By Mohamed Zefzaf
By Mohamed Zefzaf
Cambridge, Massachusetts – What is reality? The answer to this old-age question depends largely on the eye of the beholder.
Reality is not universal. If it were so, we would all regard things and events in similar ways. What our eyes and minds tell us are but projections of our own perceptions. These are largely fueled by our individual personalities and native cultures.
By and large, we do not have a critical awareness of these forces, because they are seldom taught to us. At school, we learn to read, write, and calculate, but rarely of our place in the world, or the interdependence we have with other human beings who share this fragile planet with us.
A complete association with our own reality and the supremacy of our ways is a mirage. With the consequence of it being the source of much suffering-the source of many conflicts, among people, and between cultures. To address this, a universal education might be a good place to start.
Here is a simple proposal: Why not a worldwide curriculum, perhaps based on The Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Such a document can be used as the starting point for educating children all across the globe. Just like the conference on climate change, why can’t there be an education conference where leaders from all nations meet to create a blueprint for such a universal curriculum?
If early childhood Education does not have a universal component and address the existential issue of how we see each other across cultures, it will continue to be a disconnected instrument. The result- as can be seen all around us- is a world in chaos, where love and tolerance are only reserved for those like us, rarely-if ever- extended to the entire human family.
In this context, a universal education is a not only the right thing to do, but a must, a necessity. A worldwide effort for such an action is urgently needed.
Perhaps we can begin a worldwide curriculum with the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which simply state that, “All human being are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
In his seminal essay What I Believe, E.M Forster wrote, “Tolerance, good temper and sympathy-they are what matter really, and if the human race is not to collapse they must come to the forefront before long.”
A universal education can guide our children to “come to the forefront.” This goal is absolutely essential to our very existence on this earth- a reality we must all understand and face together.