Perhaps there are many unanswered questions when it comes to the uncertain future we are moving towards. When we look at the environment, it promises a much harsher life with all the diminishing resources we are using like oil, wood, and food. When we look at the income inequality indices they are showing gaps never seen before. We are no longer sure of what to do and where to invest. However, we can’t stop, we shouldn’t stop, and we should always use hope to find ways towards a brighter future. But where will that be?
I’ve done a fair bit of travelling to many parts of this wonderful earth. I’ve noticed that farmers may be the most rational amongst us. They think of the finished product, its price, and delivery methods. Then they work their way backwards from seasonal harvesting all through how to line up the crops to maximize the limited space and soil. If it’s a large tree, more space is required, and the smaller the plant, the closer the crops get to each other. Everything is carefully organized, planned, and executed.
When it comes to laying down a rational plan for a nation, things get a bit more complicated, relatively not as easy as farming. There are much budgetary issues to account for in each and every developmental plan. Any small policy change, whether good or bad, can lead to massive financial constraints. If the price of a certain subsidized medication for example rises, a nation needs to pump millions extra just to allow the consumer to pay what they have been paying.
Whether it is in the health sector or real estate, most of the world today is dealing with their daily task like there’s no tomorrow, literally. They are continuously borrowing to keep their debt increasing day after day, as if there won’t be a time they would have to pay off all the loans. It’s a problem that the young fear because it will be their world to lead tomorrow.
We can afford, and perhaps allow, the ongoing generation to mess up our economy and environment, but a more serious concern exist when it comes to education. This is where we shouldn’t let go, and we should demand a clear and concise rational plan, one that is different from all the other bureaucratic governmental bodies, where there’s no vision or a mission.
If we go back to the farmer analogy, we can learn much from the constraining factors that face the farmer. The farmer has one of the most important jobs in today’s world, which is making sure that the world population is fed. Yet his pay is not as competitive as most high skilled jobs, like a technician or a doctor. Thus, he tends to operate as efficient as possible because any gain or loss would cause a direct effect on his purchasing power.
What is even more important for us to realize is that a farmer always works towards a goal, which is to have the best products and the most efficient method of production. This will enable him to sell more, make more, and grow more. With this system, everyone benefits, including consumers, us all.
When it comes to education, we should ask ourselves if we are planning well to produce the best products (generation). Are we efficient in our investments, do we continuously review our production (delivery) method, and do we have clear goals of where we want to reach?
Today, I feel like we are teaching our kids for the sake of teaching, with no clear unilateral goal on what kind of generation we would like to see in the future. We don’t need to look into the curriculum or the methods in which our youth are adhering to; we can simply look into the current management to see how little of them lead by example.
The ongoing generation here in Bahrain, and to an extent similar elsewhere, lack the proper ambition to take us all to the next level. They grew up in a highly dependable and unchallenged era. If I see growing debt and goalless education, then I loose hope in whoever is responsible in overlooking these institutions.
Recently, I’ve had the honor and privilege to compete in Florida Ironman alongside His Highness Shaikh Nasser and His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa. They’re both in my generation and for sure future leaders of this great island-nation. When asked by foreign journalists what is the reason for their participation in the toughest race on earth, Shaikh Nasser answered: “Because we should lead by example.” Any actionable listeners out there?