Returning to the mode of learning

Now that vacation has reached its end, we students are confronted with reorganizing our minds to refocus time and energy toward meeting our educational goals. We are faced with retaining those qualities and attributes that are conducive to our learning, progress, and success.

Qualities and attributes toward learning imply that we must be open-minded, willing to challenge our underlying assumptions of reality, ask questions based on insights we have arrived at through our own individual observations, and be eager to acquire new ways of thinking and acting.

Our ideas and understanding of reality are deeply connected to our identity. It is through our identity we function in the world and make sense of everything. This only becomes a problem if we treat our current identity and collection of ideas as an end in itself. Instead, we should try to treat our identity as a means to an ever greater end, which is the evolution of our thoughts and actions aimed toward the alignment with the truth.

Although challenging our own underlying assumptions about reality is a very difficult and formidable task, it will be rewarding in the long-term because it elevates our thoughts and understanding to a higher level. With a greater level of thought and understanding, we will be able to better articulate social issues that require a more sophisticated language thus making us effective contributors to the transformation of society.

We should also bear in mind that progress is best achieved when we work with others. It does not matter where people are from, we are all human beings and want what is in the best interest of humanity. Everyone has a specific and invaluable role to play in the process toward learning and progress, thus we must encourage universal participation. Cooperation and reciprocity become the main pillars to this end.

When everyone is engaged in the process of learning, we can all benefit greatly from each other’s involvement. The diversity of opinions and outlooks adding to the depth of learning achieved becomes greater than what one individual would produce alone. Hence, we should be conscious of and strike a balance between how much we talk and how much we listen. Our attitude toward others should be one of compassion, humility, and encouragement.

With regards to true success, we must be aware that unfettered individualism hampers the progress of society, which is neither in the best interest of the individual nor the collectivity. As a result, society only progresses so much when individualism dominates, and the true potentials of individuals and the collectivity are not fully realized.

The implications of the above statements are great.

The first is that when we are around our colleagues, co-workers, families, peers, and friends, we have to treat each other with love and respect.

The second is that no one should backbite or gossip about someone else. This will create a hostile environment that people will want to run away from and this will not allow for good relationships to be formed.

The fourth is that we should not view others as strangers or a threat to us in any way. All this will do is cause alienation between people and this is not desirable for the world.

The third is that our friendships should be meaningful and elevated. Our conversations should transcend triviality and become more and more profound.

The fifth and final is that we should give a lending hand and be eager to see others progress. This also will have a positive impact on the way we view the world with all its possibilities, allowing us to bring out the good inherent in the world.

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Sarv Mithaqiyan

Sarv Mithaqiyan (a.k.a. Sodid Misaghian) is a Baha'i, journalist, philosopher and runs a YouTube channel entitled Elevated & Meaningful. He's a news reporter for UTVS and currently getting his Master's in Strategic Mass Communication at SCSU. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and Minor in Religious Studies from UC Davis. Follow him on twitter @SarvMithaq

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