Our life is one of acquisition. From childhood through all adult life, we devote our energy to acquiring things. Acquisition promotes distinction.
As a child we acquire knowledge. Knowledge about nature, about mathematics, the scientific laws and about our wars and the famous people who influenced us down the centuries, about our religions and so on. Without knowledge we are considered ignorant, uncouth and fit only to live in the wild. We also know a lot about other people, our neighbors, friends, relatives, our heroes etc. Very soon we become walking encyclopaedias with varying degree of acquisition levels. We also acquire skills in trade and art. We also acquire knowledge about our community and culture and how it is superior to that of another people. We acquire through inheritance (physiological or psychological) our prejudice against people of another community, another culture, another nation or another race. We also acquire the sophistication that hides our prejudices behind a veneer of nobility.
The primary concern of educators is the imparting of knowledge, thereby facilitating the acquisition of knowledge, the primary goal of education. The knowledge so acquired is measured and graded. The grade represents the capacity of the person to fit into the society in order to fulfil its needs. The unstated goal is to promote only those who have acquired most and consistently demonstrated it through examinations at every level. There is a certain pride involved in this acquisition and the subsequent recognition that follows from it. There is also a certain status associated with it in the society so that special privileges may be granted to the person with superior knowledge levels.
The need to acquire follows us into adulthood. We strive to acquire wealth, property and position in the social hierarchy. Acquisition helps us build respectability. Our power to influence people increases considerably. The more we acquire, the bigger we become.
Is there any activity that does not involve directly or indirectly acquisition of some kind? To make ourselves look attractive we acquire a wardrobe of fashionable clothes. Wealth and property endow us with superiority and respectability. Books point to our erudition. Power and position distinguish us from most other people.