Plato is well known for his outstanding knowledge, and, thus, many great people have learnt from him. In Allegory of the Cave, he attempts to explain nature. He describes how people are trapped in lies but believe they are right and have no idea how the real world affects them. In addition, Socrates explains to the students that individuals are blinded by what they are allowed only to see. He says that there are those people who just accept everything that happens. Indeed, students are often advised that if something happens, they should not react to it, but wait until it is over then refer to their normal lives. However, there is an advantage in the world that we are in today. Students should use the available modes of communication and easy access to the Internet to research the information provided and share information worldwide. It is sad that people do not take a time to discover things for themselves. Seeking more information makes people more informed and helps them develop answers and solutions to the issues bothering them.
Plato (n.d.) describes the government, media, and religion as shadow and puppeteers. He says they control people’s lives and actions, and it is necessary that people free themselves and leave that cave. Plato underlines that if people continue to assume that everything they are told is the truth, they are going to remain in the cave forever. The students should not believe every single thing that they are told. They should rather make a judgment on what is wrong or right on their own without coercion of outside influence. Some information could be the truth, and the other could be wrong. As students, they should become free and see the truth or even lies depending on the one controlling them. In addition, the students are advised to work as a team. Working as a team will help them to break the chains and walk into the light. The students should also stand up and fight for their beliefs. They should not just start doing or following what everyone does but rather take the path less travelled by others.
Besides, Socrates suggests that the goal of education should be to turn the soul towards the right desires. Simply put he says the goal is to drag an individual out of the cave as far as possible. He says that education should not just aim at putting knowledge into the soul. Using the analogy between mind and sight, Socrates points out that, the vision of a philosopher and that of a clever, wicked man are equally sharp. The only difference is what they turn their sharp vision toward.
Bradbury was concerned about how technology, for example, TV and radio, was replacing books. He says that these technologies divert an individual’s attention. They cause us to forget how to think for ourselves. In the modern world, the Internet has established control over us. Smartphones and social media are reigning supreme. It happens just the way Bradbury has predicted. His book, Fahrenheit 451, is about how television destroys interest in reading literature. When you walk into a classroom, almost the whole class will be on their phones. Technology is not bad, but what matters is how you use it. Students should not always be on their computers surfing. The students should develop effective reading habits, which are a good way to improve their grades. Reading increases an individual’s knowledge and also stimulates his creativity. Bradbury suggested that if you stuff your head with quality work from reading, you will be full of ideas.
Bradbury also suggests that individuals should oppose those who criticize their abilities and work. People will laugh at others, especially the nerds in school. From his view, a person should use successes to beat those who try to deplete and control him. In school, there is the group that will always be mean to the other students. Students should realize that this will always happen. Therefore, they should ignore the criticism, be true to themselves, and aim for success.
Similarly, Chabris and Simons in their book, The Invisible Gorilla, try to explain the fact that we are missing a lot by assuming we see ourselves as we are and the world as it is. Our thoughts are affected by everyday illusions. The book is supposed to make the students less sure about themselves, which is, according to Chabris and Simons, is a good thing. They use the book to provide tips that will help the students cast off their illusions and get things right. Reading this book helps the students to insight and recalibrate the way they approach their lives, and account for the strengths and limitations of their minds. If the students are fully aware of their limits to attention, the illusions they experience every day will vanish. Reading this book will help the students look at themselves and the world around them differently. Students should use this perception to improve their performances. The students should combine their work with other researchers’ work to help them get the best results. The book makes the students smarter by reminding them that they know so little and thus should do researchers on things that need to be explored. The Invisible Gorilla is particularly important and helpful to those seeking depth and insight into the complexities and wonders of understandings.
The Letter from Birmingham Jail by Maltin Luther King encourages students not to fear the outcomes of their struggles. They should not mind if their motives are misunderstood, but their aim should be to reach the goal of freedom. Success is not offered but deserved, just as freedom is demanded from the oppressor and not just voluntarily offered. Students have their dreams like everyone else. Thus, they should make the dream a reality.
King teaches that the goal of nonviolence is reconciliation and redemption. Using nonviolence helps one win friendship and understanding. He says the outcome of violence is tragic hatred, chaos, and bitterness. Students should use negotiations to defeat evil. King states that willingness to accept violence and not inflict it is itself a nonviolent resistance. King also states that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Therefore, the students should avoid being against the law or use force to solve issues. These actions do not represent the cowardly, fearful, or weak person as most tend to believe, but those that respect peace. Students should use compassion, love, communication, common sense, and intelligence to solve issues. Less chaos and fights will help the students in concentrating on their education. Thus, this will help them succeed.
The students should collect facts to determine whether injustices exist, then negotiate to develop a peaceful solution. Just as Socrates felt the necessity of creating tension in the mind to help the individuals to free from the bondage of myths and half-truths, we must nature our minds. Like King, we should not encourage violence. He gives an example of Southland, which has been stuck in an effort of living in monologue rather than dialogue. Most students will express anxiety over willingness to break laws. Some will find enjoyment and self-fulfillment in this. King, however, suggests that every individual has a responsibility to obey just laws and disobey unjust laws. Students should discover what is morally right while making a decision.
All these moral giants, teachers, and role models communicate one clear message. A person should think before he acts, blames, labels, or believes. He should value facts, and use them to free himself from the stereotypes, myths, and baseless beliefs. An individual can only achieve this by consistently nurturing his mind to work for himself and separate him from the crowd.