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The Role of Education in Personality-building

By Karmayogi

What is generally considered in general knowledge is Information. Information depends upon memory. Ideas are superior to information. It is said children will understand ideas only after the age of 14. Mother says sometimes they do so even after the age of 7. If information develops memory, ideas develop Thinking. Beyond these two lies the Personality of the child. An old Tamil proverb says a litre, even when dipped in the sea, can contain only a litre, not more. How much one receives does not depend upon the amount given but the quantity one can contain and retain.

Modern schools are becoming nationally famous for the attainments of their children. Such attainments are information and ideas. The personality of the child grows, if it grows, by itself, not by any effort of the school. The growth of the child’s Personality is NOT a conscious aim of any school anywhere in the world, nor is the world conscious of such a phenomenon. In my view, all good schools can successfully try this.

What then is this mysterious element of Personality? It is not an endowment like intelligence of the mind or a skill of the body. It is the endowment of the entire Being, still not fully formed, but ready to take shape when it is challenged by a situation character cannot handle. A carpenter acquires physical skill. It is remembered by the PHYSICAL memory. Mind memorises formulas. Neither is knowledge; both are skills. Deep ploughing takes the roots down, preserves moisture, gives a great yield. This is not merely information, but an idea based on information. The Westerner discovered that pleasing the customer increases business. Though selfish, it is another man’s point of view, a spiritual idea, as the Spirit considers the other man’s profit as one’s own welfare. What acquires this value is NOT manners, behaviour or even character. It is the Personality of MAN which new-creates and expands endlessly.

Can schools create this Personality and develop it? Here there is a selfish personality, selfless personality, social personality, psychological personality and finally Spiritual Personality. To create a grade scheme or syllabus to develop these levels of personality is not a difficult task. The teaching community should realise the TRUTH of these values. The crown is the Spiritual Personality that creates the GENIUS. As the mass of people do not believe in this possibility, this subject remains unexplored.
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