What Filipinos Can Learn From The Fairy Tale "The Scholars And The Lion"

Do we ever bother to sit down and think that no matter how many stories are intended to be portrayed as fiction may teach us something? There's a short story I remembered called the scholars and the lion. Four have been friends but one was not yet a scholar. The problem was that even if the other three were learned they didn't use their common sense. What they did was to bring the dead lion to life killing them. What's the moral of the story? It's not that if you're educated that you're stupid. Instead, the moral of the lesson is that you can get educated all you want but you can still be such a stupid person if you lack common sense. A lack of common sense isn't always linked to one's intelligence or lack of it but rather it can be caused by being overly emotional or prideful.

People tend to work hard in acquiring a lot of knowledge but not how to put it to good use. It's common to see it with some educated, intelligent people in the political arena make the worst mistakes ever. Good examples can include that while Bum Aquino is an intelligent guy with awards but his leftover law is just stupid or that he seems not to consider opening up the economy. Mar Roxas may be intelligent but he flip-flopped from supporting economic liberalism to continuing economic protectionism. Neri Colmenares may have graduated from both University of the Philippines for his undergraduate and at San Beda for his law studies but continues to support economic protectionism. Joseph Emilio Pabaya may have had a Juris Doctor degree of law from Ateneo De Manila (another difficult school to enter to) and yet his performance was less than satisfactory. Solita Monsod may be a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania but she's so against badly needed reforms. Makes you want to cringe to think these people have all the knowledge acquired but they're still that stupid.

Does that mean we should discredit high bar scores and high educational achievement? I wouldn't do that since I still value having an education. Dismissing high bar scores and high educational achievement is part of anti-intellectualism. Going to a good school gives you the edge. Being an economist and lawyer is definitely a plus. But here's another issue: sometimes there are people who are the like the fourth person in the story. They're immediately dismissed because they don't have that high attainment. It's very easy to tell the person to shut up because they're not a lawyer or an economist even if what the person who doesn't have that degree at all was quoting from more reliable scholars than what the Empire of Aquino has to offer. It's just like the three scholars who chose to dismiss their friends' warning that reviving the lion would be disastrous to them. In a real life scenario, the College dropout Joseph Ejercito Estrada did the right thing by apologizing to Hong Kong for the hostage scenario mishap: it's something that the Ateneo De Manila graduate of economics Noynoy Aquino failed to do.

In the real life, we need people with real results and not just education attainment. Take a good example that the late Miriam Defensor Santiago only had 78% in her bar rating but she's done much for the country. You can think about how some nobodies are helping spread the word for badly needed constitutional reform and are understanding the need for economic liberalization. This may also require the Philippine education system to rethink how it does things. A good illustration is with Math. You just don't simply listen to a Math lecture but a good Math teacher also provides several exercises to make sure that the students get it right. It's time to have a balance of theoretical and application to avoid more incidents like what happened to the three scholars.

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