How to be an educated man

Who Is An Educated Man? – Education (3) – Nairaland

[size=16pt]An educated man is a man of integrity, honesty, just, who eschew evil, who fear his Creator (God) in all his ways, doings, appearances, speaking, acts and dealings. That’s an educated man.[/size]

You are totally wrong, that is the definition of a GOOD HUMAN BEING

one that can blow and write grammar!

Then if that is the case what should we say about Bill Gate or Facebook Founder, wise up ma it is nt about Crammer is about the necessary qualities.

Education can be formal or informal

Though, the Society believe so much in the formal education but the truth still stands INFORMAL EDUCATION is the best, we only need formal to be able to read, write and know our mathematics very well.

Although the Economy demands formal education but the interview you are to face depends on aw much knowledge you have accumulated which your teacher can’t teach you everything about life, you just have to learn all that in an Informal way.

So 4 me; AN EDUCATED PERSON is a person that possess A LOT OF EXPERIENCES, VERY OBSERVANT, THINKS A LOT (nt worrying), LEARN FROM OTHER WEAKNESS & MISTAKES, AND USUALLY PUT IS 5 SENSE ORGANS TO WORK MOSTLY RATHER THAN IS PHYSICAL STRENGTH.

I am a Computer Guru not because i went to a computer school but because i learn (Copy shamelessly) from others even without them knowing. All i do is to go to my personal computer and try the impossible, and with the help of internet search engine like Google, my knowledge was expanded.

I am not referring to all who claim to be of The Lord JESUS CHRIST, and thus Christians, but those who truly are, by GOD’s grace and mercy only – “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” – 2 Ti 2:19. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” – Matt 7:21 (2Co 11:13-15)

My point basically, and it is truth, that the word of GOD is the truth and abides forever, as opposed to any knowledge acquired while here on this earth, which for the short run may be instrumental in making a living, etc, but is fleeting and will cease when one dies.

An Educated Man is a man who has been to school (or a form of structured training), gained a qualification and he is able to apply his learning in real world situation.

I prefer this.

An Educated Man is a man who has been to school (or a form of structured training), gained a qualification and he is able to apply his learning in real world situation.

I prefer this.

I am not referring to all who claim to be of The Lord JESUS CHRIST, and thus Christians, but those who truly are, by GOD’s grace and mercy only – “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” – 2 Ti 2:19. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” – Matt 7:21 (2Co 11:13-15)

My point basically, and it is truth, that the word of GOD is the truth and abides forever, as opposed to any knowledge acquired while here on this earth, which for the short run may be instrumental in making a living, etc, but is fleeting and will cease when one dies.

Is education, by your scriptures, limited to Christianity?

New International Version (NIV)

11 If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, 12 you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

This is “THE WORD OF JEHOVAH”

[size=16pt]An educated man is a man of integrity, honesty, just, who eschew evil, who fear his Creator (God) in all his ways, doings, appearances, speaking, acts and dealings. That’s an educated man.[/size]

That’s more like your idea of an eligible/dream man, lol.
With emphasis on dream by the way.

For me, education does not equate schooling. That you got a university degree does not make you educated, atleast not in a wider sense.

Exposure to different cultural, social, by whatever means gets you ENLIGHTENED. So, should we be asking, who is an enlightened man?
Just asking,

With some of the answers, one would be tempted to think that the question was, who is your perfect man?
Some dey even quote bible join. Lol

That’s more like your idea of an eligible/dream man, lol.
With emphasis on dream by the way.

Apparently there is no educated man in nigeria.Why because an educated people don’t allow to be ruled by cattle rearers(muslims). You have degrees and your whole being control by mallam in the north who did not even finish primary school let alone high school. Sad and you wonder why nigerians are being treated like monkeys overseas.Yes nigerians are monkeys if you ask me.Bunch of cowards with degrees and no brain to back it up.The only person I have respect in nigeria of course Biafran nation Leader is Ojukwu sad the man passed away. As an educated man,he never allow monkeys in the north called muslim to control him and the rest of Igbos and the Igbos today are just wimps and disgrace to human race. So if you call yourself educated person,you should have gotten ride of these donkeys in the north call muslims and put their cattle brains to rest once and for all.I am sure their masters britain and russia are not going to help them again like they did during Biafran war.

