Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Sister Christine : 55

PLANNING THE WORK


...Just as in theology, we no longer teach that man is a child of sin and sorrow, born and conceived in iniquity, but is a child of God, pure and perfect, why should we not change our attitude towards education, and look upon the student as a creature of light and knowledge, unfolding the leaves of his destiny in joy, freedom, and beauty? All religions have taught: "The Kingdom is within you."

For obvious reasons, a new experiment in education can be worked out more easily with women than with men. Women need not work for a degree, as for some time to come they will not attempt to get positions requiring one. In this respect they do not yet find it necessary to conform to accepted standards. Out of it will grow a new race, a race of supermen and superwomen — a new order. Schools for children? Yes, for education should be widespread. Widows' homes, nursing, all forms of service and activity. New life on all planes, the new intellectual outlook, full of new vigour. If the experiment fails, it will not be an entire loss. Power, initiative, self-responsibility will have been developed. If it succeeds as it inevitably must, the gain will be incredibly great. Results can hardly be foreseen at this stage. The woman who is the product of such a system will at least approach the stature of a superwoman. A few such are urgently needed at the present critical time.

Some of us believe that if Swami Vivekananda's ideas regarding the education of women are carried out in the true spirit, a being will be evolved who will be unique in the history of the world. As the woman of ancient Greece was almost perfect physically, this one will be her complement intellectually and spiritually — a woman gracious, loving, tender, long-suffering, great in heart and intellect, but greatest of all in spirituality.
  (from Prabuddha Bharata, January - December 1931)