ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Academic Nirvana

Updated on December 20, 2010

Academic Nirvana

Academic Nirvana?

By Nicky Bantham

I often think of the many years I’ve wasted, allowing a specific school of thought to harness my responses to who I thought I was and the pre-conceived ideas which govern, who I have become today.

On the eve of my fortieth year on ‘God’s green earth’, I had not achieved what seemingly some would regard as ‘academic nirvana’, that so many people are fortunate enough to attain in life. Yet, the people who were part of my circles, whether in friendship or in a professional capacity, were mostly high achievers, who lived off the benefits of the ‘input’ they have made towards their scholastic lives and were excellent mentors. Their seniority mostly reflected in the positions they fill in industries, where achievement becomes a cesspool for ambitious relief and financial success, not to mention a deeper sense of personal pride.

I applaud anyone who positively contributes to a wider spectrum of things. Not only because they have worked hard at earning their rite of passage to be rewarded for doing so, but also because they have honed their lives in the highest way and in doing so, have honoured their higher selves. However, I often wonder, whether it makes my view a short-sighted one, when I think about the many people who have come across my path in this life, who are ‘uncertified’ academically, but highly capable and in many cases, who sometimes work harder than most, to prove their ‘position’s worth’ on the ‘rung’ of work-place hierarchy, but who never quite reach a fair equilibrium to that of their professional counterparts. I do of course speak under correction and only base this view on my personal experience.

On life’s playing field, our socio-economic advantage or disadvantage, fortune or misfortune, ambition or lack thereof, our enthusiasm or sheer laziness, usually determines where we place ourselves, in the ‘arrival hall’ of our existence. Some of us return to study later in life, when enlightenment hits us like a bolt from the blue, while others continue to spend their lives, bitter and with cynical dialogue, protesting their ‘lot’.

When I first realized that I had an ability to change my life, through what I believed I could achieve in my mind, my personal odyssey became such an enriching experience, which made my life a testimony of inspiration to many. The reflections of my mental creations, showed up as pictures which sometimes mirrored unbelievable chaos or left me in wide-eyed wonderment, depending on how I processed my thinking. I made a choice very quickly to use this to my advantage, and at a young age, decided not to become embittered because I was born into socio-economic disadvantage, in a country where my classification determined my residential influence.

Yes, it is true that the people who have been part of my formative years have strongly contributed to who I have become today, as is the case with everyone. The traditional family unit of, ‘mother and father-who in most cases work hard to adorn their children with a secure future- were clearly not meant to be part of my life’s journey. This ‘family- dysfunction’, along with all its social stigmas attached, has never been a crutch with which I’ve grown a belief in my thinking, that I would never ‘amount to anything’, as so many of us often believe, because our mores are not documented with prestige.

I love the following quote by Lebanese/American philosopher and novelist, Kahlil Gibran, who writes, “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls: the massive characters are seared with scars”

I would like to and do believe that I have had the grandest and most phenomenal experiences in this life, despite being seared by a regime. My values were also increasingly strengthened by a lineage, which have helped to bevel my impressions of success, displayed in ways, contrary to what material success looks like in our world today, and the position this automatically gives us, based on what heralds our social or professional prominence.

My ability to have received a smaller education than most, in a politically-entrenched and racially decrepit country when I was a student, has instilled a deep sense of gratitude within me, purely because I was ‘endorsed’ through a set of unusual life experiences which became the nucleus of MY life, that no certificate or diploma, from any academy of learning could ever give to me. I am acutely aware that academic achievement is the cornerstone to success, but would like to argue that this is not always the only key to a ‘successful life’.

I have worked in many different countries, where I have had the ‘privilege’ to meet professionals who were masters at their craft, who occupy lofty positions within organisations, yet held the emotional intelligence of a chair, while others who may have had more restrictions within their life paths, possessed an adeptness at handling life, in ways that could never be learned from a book.

The above- statements, may appear to be controversial, condescending or bear undertones of impertinence towards the highly learned among us, but this is not what the essence of this article is meant to depict. It is in no way meant to infer that education is meaningless or not important and that those who seek knowledge are by any means not very valuable resources, who influence and shape global consciousness and life by and large.

What I am in fact trying to advocate is that, we are not all meant to function as paradigms of grandiosity. An enhanced academia, will definitely affect the quality of anyone’s life positively, but we are not all born into affluence, or circumstance which affords us that privilege and this should therefore not be the portal to our social branding. Neither should we place ourselves there based on what society thinks qualifies US. Life is not a comparative by which to live, but an illustration of that which brings the most fulfilment, happiness and personal contentment, whatever that may be for you! By Nicky Bantham-Copyright © December 2010


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Nicky Bantham profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks Nash.

    • profile image

      Nash Rhoda 

      8 years ago

      Excellent writing

    • Nicky Bantham profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      I feel the same way about your writing, Poohgranma!Thank you from a very deep place, for sharing your comments on my hubs.I am not only inspired, but truly feel a kinship with you(surreal, but wonderful)and am very humbled by the fact that you think I am talented:-)

    • Poohgranma profile image


      8 years ago from On the edge

      Having passed mid-life two decades ago I can say, without reserve, that academia has it's place, certainly, and richly improves our human-kind but it has been those of lesser formal education that have enriched my time, teaching me of lessons that are written only in their hearts or on bended backs earned by life's trials. Your writing fills my heart with hope that these folks will have a voice, finally, from one as honest and talented as you.

    • Adela Rasta profile image

      Adela Rasta 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      A brilliant piece of writing. Coherent and powerful. I think you are giving everyone their fair due in it; I don't feel that any group is being put down in any way with your words. It is so true that education is the cornerstone, but there are also many types of intelligence and often life experiences can be more invaluable than any degree. This is a thoughtful, creative work with a sound argument. I look forward to reading more from you.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)