In Theory

As I have learned, “Easier said than done” is a vast understatement. Even worse, it is an easy excuse. Our final project with the Service Learning Program started with us students writing our dream jobs on a sheet of paper. We imagined that in fifteen years, the words on the page would be a reality, our dreams fulfilled. Then, in random groups, we were to assess our jobs, the jobs of our teammates, and the current status of education in India. Despite what seemed like impossible connections between the lives we would have, we were to pick a single problem, and together, fix it. The prompt sounded simple: connect your lives to a social need. Well, I waited for a brilliant idea to appear, the one perfect solution to not only education, but for world peace. My dream job, diplomat, stared at me accusingly. Are you sure this is what you want? You want to be a diplomat, a bridge between cultures, and you can’t even find your way back to this one issue? I guiltily think about my education, the esteemed great answer to all problems. Education is supposed to be liberating, the freedom of the mind to observe, question, consider, propose…create. For all my proposals, I have never created. I can dream of a better India, Nigeria, America, but in fifteen years, will I have been an active agent? Would I have been a bystander to pressing issues, defensive because I was educated? I realize, knowledge in itself can be egotistic inaction. Education with connection, education with cognition, education that catalyzes, this is what liberation is. In fifteen years, I want to be free. I want to have learned the combination of knowledge and movement. --Chiamaka