Education ought to be clarified, for purposes of understanding, to avoid ignorance. Some people regard the late former president of Zimbabwe, Mugabe as having been a despot. But, it cannot be disputed that there are others who idolized him for what he was. To those people, there cannot be any other hero, to come closer to the character that symbolizes Mugabe, in foreseeable future.
Even to most people in the entire African continent, Mugabe’s heroism cannot be matched. When asked to give specific reasons for supporting a man who championed the economic demise of Zimbabwe, they may not give convincing answers. Nonetheless, nothing can take away their idolization of the man. This reveals what is observable, but interesting, for historical purposes.
The truth is that the despotic nature of Robert Mugabe was permeated across his supporters. The late former president drew his courage and confidence from those who supported him. It is therefore unfair to heap all the blame and malice, solely on him. In fact, it is an inaccurate narrative to suggest that this country was driven to poverty by one man—the late Robert Mugabe.
It could be true that there are those declaring that they never supported Mugabe’s actions. But the principle of democracy makes it impossible to escape the effects, resulting from the majority of one’s fellow country-men. Similarly, if the majority had not projected Mugabe’s warped mindset, the minority would have benefited from the positive effects, made possible by those comprising the majority.
For Zimbabwe, any good leader, displaying Mugabe’s opposite nature, could not have lasted long. This could be the reason why Nkomo could not match Mugabe, on the political front. The landscape of Zimbabwean politics, became shaped according to the common pulse of the Zimbabwean people. Mugabe’s behavior, simply resonated well, with the aspirations of the majority.
Mugabe’s behavior could not be sustainably enjoyable. The unceremonious exit, as carried out by his own right-hand man, was inevitable. What eludes many people is that no matter how seemingly enjoyable; the destination of a noxious behavior is predictably unacceptable. This is just as no matter how unpalatable any behavior of good cause can be; its destination would be conversely, acceptable. This is what sustains laws of nature, including the law of cause and effect. Everything around us, whether good or bad, is a product of what was initiated in the past.
Nothing appears by chance. While convenient to blame somebody else, for one’s own troubles, the buck stops at one’s door. It is only a wise person who takes full responsibility over what happens in his/her environment, without blaming others. In this life, each individual is predisposed to either cause good things in the environment, or cause bad things in the environment. Those avoiding doing anything, allow anything to take place in the environment—whether acceptable or unacceptable.
The reason why leaders have always been accorded with blame for what goes wrong, is because they happen to be in the forefront. Most leaders think similarly to how those below them think—though also unable to escape consequences of such wrong behavior. It takes only a special character to effectively influence and lead others to abandon incorrect postulates. This is because humans are basically good—though easily getting lost in ignorance.
Even those with such weird minds, as to find comfort in supporting despots, such people can also access the best of their humane personalities. This is one of the reasons why Jesus instructed His disciples to love and pray for their enemies. The leader of any revolution is always the one who eventually gets accorded with honors. But the brave characters get recognized, only after remaining steadfast with what they consider to be the noble cause.
However, when fairness is brought into the fray, no-one deserves respect above others—similarly to how the human body functions as a unit. None of the individual body components can seek honor ahead of others. Putting more value on one body limb, cannot be sustainable. One is considered human when valuing the composite body structure.
The entire body is a unit whose owner cannot discriminate, or favor one against the seemingly weaker parts. The entire body becomes incapacitated, even when the seemingly unimportant limb is in pain. Each of those body limbs complement the entire body structure—even though considered as not providing vital performance to sustain the body.
In the advent of democracy, ignorant people elect ignorant rulers. It is naturally unrealistic to expect a seed of a pumpkin to produce anything else, other than pumpkins. Ignorant people cannot elect an educated person, when granted an opportunity to elect their own leader. What is most amazing with our people is that they get surprised when seeing negative outcomes, in political systems.
However, such people should not be blamed for their stupidity. This is what ignorance entails. There is no other expectation that can come from ignorant people, except the effects of stupidity. This does not make ignorant people sub-human or anything else, except that they would be lacking knowledge. It should be clear to everyone that survival is vested on one’s responsibility.
The more ignorant people make decisions the more susceptible to unacceptable results. This is what makes education the most important route for humanity. Without education humanity is doomed. Equipped with proper education, survival is enhanced—though not all education is valuable.
Proper education leads to appreciating that human beings need survival. When delineating the means of survival without education, one is susceptible to error. It, therefore, becomes necessary to understand the meaning of study, before appreciating the need for education. Education involves study—requiring careful observance, as to deduce what leads to survival, rather than death.
In traditional schools and colleges the students are involved in study with an aim of acquiring certification. However, a truly educated person seeks to acquire skills on how to apply what is learnt. But that person avoids bragging about acquiring certification in higher learning. That person changes his/her life to be of service to the ignorant people. Having discovered value, associated with proper education, the person sacrifices, more than thinking about receiving benefits.
