What Is Education?

A young officer, who wanted to listen to Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s lecture, got down from the train with a suitcase to go to the lecture hall.

Vidyasagar also got down from the same train with a suitcase. The young officer was shouting for a cooli. Vidyasagar went to him and said, “Why do you need a coolie to carry this small suitcase? Can’t you carry it yourself and save the money?”

He replied, “It is not in keeping with my dignity to carry my suitcase. I am an educated person.” Vidyasagar told him, “The hall-mark of education is humility and not pride. If you cannot carry your own bag how are you carrying your body? If however, you cannot carry your bag I shall do so.”

He carried the officer’s bag. He acted on the motto “Simple living and High thinking.” Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar left the bag where the officer got off. The young man wanted to offer money to his porter. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar told him, “To serve you is my reward.”

The young officer left and was later proceeding to the venue of the meeting. There people were offering garlands to Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar to welcome him to the meeting. The young officer realized that the man who had offered to carry his bag at the station was none other than the respected lecturer of that evening, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.

He felt ashamed that he had made such a great man carry his bag. He reflected. “What is his education and what is mine? I have behaved like a little monkey. I am like a glow worm before the sun.”