Ramadan Reflection Day 7: The Underrated Mind

Photo by Johan Hansson


Today, I finished reading John Taylor Gatto’s amazing book – Weapons of Mass Instruction. I highly recommend anyone who can read to give that book a go. After reading it, my mind was swimming with thoughts and I’d like to share one of them here.

One of the things that I am grateful of in my lifetime is the joy of self-discovery i.e. discovering things on your own and creating meaning from those discoveries using your own original thoughts. It is indeed a joy and a reward in and of itself.

Like a small child who discovered that he/she can stand up, that he/she found a peculiar furry creature people called a cat, or that the sounds that people mutter to each other is a form of communication called a language.

Moments of discovery can manifest themselves in many ways, one of them is through connecting the dots. Often times, we are so focused on the individual dots that we don’t see the connections between them.

For example, more often than not, whenever I tell people that I am majoring in Biology and Psychology, their usual response – with a bewildered facial expression -, “Are those two related?” I don’t blame them, considering how we treat knowledge nowadays as compartmentalized and separated groups that has little or no relevance towards one another.

Multidisciplinary individuals are a rarity nowadays because a mind that can connect the dots is a dangerous one.

Not too long ago in our human history, you will find Muslim scholars who were also scientists, social scientists, physicians, philosophers, engineers, craftsmen, poets, etc. Not only were they able to master these so-called different disciplines, but they were also able to weave them together into a meaningful fabric that they wear to protect themselves against the weather designed to cloud the gullible minds.

An individual was born with curiosity, with intelligent, and with the ability to be self-taught. Observe any child and you will see that. For example, ever wonder how children learn a language? They do it so easily; from their first syllable, to their first words, to their first sentences, and to their first coherent thought.

Amazing feat isn’t it?

Such is the state of mind of a child – full of untapped potential. I realized how much we underestimated the potential of a child. I realized that, more often than not, we are barriers to the child’s development rather than the scaffolds that the child can stand on to go higher and higher.

There’s a lot that I wanted to say on this topic. So many thoughts in my head but due to my inability to coherently express those thoughts in words, I think it’s best if I stop now and structure my thoughts properly for another occasion.

But I will leave you with this:

“Every child is born an artist, the problem is to remain an artist once they grow up.” ~ Pablo Picasso

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