Soothing over the voice of Kailash Kher on Allah ke bande!
Hello netizens, and welcome to the 21st century, the fastest-growing phase ever witnessed by humankind. It is this age of information where things are rapidly growing and becoming advanced. Whatever has been visualized by us as children or by our parents during their childhood are turning into reality every day. The flying car we oozed about after watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002 has been made and completed a test flight a couple of days ago in Slovakia. My point here is the world around us is updating and upgrading at a very fast pace.
There are certain things, which we have learned over time and are now obsolete. To cope up with this world of fast-moving development, increasing technology, and automation coming up just around the corner, it’s about time that we update ourselves.
What is unlearning?
Consider this, the human mind is just like a computer, it can store and process information/knowledge to a limit, when you overload yourself with knowledge, although, it’s all in that little skull at some point or other, you will tend to forget something almost as same as a computer crashing. Now, we aren’t machines that we will restart and it’ll be all back to normal. But instead, when our memory runs full, it’s about time we delete some files from our memories that aren’t useful anymore or in other words are obsolete. This process of deleting obsolete files and folders from human memory is Unlearning!
Unlearn, the dictionary meaning of the term is to discard something previously learned from one’s memory. In a way, it’s the art of letting go of old knowledge, information, or habits to make room for new ideas and learning new skills which will help us in the future.
Fun fact, I am not sure whether you’ve experienced this or not, during childhood, most 90s kids like me used to go to the bank with our parents to deposit money or withdraw the same via cheques. Growing up, nowadays, my whole banking system is online at the tips of my fingers on my phone. I am hardly using cash thanks to UPI and apps like PhonePe, Google Pay, and their vast availability, so much so that even the grocery store downstairs accept it. Even for withdrawing money, there are ATMs at every nook and corner.
Importance of Unlearning
Coming back to the topic, why is unlearning important? The point is due to traditional schooling and the environment of our upbringing. We have developed a certain notion of how things are and should be. Things like, you’ve to go to school, get good grades, get a good job, get married at a certain age, etc. Those are things that have now become part of our system altogether. Since we’ve seen this time and again, somewhere, somehow, even we have found a belief in this type of system. Now, here is where unlearning comes in. To break this mould and think or have something to believe out of the box, you will have to unlearn whatever you’ve previously learned, things like our social beliefs. We’ve already made up our minds over certain things like education, history, or even social ideologies, that we don’t even blink before talking about them.
The age-old ideologies are what we have to unlearn. Just because a certain practice like Dowry was valid during older generations doesn’t mean it is fair, am I right? We need to understand what we have learned so far, and ask questions about it, go in-depth about the idea, and then decide for ourselves, whether it is good or bad. If you are not comfortable with the idea, it’s about time to unlearn that belief you had in it.
Also, we’ve limited our scope of possibilities which we need to unlearn to explore new horizons, just like, the possibility of having a flying car in the 90s was foolish, the possibility of having one now is clearly visible. With time and technology moving forward, we humans also need to take steps ahead, break the old beliefs and unlearn all that we’ve believed without questioning.
Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.– Bruce Lee
How to Unlearn?
Now the question in your head must be how do I unlearn anything. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered on this one.
- Think before saying – Okay, this one is pretty simple yet way too powerful, in your daily life, you have certain opinions over things. Any kind of opinions, like tea is better than coffee for example. Pick any opinion, you come across and try to find your reasoning behind.
- Question your own opinion – Now, this might be true to you, but have you ever thought of how you came to this opinion? Was it your idea or is it just because, you’ve been programmed that way since childhood? 🤔 Even I got to thinking into this deeply.
- Find an answer – Next you need to find the answer, get on a quest to find what made your opinion of choosing one drink over another, continuing on the example.
- Decide to unlearn – Once, you’ve reached an answer decide whether the answer you found is good for you, or it’s about time to update your dictionary for re-defining that thing in your life.
- Unlearn – The final step, just like the computer, you need to do either of two things – Overwrite previous knowledge, or delete the file completely. As I mentioned, if you want you can continue to be a tea-lover like me, or choose coffee or start having some other drink, if you need. Or even stop consumption of all these together.
This process is more of a self-evaluating kind of process, this is my way of unlearning things, you can try forming your own with these as a basis. After all, it’s about learning, unlearning and properly relearning stuff. And trust me once you start evaluating, it’s not at all difficult, like Master Yoda said,