The True Meaning Of Education

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I see many people equal education to being able to speak good English. And the better your phonetics the more educated they see you as. Our entire radio and TV media is built around that perception. 

I see some people equal age and travel to education. They believe that if you take out any two persons, the older and more travelled is the more educated.

I see other people equal wealth to education. They are obsessed with the idea that the rich knows what the poor doesn't know. That the rich is more educated, and it is the source of his wealth.

They are all wrong.


The true meaning of education is to have a mind that is trained to know the limits of its knowledge; a mind that scientifically examines all without prejudice and a mind that is tolerant of other people's opinions. 

Education is to know what you know and not claim to know what you don't. It doesn't matter whether you went to a school or not. It's just easier if you went through a school. The greatest philosophers were men who lived when there were no schools. Now it is considered a mark of great education to be adept at socratic method. And it is believed that you are well above the averagely educated if you have read the books of Aristotle and Plato. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were men who were exposed to much less knowledge than us and yet we still build university courses around them.

Knowledge doesn't equal education. It's like the difference between an adult and a precocious child. Knowledge gets you attention (like that child and our OAPs) while education gets you a life. Education is knowing the limit of your knowledge. To verbally stay within the limits of what you know and not let anyone sway you with emotion laden unproven arguments.

Education is to not have a strong opinion about everything. The type of opinion that you can't stand anyone challenging. You know that your knowledge is not vast enough to form a valid a opinion about everything. According to Robert Frost, "Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper." 

Education is to live a rational life and embrace your ignorance. And the cool thing about it is that once you take this path, you will value learning more and reducing your ignorance about the things you care about.


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