What have I learned …?
Posted in : Uncategorised on by : Brendan Walsh Comments:
In 2005 I suffered a life threatening illness and underwent heart surgery. When I was sufficiently recovered I applied for (with the encouragement of a friend who had gone before me) return to education and in Sep.2006 i was admitted to the National Universality Of Ireland Maynooth.In 2010 I graduated with second hons.in anthropology and philosophy,later on I went back and did a course in Theology. This is a shorten version what was a remarkably journey from ignorance to enlightenment.
This language may sound dramatic and perhaps it is ,however it really was a remarkably voyage.Because I had left school at sixteen many years earlier the culture shock was all the more great.As the years go by I find the need to ask again “what have I learned”.
An ancient Chinese proverb stated.”before wisdom I carried water and chopped wood, and after wisdom I carried water and chopped wood”another truth which i find related to the way I see learning, or in my case re learning, which is a saying from Socrates “A life not examined is a life not worth living” I suppose in many ways this is a truth ,and I can identify with the essence of it,however wisdom is a more complicated and wonderful subject.Perhaps !in search of wisdom! is a more accurate use of words I would describe.
All people who experience a life changing event will know what it feels like, all are different for all people.With me it caused a desire to learn,and learn I did.
It is different to describe accurately the impact that educating had on my thinking. I will attempt? To begin on a practical level l was fortunately able to avail a government policy to free third level education, this is not the case now as when the economy collapsed the policy was scrapped.I was lucky?
I met a new world, a world inhabited with people(students) whose work in life was to improve there knowledge base and secured the future. I met lectures who loved the subject they taught,who would call you by name and showed a genuine interest in your progress. I began to see the world in a different way. The world around me took on a place in which I can learn from. Everything I saw reflected the culture of the people or place it occupied,or occupied in a past life. The three subjects I choose in the first year,anthropology,philosophy(which brought in theology) and sociology attacked the brain with such a “too much information” force I though that I could not deal with it,and I considered leavening.This ‘get out’ clause which i gave myself enabled me to face the exams and essays in the first year. However the test results gave me enough confidence to come back for the second year and with the relief of only two honors subjects I continued on.
I got a setback in the beginning of the third year (I suffered a strike) and was allowed to take a year out and return to graduate.The whole journey took five years (I needed to attend a ‘return to learning ‘year before i could apply for uni.) and I emerged with a fresh and healthy perspective of seeing life and the people in it .The subjects I studied emerged together and became one, allowing me for the last time to leave behind the chain of ignorance and live a more full and engaging life.
I have written many times about this part of my life and every time I write it I remember the life before and after. I am grateful.To empower ones life we need knowledge,knowledge is power.I know that many people in the world are purposefully kept in ignorance so that the few can prosper. I will probably write this many more times ,or a different aspect of it in order that perhaps someone in the world will take inspiration from it and make a difference.To finish I will take a line from the writings of Carl Marx ” to the downtrodden people of the world “rise up you have nothing to lose except your chains”