The reason for sacrificing own interests, is because an educated person knows what impacts negatively on human survival. For instance, in our example of those voting for ignorant people into power, an educated person could influence different voting patterns? If the educated person succumbs to the whims of the ignorant people, he/she becomes ineffective, therefore, not different from the uneducated people.
His/her education requires taking full responsibility—leading the uneducated out of ignorance. The educated person knows that as long as there would be more uneducated people in the environment, human survival would be under threat. Although assuming to be educated, the person is not spared from the effects of decisions made by the ignorant people.
Without awareness of there being false education, most people spend time with the education that bears no impact on people’s lives. Those people can call themselves educated but without anything to show for it. The majority of people in our society fall into the trap of false education because of greed. This is just as victims of conmen fall into such traps because of greed.
When fully aware of valuable education—centered on human survival—it is impossible for a scholar to fall victim. Education is the most important tool a person can have. But there is need to appreciate that education requires high amount of responsibility and hard work. When engaged in education, a person ought to realize the tremendous amount of responsibility that goes with it.
All education, regardless of nature, ought to address survival, as a starting point. This is different from the education that seeks to acquire benefits for personal aggrandizement. The education that seeks to advance personal ego can be dangerous, not only to others, but also to the person concerned. The worst enemy of humanity is lack of education.
No-one is sustainably safe, even when driving a limousine among the impoverished people. It cannot be denied that in Africa we have extremely rich people, whose wealth is determined by such flamboyant characters. But safety, cannot be found, even among those considered rich fellows in Zimbabwe, for instance. The rich drive along the pot-holed roads, and seem comfortable. But, deep inside their consciences, those people are insecure.
Their homes are provided with the most sophisticated forms of security. This cannot be necessary for a person having attained freedom. Their lifestyles are admirable to the ignorant who, accordingly, desire to reach their flamboyant status. But the fear of what might come, as a result of being surrounded by ignorant people takes away the freedom and comfort—though having money.
Recently, Zimbabwe witnessed the funeral of the former President Mugabe, as hellish—when compared to ordinary deaths. At his last moments of living, the man was so scared—as to suspect some people to be after his body parts for ritual purposes. The relatives had to invest in a tamper-proof casket. All this does not portray that, towards his death, Mugabe led an interesting lifestyle.
The answer to why Mugabe died a bitter man, is in that there is nothing good that comes from the wicked activities. What is wicked leads towards death—a result from pursuing non-survival objectives. Due to ignorance, people will continue to debate over whether Mugabe was an iconic hero or a villain. But the simple answer is revealed in what his leadership led the country into.
The reason why people find time to debate over such obvious realities is ignorance. Otherwise, the proof is right there, for people to appreciate whether the late former President was a hero or not. Only a few people—benefiting from corruption—appreciated the services of a man whose corruptible deeds left the country among the heap of failed states.
We have to forgive the ignorant, who cannot see this reality. But the point is that true education requires full responsibility to curb ignorance. It does not pay to assume being educated among the ignorant people. What pays is sacrificing for the education of others in one’s environment.
There is no story that surpasses the story of Jesus, when requiring the precise meaning of proper education. Jesus represented the original knowledge, on matters of survival. After, somehow, getting lost on your journey to a particular destination, the ideal thing is to go back to the point where you got lost. Any other attempt to trace the correct way would be futile, as unreliable.
On seeking the real foundation—on human existence and survival—Jesus is the answer. There is no trace of ignorance, in Jesus, as all other ground is sinking sand. The life of Jesus was punctuated with hard work and service for other people. Jesus did not take advantage of His knowledge, to seek adulation from other fellow humans.
It is therefore imperative to appreciate that the acquisition of knowledge, bestows heavy responsibility on those concerned. One cannot be educated and assume comfortable life, when surrounded by uneducated people. Jesus was killed for disseminating knowledge—just as His disciples, were also killed. That knowledge includes knowing that humans are not, necessarily, limited to the flesh. A truly educated person is not obsessed with the preservation of physical life.
Corrupt people assume that life is limited to physical existence. This is why they succumb to corruption and other unacceptable activities. It is extremely difficult and even dangerous to help those existing under confusion. The current conditions are what is real to ignorant people. What would not be real to them is new information—though providing ways out of ignorance.
Skepticism caused the murder of Jesus. Those people did not have convincing facts to justify His murder, except that Jesus had the survival knowledge. There had been people spending their lives pursuing education. But that education lacked the formula for the needed survival—as based on ostentation alone.
The confusion was even complicated by the fact that Jesus had not come from the renowned educational facilities of that time. The educational system, even in our time, is rampant with pomposity, more than it solves problems. The so-called educated of this civilization enjoy splashing their profiles, more than proving the workability of their qualifications. They enjoy respect and honors for educational achievements, more than committing themselves to solve problems.
Yet the truly educated avoid seeking human approval, as seeking only to satisfy those that benefit from their services. They focus on sacrifice and service, more than being respected for what would be considered as high-profile educational achievements. This is the only way to distinguish true education, as compared with dubious education. False education is self-centered, while true education is altruistic.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
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