28 Dec A Short Guide to Self-Education
Self-Education is a revolutionary tactic because you’re acquiring knowledge that will increase your sense of self-worth, not only for yourself but future generations as well. Knowledge of self is easily translatable to love of self. My first post was “The Importance of Self-Education.” I wrote this short guide so I’m not just preaching the importance but laying out concrete steps. When you first begin and continue this journey, it can be difficult without the pressure from teachers or professors making deadlines for assignments. There are no consequences for not finishing on time. You don’t have to study for tests and no marks are handed to you that validates your retention of the material. There won’t be a job waiting for you after a certain amount of time studying. Self-Education must be overstood as a lifelong process. Part of this process is sharing this knowledge and spreading black consciousness among others. It doesn’t matter if it’s your brother, mother, neighbor, European, Hispanic or Asian friends. The challenge you face from initiating education stems from weaving it with our daily lives.
Step One : Watching less TV. This will be the hardest step in the age of Netflix and Chill and binge watching. Personally, I have a lot more free time since I moved into a new place of my own with no cable. I’ve utilized this leisure time to benefit other areas of my life. I didn’t completely stop watching TV, I have several DVDS that I own (for writing purposes) and have access to a Netflix account. Completely eliminating this habit might work for some but gradual elimination can be more practical. The goal is to cut down your TV time to increase your time for education. If you have several favorite shows, choose only one episode per day then work towards one episode per week. Just remember that the shows will always be there, so give higher knowledge a greater priority.
Step Two : Set aside reading time. After the first step, this will be the easiest step to accomplish. You can either devote a few pages or chapters daily. You can decide to read for half an hour or read till you fall asleep at night. Cut out local magazines and newspapers and read books instead. If you take transit a lot, bury your face in a book instead of your phone. Set realistic goals for keeping consistency. Again, this is about balance in your life, make sure you stick to a pace that can be maintained. A good first book to start off with is “The Destruction of Black Civilization” by Chancellor Williams.
Step Three : Watch educational videos. This will be the easiest tool to apply with this guide. The best source for videos online is YouTube. Seeking knowledge on YouTube is just as easy as seeking entertainment. YouTube has tons of audio speeches as well, so you can listen in the background while doing chores. The content on YouTube is endless. After cutting off TV with the first step, don’t go backwards and get distracted on YouTube. Start off with some Malcolm X, Kwame Ture or even try to find the author of the book you’ reading and learn more about that person.
Step Four : Treat learning like you’re in school. One good tip is to set deadlines for yourself. Give yourself a time period to finish a book or two so you can start a new one. You should already have an idea which books you’re going to read next. Now don’t rush, take your time to comprehend the material. Another point is taking notes on the material. Unless you have a photographic memory, making notes will help you for future reference. Writing notes takes time but the best option is to jot down notes while reading. It will make reading longer but it will be more beneficial than just reading the book through ounce. A faster alternative for writing notes is highlighting. This option will be beneficial if you decide to buy your own books. If you buy your own books, you’ll be building up your library. This step will really separate people casually learning and people hungry to learn. If you decide to stay casual, its better then not learning at all.
Step Five : Challenge the material – Ask Questions. If you plan to share this knowledge, be ready for someone to disagree with you or say something negative about it. Learn what other people have to say about the material. Look online for books and look in the comment section for videos. Sometimes you learn even more about the material with links provided from other people. Don’t entertain the negativity so much but at least be aware of it so you can stay two steps ahead. This will improve your debating skills for the future as well. Learn to form rebuttals and counter arguments during this phase of learning.
Step Six : Join a Discussion Group/Organization/Work Study. Seek like-minded people to share and discuss the knowledge you learn. Find a discussion group for your book online or join/start a group on Facebook. In my opinion, joining/starting a real life group will be more beneficial for your speaking skills. Clearly conveying ideas to other people in real time will always be more convincing. Joining a online group has the benefit of network to endless people all over the world. Ideally, strive to do both but getting the discussion down any way you can is what’s most important.
Hopefully this guide was able to help, whether you’re a beginner or you’re very serious about knowledge of self already. The last 3 steps are more advanced and will require more time to invest in. This will keep the material engaging as you’re forced to dig deeper with yourself and others. Above all else just relax, you have the rest of your life to learn.
Peace and Blessings to all.