Life is one big school in which learning continues from birth to death. When a child enters this world, the first teacher he or she encounters are the parents or guardians. These children learn morals from the guardians who raise them, whether the morals they learn be good or bad ones.
Then the time comes when these children attend school. It has been said that children do not know stress until they attain school-going age. Yet it is also true that children experience some of the best times in their lives during school. Education is important in any child’s life and there is no better way to learn than to sit in the class of a favorite teacher, learn a favorite subject, or sit in a class with one of your favorite persons in the world- your best friend.
As these children grow older, they graduate from class to class. They meet other teachers, make other friends and discover that they enjoy other academic subjects, or that they are talented in more than one field. In school, children build confidence, passion, and the decisions that shape what career paths they ultimately decide to take.
Upon graduating, several leave friends behind as they go off to build their careers. They will meet new faces, inhabit new environments, and encounter different cultures. They will learn about the new people they have met, make new friends and learn about these different ways of life. Some customs will be similar and others different. In order to retain a peaceful learning environment, they will appreciate that not all cultures are the same and learn to respect others’ cultures.
Once their careers have been shaped, children will go off, now as adults and yet again, to put into practice what they have learned throughout their school years. The cycle will repeat itself: there are those that will remain, there are those that will be lost, and there are those that will be found.
Now grown, children become independent, they become workers and co-workers, they become employers and employees, and they become responsible for other people. They become us!
As we grow older still, we learn. We never stop finding new ways to do the same things we have been doing since we were children. We never stop meeting people that have done different things in life; we never stop meeting people that come from different parts of the world. We eat their food, we wear their clothes, we make our hair like them, we love them, and we marry them. When loved ones die, we continue the love, affection and responsibility to those that are alive.
We never stop learning in this never-ending ‘School of Life.’
By Joanne Alividza, a WYA member and intern at the WYA Africa office