, visual arts, drama, music, movement and Karate with their fellow students celebrating one another’s success. This mutual help and exchange of expertise empowers them to be of service to their family and community.