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Inventions That Changed the World: The Evolution of Education

Invention: a new, useful process, machine, improvement, etc., that did not exist previously and that is recognized as the product of some unique intuition or genius, as distinguished from ordinary mechanical skill or craftsmanship. *

The world is constantly changing, for better or worse. We live in an era of unprecedented technological advancement. One consequence of this is failing to consider that the world wasn’t always this way.

Throughout time, there have been particular achievements or inventions that have had a significant impact on the future of an ecosystem, society, or human civilization as a whole.

‘Education’ is an example of such an achievement.

Education: the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life. *

” Getting an education” is an obvious step in growing up. We have infinite information at our fingertips. Better yet, we have access to this information. Until recently, this would be unheard of.

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For much of human history, access to information was limited to the elite, and much less information was available, as there was much to be discovered.  What formal education there was traditionally was reserved for the privileged elite (who could afford it). As there was much yet to be discovered, ‘education’ varied slightly according to the time and culture.

Of course, as more scientific discoveries and technological advancements were made, the education system evolved to it current diverse state.

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In a different perspective, people have been educating themselves since the beginning of time. From the hunter-gatherer days, early humans learned to communicate and grow their own food. Over the centuries, human learned how to collectively form a town, a city-state, a complex society. This learning didn’t take place in classrooms with people all huddled over books and paper (not that there were any back then). This learning, the foundations of the modern world, took place in the consecutive everyday decisions and actions of various people.

Drawing from this, most education actually takes place outside the classroom. We are educated by life itself through experiencing the consequences of the decisions we make.

* Dictionary.com

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Unlikely Occurrences

Imagine this:

A woman was trying dresses on at a mall boutique. She found a few dresses she liked, but decided to look elsewhere first before making a purchase. Continuing on to the next store, she realized she didn’t have her purse. Panicking, she went back in the store she was just in and checked the dressing rooms. Not finding her purse, she asked a salesperson if anyone had found a purse and checked the rest of the store. With still no luck, she walked out of the store wondering what where her purse was. Who had it? Would they steal her identity and all her money before she had a chance to do anything? What would she do now?

Now, imagine this:
A woman was trying dresses on at a mall boutique. She found a few dresses she liked, but decided to look elsewhere first before making a purchase. Continuing on to the next store, she realized she didn’t have her purse. Panicking, she went back in the store she was just in and checked the dressing rooms. Just then, a woman came up to her, holding her purse. “Excuse me, mam, I have your purse. I was trying stuff on when I noticed a purse on the floor. I’m glad I was able to catch you!”. The woman introduced herself and thanked the kind lady for returning her purse. They then continued shopping together and eventually became best friends.

Which situation is more likely? We’d like to think the latter, but, in modern society, we’d likely assume the first scenario is more likely. It is a fact that there are a lot of people out there who would make a decision that is in their best interest without regard to other people. In fact, one can argue that human nature and the self-preservation instinct make one more likely to automatically act out of self-interest. However, the individual person is very complex, and their actions are a result of their combined knowledge, personality, experiences, etc. So, there are also some people that act innately out of kindness and compassion.

It is, however, easier to believe that something bad will happen rather than something good. One can argue karma, fate, destiny, and similar concepts. As is widely known, “This too shall pass.”. Bad things and unfortunate situations happen all the time. However, ‘bad’ does not last forever and ‘good’ is bound to come. Perhaps it is all a matter of perspective. But, it is also fact; no matter how dark the night, the sun shall rise in the east.

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A Note on Time (Free)

It is said that time is money and money is time. This couldn’t be more true. There are only so many hours in a day. As you know, time waits for no one, and every moment, every minute that passes by can’t be taken back or repeated. This is what makes time ultimately more valuable than all the money in the world. You can buy something again and again, but you can’t repeat a single moment. As such, it is important to make the most of each moment and to not waste time on things that don’t matter.

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Now, of course, that’s easy to say and we’re only human; we make mistakes and don’t always do the right thing. But it’s important to be aware that any moment could be your last moment. Live for what’s worth living for (whatever that means to you) and realize your worth. You are more than your failures and the unrealistic expectations the world tells you to live up to. You’re worth believing in, being loved, and experiencing happiness, so don’t let yourself settle for anything less. You never know what the next moment will bring and what your future may hold. In summary, hang in there, put yourself out there, and act on the potential every moment brings.

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A Note on the Importance of Environmental Regulations

Regulations. Pointless? Necessary? Somewhere in between? At times, it may seem like all those ‘regulations’ are simply fancy jumbles of paper that tend to overcomplicate daily life more than it already is. This may have a shred of truth in it, but there is more to the story.

Regulations are a necessary complication. Consider this: a business exists to make money. No matter their mission statement, form, products, services, or ‘ethical’ practices, a business exists to make money, and all ways of any business must fundamentally serve this objective. As such, businesses do not genuinely feel the need to ‘make the world a better place’ or live in harmony with the environment unless it is a necessary move or sales tactic to maintain or increase profits.

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This is precisely why, despite all the hearsay, regulations are necessary to keep the world balanced and intact. So, despite ‘politics’, Washington, and all the putzes out there, we must continue to clash with business and Washington for the health of our world, each other, and all life.

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Cause and Effect

Cause and effect. You likely first heard this term in grade school. Likely in science or history, you would be asked to identify an issue and its cause and the effects it has on the people, events, etc. involved. However, the notion of cause and effect goes far beyond the books. It applies to every aspect of our lives.

The following are a few examples, from the most basic to complex issues. A basic example: You have a long commute ahead of you. Along the way, your car stalls as you realize it ran out of gas. The issue, being out of gas, has a cause (not keeping an eye on the fuel gauge). It also has an effect; it results in you being late for work.

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Similarly, think of the notion of cause and effect regarding the effects of human development on an otherwise untouched area, such as a forest. The cause of the need for further development is rapid population growth, a booming economy, and simply to keep up with the needs of modern society. It’s effects are long-reaching and multifold. One effect is further opportunity for economic growth in that area. Other possible effects include habitat loss, sharp reduction in surrounding wildlife populations, and polluted air and waterways. The decision of whether these effects balance each other, I suppose, is up to the city and building contractors.

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Yet another example of cause and effect can be seen in pressing nationwide issues such as gun violence. Of course, this is a very complex issue with numerous, far-reaching causes and effects. But, in short, the causes of this issue lie mostly in patterns of violence, traces of mental illness or instability, and how some people can feel marginalized in today’s society. The effects are, in part, increased crime rates, demand for change and better regulation, and effective treatment of the mentally ill.

These are but a few examples, and they demonstrate the importance of analyzing cause and effect in any given situation as a way to solve and better deal with the situation. So, if you want do better, live better, eat better, etc.., analyze what got you into your current situation (though not too much). Really consider the effects repeated, consistent actions can have on your future. You may be surprised by how life can change for the better due to acknowledging cause and effect.

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