Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Theatre quote of the day for Tuesday, May 14, 2013

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"The Renaissance teaches us that the book of knowledge is not to be learned by rote but is to be written anew in the ecstasy of living each moment for the moment’s sake. Success in life is to maintain this ecstasy, to burn always with this hard gem-like flame. Failure is to form habits. To burn with a gem-like flame is to capture the awareness of each moment; and for that moment only. To form habits is to be absent from those moments. How may we always be present for them?—to garner not the fruits of experience but experience itself?" - Tom Stoppard, The Invention of Love

And yet, our entire education system is built on the notion that we have to bang habits into children until they have learned them and stop asking a lot of questions.  Producing easily quantifiable results is what prepares you for life as a cog in the corporate machine.  Memorize facts, repeat them in the right order on standardized tests, and get a grade; that's education.  Learning to think independently and logically, constantly question received wisdom, and test it against reality; that's dangerous liberal subversion of traditional values.

1 comment:

uncle Dan'l said...

Stoppard -- my own most-admired living playwright -- shows by this comment that he would have made a good Buddhist. They say that everything that matters in life (read: the arts, if you prefer) is about being present in the moment. The present moment, as students of the Dhamma are wont to remind us, is, after all, all we really have.