The saying “The mind is not vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled” means a lot to the present situation of education. Students should not be forced to acquire knowledge as filling something into an empty vessel. Education should be like a fire that is lit upon something that grows eventually to sustain. It is totally different that when a student is forced to acquire knowledge rather than tempted to acquire knowledge by his own interest and curiosity.
Students nowadays lead a stress filled life. They get fed up due to overloaded homework, lots of books, project, etc. So it is extremely important to make them understand that “education is a part of life”. They should bring about their hidden talents by inculcating the thoughts and good deed within themselves. It is not possible to fill minds with answers as it wouldn’t remain stable in the student’s mind.
So education should bring about an individual’s talent and make him prosper in his life. He should understand that education should only be gained by understanding and not by mugging. Interest is the fire referred to here. When interest is grown into someone’s mind it will lead him to develop his interest which while insist him to research and question on topics that he comes across. This will make him a well trained professional in his field rather than just well-educated one. Interest should be kindled by knowledge.
Education without interest is just waste. Learning is different from studying. Learning gains you a long lasting memory with exact definition and understanding but studying is just a way of filling answers into minds without understanding it. There is a saying.
“If you can’t explain it to a 5 years old child then you yourself aren’t thorough about the topic”
So education should be in such way that it helps you as well as your surroundings. Such education can be gained only through interest.
There is no use in just storing something in a vessel rather than sharing and making use of it. Same is education. There is no use in just gaining the education. When it is shared and taught it attains its peak usage like the spreading fire when it is lit in one place and not like the stored content in the vessel.
Our mind isn’t a mere receiver of the thoughts, which gathers them all without any practical use or without any calculation of its own, but rather works on a complex process it works out each and every information or thought it gets, calculates and reaches a conclusion.
And when it comes to the fact of mind not being a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled, undoubtedly it’s cent per cent true.
The statement itself has numerous meaning, however, all point to the fire, the ardent thirst, the quest for the ultimate goal of life – “Knowledge”.
Our mind isn’t to be filled with knowledge- with facts and other’s idea but we have to find the knowledge on our own.
In words of a philosopher – ‘True knowledge isn’t gained but made.”
Our mind is not a vessel that we copy someone knowledgeable to get some of their ideas, their thinking and views. We need to realize that we ought to ignite our own mentality, our own intellect.
The mind isn’t a bottle to be filled with ideas gathered from the exterior world, but a piece of wood that has potentials of its own. It only needs a bit of kindling to set it in flames, to set it on a quest for truth and knowledge.
Many great thinkers of the bygone era have had similar quotes. Socrates, William Butler Yeats, and Plutarch included among them.
When we give a little more thought to the saying, it’s amazing how very deep a meaning it offers.
Consider this single instance- suppose Galileo didn’t kindle his curiosity, suppose he filled his head with the wrong ideas. I don’t need to tell you any further.
So my friends as bearers of young blood, instead of cramming our heads with other’s ideas, let’s set our mind on fires, let’s be original each one of us setting on quests of wisdom.