This story contains within itself great wisdom and truths that has and can never be refuted.
It is the story of an elephant – a hefty 6000 kilogrammes elephant, tied to a spot by a little chain tied around its ankle by an old farmer.
It is a very popular story – you must have heard, read or seen it somewhere somehow.
Curiously, a young boy approached this old farmer seeking an explanation for this strange act – the elephant is obviously stronger than the chain and only a slight pull would set it free from captivity.
However, contrary to such expectations, the elephant was content to remain tied and never attempted pulling.
The kind old farmer explained the reasoning behind the elephant’s reaction to the chain: the chain was tied to its ankle when it was very much younger and less weighty. Then, it tried on several occasions to obtain freedom but the chain was stronger and it eventually gave up trying.
Saddest part is; it never tried again even though it had grown way stronger than the chain could ever be.
This story very much illustrates the concept of mindsets; how we react to our environment in a fixed manner due to previous experiences or knowledge.
Often times, we adopt a stance, one approach only to varying circumstances not minding their intrinsic differences.
Perhaps, because when Shola was shivering some weeks ago, he boiled some dongoyaaro leaves and he recovered from the cold within a day; so we give Segun the same concoction not minding that Segun is shivering plus vomiting.
We often tend to ignore new ideas, innovations, even proven theories and laws at times because our limited experiences say otherwise.
This has consistently led to one outcome; we remain tied to that one belief, course of action and view of the world no matter how myopic they appear.
How do we change this fixed perception? How do we redefine our world view? What is the way out of our myopic sightedness and adamantine opinions – entertainment or education?
Entertainment, according to Oxford Languages, is the action of providing or being provided with amusement, enjoyment, distraction or diversion. It can also be an event, performance, or activity designed to amuse, delight, distract, divert, beguile, and hold the attention of someone or an audience.
I think it is quite obvious from the very explicit definitions that entertainment simply cannot provide an alternative nor help change our mindset in any way.
It can only distract us from weightier matters that shape our future; it diverts our attention from laying a proper, solid foundation for our tomorrow and it hold our attention from focusing intensely on issues that should matter.
When we turn to entertainment; to drama, music and comedy, we only reflect the same perception of our immediate environment. That same environment that shapes the way we talk, think and act.
But education rather provides a way to escape our immediate surroundings into the worlds that are far from us which we might never be able to reach within the limits of our physical constraints.
Robert M. Hutchins puts it in a better perspective when he said;
“Education is not to reform students or amuse them or to make them expert technicians. It is to unsettle their minds, widen their horizons, inflame their intellects, and teach them to think straight if possible”
Education helps to change our fixed mindset when it unsettles our minds by helping us question the ideas we believe in and hold as true – we learn to constantly reassess our position and stance on issues in the face of new evidences and inventions.
Geography, they say, takes you round the world while seated in a room. It is not only within the confines of geography that you can see the whole world. Education as a whole broadens our horizons as it exposes us to cultures, norms and tradition beyond the limits of our physical environment.
The more one learns, the smarter he becomes as education not only inflame our intellects; it is also to teach us to think straight. A learned man is able to take in new information, facts and ideas, critically analyse them and logical deductions, inferences and informed decisions from such.
In simpler terms, education is the passport to the world!
Ayomide E. Oyekan,
The Editorial Team,
God Is Love Educational Foundation
This is a publication of God Is Love Educational Foundation. Thank you for taking time to read this enlightening article. We hope you enjoyed it? Kindly leave your comments in the box below. Thanks!