And in this century this has gone too far; universal education has been a calamity. And remember, I am not against education, I am against this education. There is a possibility of a different kind of education which will be helpful in sharpening your intelligence, not destroying it, which will not burden it with unnecessary facts, which will not burden it with useless rubbish – knowledge – which will not burden it at all, but rather will help it to become more radiant, fresh, young.
This education only makes you capable of memorizing; that education will make you capable of more clarity. This education destroys your inventiveness; that education will help you to become more inventive.
For example, the education that I would like in the world will not require a child to answer in an old stereotyped way. It will not encourage the answer that is written in the books, it will not encourage repetition, parroting, it will encourage inventiveness. Even if the invented answer is not as right as the copied answer can be, still it will appreciate the boy who has brought a new answer to an old problem. Certainly his answer cannot be as right as Socrates’ answer. Naturally, a small boy…his answer cannot be as exact as that of Albert Einstein, naturally. But to ask that his answer should be as right as that of Albert Einstein is foolish. If he is inventive he is in the right direction: one day he will become an Albert Einstein. If he is trying to create something new – naturally he has his limitations, but just his effort in trying to create something new should be appreciated, should be praised.
Education should not be competitive, people should not be judged against each other. Competitiveness is very violent and very destructive. Somebody is not good at mathematics and you call him mediocre. He may be good at carpentry, but nobody looks at that. Somebody is not good at literature and you call him stupid – and he will be good at music, at dance.
A real education will help people to find their life, where they can be fully alive: if a man is born to be a carpenter then that is the right thing for him to do, there is nobody to force anything else. This world can become such a great, intelligent world if a man is allowed to be himself, helped to be himself, supported in every way to be himself, and nobody comes in and interferes – in fact nobody manipulates the child. If he wants to become a dancer, then that is good; dancers are needed, much dance is needed in the world. If he wants to become a poet, good; much poetry is needed, there is never enough. If he wants to become a carpenter or a fisherman, perfectly good. If he wants to become a woodcutter, perfectly good. There is no need for him to become a president or a prime minister; in fact if less people become interested in those targets it will be a blessing.
Right now everything is topsy-turvy. One who wanted to become a carpenter has become a doctor, one who wanted to become a doctor has become a carpenter…everybody is in somebody else’s place. Hence so much unintelligence – everybody is doing somebody else’s job. Once you start seeing it, you will feel why people are behaving unintelligently.