Are we too insular?

Education, Education Education’. This phrase often spouted during electoral campaigns as one of those essential issues that ‘strike’ at the heart of the nation concerns. With the advent of new technology providing new ways of viewing and analysing information there should be no excuse to develop ones interest in a hobby or communicate with each other.

Use of technology is increasing encouraging an insular world. Mobile phones, Mini-disk players, portable CD players, write-less, text writers, Video mobiles and IPOD/MP3 player all contribute to the indifference that we have started to develop to each other. Many are happy to spend an entire journey not even viewing the person sitting opposite them. Journeys can be taken in a constrained silence. This impersonal and detachment approach to appears to be based on an anxiety or apathy in engaging in any kind of dialogue. Part of the problem could stem from the ‘Don’t talk to strangers’. This is especially true, as the world is a dangerous place. Someone who physically appears to be friendly could be a fiend. However, human psychology and experience can provide us with some simple tests to ensure that a measure of caution is considered before engaging in any interaction.

The same maybe true in the way nations consider each other. The United Nations was set up after the Second World War to ensure that the escalation to World Wars wouldn’t repeat themselves. However, the insular nature of the media, available news and attitudes taints opportunities for dialogue or understanding of cultural groups. France’s approach to its own ethnic communities demonstrates insular thinking from a multi-level perspective. For example, the Muslim community appear to have been subtly targeted but they are just as French as the next ethnic originated French person. If no one communicates from a communal perspective, how else can we better begin to understand our differences.

An opportunity for greater education regarding our diversity appears to be missing.
I was recently engaged in a conversation regarding mechanisms for imparting knowledge. Technological aids can help (anyone seen the ‘Every Sikh must have this CD…’ advertisement on one of the Satellite channels?). NB I would like to see this any product or Sikh information official endorsed by a central group. Maybe we’ve missed another opportunity. Why don’t we as the Sangat at Sikh Temples ask for an international central fund to be set-up to help develop educational aids for our local and government organisations. In my view it will be of great value for our current and future generations.

Categories: 2004

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