Updated: Feb 28, 2020
On average, Americans receive 14 years of education (Fed Reserve Bank of St. Louis). Within those 14 years, the number of hours is also mandated by individual states, with most states requiring 175-180 days of school per year and about 900 – 1000 hours of instructional time a year. Not only do students receive an education at school, but they also receive education during extracurricular after-school programs, private tutoring academies, and specialized camps during vacations. Most students, parents, teachers, and the society at large strive for a “great” education.
As a collective, America is investing about 55.9 billion hours a year (55.9 million children enrolled in public and private schools x 1000 hours a year) and 634 billion dollars to educate the children in the hopes that they will be able to land a job, make money, and help move our country forward so we can all live prosperous and successful lives. It is phenomenal that we are working hard as a nation for our physical well-being and comfort. And we are extremely blessed to be able to have these resources and motivation to live well.
However, if we think a bit more deeply on the issue at hand, what does the word education really mean? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the etymology of the word ‘education’ comes from “the Latin educatus, past participle of educare to rear, educate, and from educere to lead forth.” And even though we live as an ever more educated, and more expensively educated society, we are seeing higher rates of physical, emotional and psychological distress. So what does that mean for our future? Can we really hope for a better life, a better society living according to status quo? What can we do to become truly educated?
As Great Teacher Woo Myung says, “Today’s education is designed only for living a better worldly life.” Our focus is on the material life, but again the human existence is comprised of both the body and the mind. The balance between the amount of time, money, and energy spent on our bodies and that of the mind and heart is extremely skewed. From the time we are born, we are taught to wash our hands, brush our teeth, clean our bodies, clean our rooms, clean our houses, clean our cars, clean our yards. But when and how often were we taught to clean our minds and hearts? So just like Great Teacher Woo Myung writes in his book The Way to Become a Person in Heaven While Living, “When humans come to know the origin and live as the original mind, then all of mankind will become one. We will know how to be thankful to our country, to the world; we will no longer have whimsical minds but trust each other, have confidence in each other all the time and have better lives. But in order to do this, everyone must recover their original mind; then their minds will be one for which there will be no thieves or crime, and everyone will live for each other. In other words, an education that allows us to do the above is truly a well-rounded education for human completion.”
Educators’ and parents’ interest is piqued as more scientific research shows the benefits of meditation on children’s brain and behavior as reported by Alice G. Walton at Forbes. The idea of giving children a fundamental emotional, mental, and spiritual e