‘What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.’ George Bernard Shaw
What an image! I’m not sure about you but I’m seeing an endless corridor where various exercise books in humanoid form laugh heartily and wickedly as they flap after a screaming school boy. So sinister are these tomes that I fear for the poor child if ever run down. No doubt Knowledge is capable of some grievous bodily harm. There is no escape. All the corridor doors are locked! What is the child going to do? ‘Go easy on him Knowledge’, I call out, ‘I’m sure he’ll warm to you once he gets to know you a bit more.’ But Knowledge doesn’t heed me, and launches into a tackle on the unfortunate lad. They tumble into the school yard where …
Wait … the man who brought us My Fair Lady (well, more or less) has his vision fulfilled. The child is saved. And now it’s poor Knowledge who is due to take a kicking from a nasty looking bunch of school kids. They sneer menacingly as they surround poor old Knowledge and … ouch! The students are in hot pursuit. Eliza Doolittle now joins the fray as Knowledge desperately tries to scramble away. He’s almost clear … Oh no! She’s clocked him one with her umbrella. Knowledge is down.
Now here are Knowledge’s mates, Wisdom, Reason and Henry Higgins. Can they possibly let their old chum take this from that rabble of brats? No they can’t. With a roar they charge to Knowledge’s defence and a bitter battle ensues. Is that the adolescents on the run again? No, after a moment of fear they stand fast against this new tide of education.
Crash! Reason has been toppled. But he’s up again. An implacable, determined foe as every one of us knows. Who hasn’t been crushed by his iron fist at some point in life? And which of us hasn’t been humiliated by bold Knowledge? As I say this he is laying about him with ferocity. But the headway they make is limited. The youngsters are impervious to Reason and laugh in the face of Knowledge. Where is Knowledge’s fabled power now? Knowledge is not deterred. He has hidden reserves of strength. Is that a moment’s hesitation from the little ones? Oh, the fog of war.