Walking Out and Walking On

That’s how people at Shikshantar refer to what people generally call “dropping out”.

“Today, those who have the good sense to choose to leave the dominant system of education are labeled by it as ‘drop-outs’. This negative term connotes failing and incompetence, and is applied to those who don’t fit in the competitive schooling or college system. We view the decision to walk out (or rise out) of formal educational structures, as a thoughtful and positive choice. Far from signifying incompetence, walking out demonstrates intelligence, creativity and courage of conviction.

It also exposes education for what it is: a deep form of violence against peoples’ minds, bodies and spirits, which cuts them off from nature, their family, communities, culture, work, expression, and themselves. Furthermore, walking out represents a strong form of dissent against the global political economy. It is a powerful indication of reclaiming control over one’s own learning, and therefore, over one’s own life. It is an important step in de-institutionalizing one’s life and moving towards swaraj.”

Our lives are so rigid and institutionalized. Right from age 3 or 4 we are sent to school and “educated” for almost two decades. Then when we are grown, we have to find a job in an organization/industry and build a career. Why do we need these inhuman mega structures- social, political and economic- to depend on?

Why do we need multinational corporations to employ us? Why do we need agribusinesses and retail chains to feed us? Why do we need a degree to certify our worth? Why do we need governments to “take care” of us? Why do we need to depend so much on so many institutions? If I believe that my life so far has not been a complete waste, and that I have developed a few useful skills over the years, then why should I have to sell my time to make a livelihood? Can I not make a livelihood(not necessarily a career) doing the things that I care passionately about?

It’s a question that has been haunting me for a while. In fact, I’m an aspirant of walking out and walking on. Exactly how and when I do not know. But I believe that I will be able to find the way when the right time comes. My biggest dream is to get rid of all those irrelevant stuff that needlessly sophisticate our lives and reclaim all the missing things that really make Life meaningful.

“Relying on your strengths and talents, instead of your degrees, makes you a walkout.”

5 thoughts on “Walking Out and Walking On

  1. Looking at it from a different angle, “Institutions” I think are created by man to satisy his urge to socialise. In olden days, a joint family was a really large “institution” with lots of people and interaction, fun (I guess ..) and so where things like “gurukulam” etc.. I would think. So people were more focused on spending as less time away from the “institution” as possible (like for work) and get back to the “institution” and socialise .. Slowly earth rotated and things changed (for good or bad I am not sure) and the old form of “institution” disintegrated and then man invented new institutions – which one led to the other ? Again, I dont know .. But anyways, the new “institutions” that man came up with were “companies”, “corporations”, “offices”, “hotels”, “schools”, “colleges” etc.. where man would get opportunities to socialise .. So that would also explain why man invests a lot of time and energy in these “institutions” ..

    So I guess the summary is that human nature makes us desire to be part of some institution or the other – so end of the day, if you are not part of one, you will be part of something else 🙂

    Love,
    Gopu.

    1. Perhaps. I don’t have anything against institutions and the urge of man to socialize, as such.

      It’s just that the institutions we have today are running havoc with the world, and are inhuman to an alarming extent. They are ripping apart families, cultures, communities etc. and destroying nature, undermining the very ability of our planet to sustain life.

      And they are so suffocating and detrimental to spontaneity and Freedom that anyone who is a part of them can never develop their minds and spirits beyond a very meagre level and end up being servants of the “system”.

  2. Yup! I think while institutions originated with the intent of making life fun, most of them has deviated from that motto ! So if you can find one that still has the motto of keep life simple and pleasant, then I guess there is no harm in being a part of it 🙂 ..

    Love,
    Gopu.

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