Don’t search for her name in the Nobel prize of this year. You will not find it. But she won a Nobel prize. At the end you will find her.
A lot has been said about relevant learning. Relevant learning is inherently subjective. Its application tends to undercut many knowledgeable persons. Indeed, it is a paradox. Relevant learning is like a fast revolving wheel. Its revolutionary points are many and not always very clear. Relevant learning confounds, stylishly meaning different things to individuals and peoples at different points and places. However, being wired to identify your relevant learning holds out something useful.
Everybody wins a Nobel! Prize is not same but it does something to winners. Some winners might have gone past validation or prize money hysterics. Still wining makes people happy. But it is also known that sometimes those who read about winning a prize are excited and happier about the prize than some of the winners! Some prize winners are known to have rejected their prize.
The Nobel prize is a reward, sometimes for unrecognized beliefs, works, attitude mutating from nothingness at a time to somethingness in time. This process occurs in the lives of individuals without relevance and hope.
The joy in the Nobel is the recognition of work. It is not received in order to start work. It is received for what had been done differently and sometimes collectively. Whether the recognition actually meets public expectation is a different issue. The Nobel is greatly admired the way rag to riches story jerks the mind. Therefore, individual aspirations and attainments in some ways are like the Nobel.
On winning, learning anchors, hurdles and prize, Uya presents one.
Uya is born to a household of many children. Her family is from a French colonial territory in west Africa. She is sent to live with her elderly Aunty. Uya is barely 12 year old without formal education. She is unable to figure out the mind of her parents. What is the reason for ‘chasing her out ‘ to stay with a relative, who lives on selling local beans – Iwa Agoyi in far away English speaking west African country?
In the new country she has no advantage of speaking any of the locals languages. She is in a strange land where her living condition knows no comfort. A bacha house close to dirty unmoving canals in the city fringes is her experience. Uncertainty and fears are her constant visitors. But this is her new reality. She has to learn and survive.
Each morning Uya watch Aunty prepares beans in a special way. Later, she carries it on her head and hawk with two other girls in unfamiliar neighborhood. It was only for a while before getting to know those who delight in cooked, spiced beans. Acquaintance has a way of birthing confidence. She also identifies construction sites as easy point of good sales. Though mined with molestation of the laborer cadres, she devised a way to overcome by being cheerful and formal. These hot spots enable her to finish her sales early in the day. It leaves her with time for introspection and action.
She would see women weaving hair. She sits by their side for hours while trying to sell leftovers. She observes them carefully as their hands moves with dexterity on the heads of clients.
At home Uya would practice with available materials. Over a period of time she understands how to weave many styles. Still leaving with her Aunty, she assists neighbors with plaiting and weaving of hairs without charge. Over time little coins start dropping into her purse. Gradually being empowered, she constantly ask herself why she cannot read English. She then purchased some ‘premiers’ by the road side which quicken her vistas.
High point of this story is that Uya weaves or makes hair for top executives, influential women in the city of lagos. She speaks and writes English very well. She has helped her brothers to acquire skills and established themselves. She recently sent one of her children overseas for higher education.
To attain a learning high point, there are learning anchors not limited to the following.
When there is emerging idea, it is common to encounter ‘a killing query’. From take-off to perhaps, the point of acceptance, be sure of getting enough of such killing queries. Peers and gatekeepers delight hardly encourage. But once this ‘primordial knowledge’ vents out as ‘recognized’, you will see a crowd join in a chant and celebration of the once ‘rejected idea’. Therefore, before joining ‘purveyors of killing query’, take time to reflect. Do so even when many are tempted to join the bandwagon and cacophony absurdly mapping a restless world. Find for your self a peaceful place, a kind of shield somewhere within the world. Be encouraged to learn formally and informally. The outcome will be great in many ways. The story will be told like winning a great prize. But there are things that be noted.
Ability to create mental pictures is critical. It helps and leads to incessant dreaming. This ability is given impetus by other latent factors that can give great result on a trigger.
Physical/mental health. This is critical for meaningful advance. At suboptimal levels, thinking and other activities could be greatly hampered with resultant low outcomes.
Close Association: The power of association is known. What makes the external to influence the internal of a poorly exposed young person in need of direction and consistency? This requires deeper understanding. There are multiple stories on what influences a young person – where and why? Sustained aggregate change in the future of a less privileged young person is like a cradle having unseen multipliers.
Environment: This is different from association. It is enabling environment that provides air and space for a tryout no matter how little.
Capacity enhancement. Aspiration opens the eyes to capacity and its elasticities helping one to uncover that education. attainment, money wealth fame are achievable at degrees if they are actual goals pursued.
Genetic disposition critically marks individuals and should always be recognized in learning. It is one of the fundamental issue leaving us with age long enquiry of nature, nurture, power of modification and cultural limitations in the making of personality.
Stimuli: It is always present and can be identified. It rejects a low performing past. Stimuli are critical to advancement.
Altruism is leaving arena of discussions these days as many tend to assume that others are always acting on selfish motives. Remember, there is no single stone highway etched on human mind. Human actions are from layers of consciousness, bits of consistency and inconsistencies. What seems to be dominant behavior at a time does not always mean the only behavior. Sometimes there are deep seated impulses enabled underground and smothering which could birth unusual outcome. Some have learn to tame or release such behavior anyway. Still, there is altruism.
But snap it again differently.
Why are some men and women in the dominance of selfishness, greed and egoism sometimes choose marked ethical difference? Why do they deviate from the general pattern, elect to seek spirituality not minding deprivations attendant to sincerity, sacrifices for the real, a head on to ethereal-ism?
It could be seen that others who don’t claim godliness could do things without expectation of immediate reward. Some say a few scientists, statesmen, revolutionary leaders, charismatic leaders have been found in this company.
Yet others hide their motives deep down. Looking beyond the veneer also show that at a time or the other, humans work to expect a kind of reward within or without. It could be fulfilling personal aspiration, perhaps, spiritual or meeting external needs.
What is the import of this story. Under inauspicious circumstances, you can rise. It is possible to do so if you tune your mind to learn at all times and through life. Each of us has hurdles, some seen and others unseen. But resolve to learn something and when you are accomplished, you would have won your Nobel.
Learning is life. One must learn. Even when one goes delusional at a point, one must learn. There are things to learn. Fix your mind on learning something good to improve yourself and the world around you. It is an enterprise, a constant chase for the wise. It must be sustained.
Uya is Igbo word. It is a silent, lingering feeling, desire and pain insisting you wriggle out of, to a new, glorious condition. Uya is not a necessity in learning but it could be a powerful element especially when all circumstances to learn and improve is beeping NO. Continue to learn and work to win like Uya. She crossed her hurdles.