That’s more like your idea of an eligible/dream man, lol.
With emphasis on dream by the way.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year,

kwangi: With some of the answers, one would be tempted to think that the question was, who is your perfect man?
Some dey even quote bible join. Lol

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

John Wooden, basketball coach

John Taylor Gatto, a renowned education historian and critic of modern industrial schooling, wrote an essay titled The Curriculum of Necessity or What Must an Educated Person Know? Here’s how the essay begins:

A few years back one of the schools at Harvard, perhaps the School of Government, issued some advice to its students on planning a career in the new international economy it believed was arriving. It warned sharply that academic classes and professional credentials would count for less and less when measured against real world training. Ten qualities were offered as essential to successfully adapting to the rapidly changing world of work. See how many of those you think are regularly taught in the schools of your city or state…

Here’s Harvard University’s list of skills that make an educated person

  1. The ability to define problems without a guide.
  2. The ability to ask hard questions which challenge prevailing assumptions.
  3. The ability to quickly assimilate needed data from masses of irrelevant information.
  4. The ability to work in teams without guidance.
  5. The ability to work absolutely alone.
  6. The ability to persuade others that your course is the right one.
  7. The ability to conceptualize and reorganize information into new patterns.
  8. The ability to discuss ideas with an eye toward application.
  9. The ability to think inductively, deductively and dialectically.
  10. The ability to attack problems heuristically.

After listing these skills, Gatto continued:

You might be able to come up with a better list than Harvard did without surrendering any of these fundamental ideas, and yet from where I sit, and I sat around schools for nearly 30 years, I don’t think we teach any of these things as a matter of school policy… None of the schools I ever worked for were able to provide any important parts of this vital curriculum for children. All the schools I worked for taught nonsense up front. And under the table, they taught young people how to be dumb, how to be slavish, how to be frightened, and how to be dependent.

I found Harvard’s list fascinating. A while back, I drafted a list of this type in my own post, Do You Have These Core Human Skills?

  1. Information-Assimilation – how to find, consume, and comprehend information and identify what’s most important in the face of a problem or challenge.
  2. Writing – how to communicate thoughts and ideas in written form clearly and concisely.
  3. Speaking – how to communicate thoughts and ideas to others clearly, concisely, and with confidence.
  4. Mathematics – how to accurately use concepts from arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistics to analyze and solve common problems.
  5. Decision-Making – how to identify critical issues, prioritize, focus energy/effort, recognize fallacies, avoid common errors, and handle ambiguity.
  6. Rapport – how to interact with other people in a way that encourages them to like, trust, and respect you.
  7. Conflict-Resolution – how to anticipate potential sources of conflict and resolve disagreements when they occur.
  8. Scenario-Generation – how to create, clarify, evaluate, and communicate a possible future scenario that assists in decision-making, either for yourself or another person.
  9. Planning – how to identify the necessary next steps to achieve an objective, account for dependencies, and prepare for the unknown and inevitable change via the use of contingencies.
  10. Self-Awareness – how to accurately perceive and influence your own internal states and emotions, including effective management of limited energy, willpower, and focus.
  11. Interrelation – how to recognize, understand, and make use of key features of systems and relationships, including cause-and-effect, second and third-order effects, constraints, and feedback loops.
  12. Skill Acquisition – how to go about learning a desired skill in a way that results in competence by finding and utilizing available resources, deconstructing complex processes, and actively experimenting with potential approaches.

A bit of research led me search for other lists of “what an educated person must know.” Oliver Demille’s A Thomas Jefferson Education included Harvard’s list, in addition to two others.

Here’s Princeton University’s list of skills that make an educated person:

  1. The ability to think, speak, and write clearly.
  2. The ability to reason critically and systematically.
  3. The ability to conceptualize and solve problems.
  4. The ability to think independently.
  5. The ability to take initiative and work independently.
  6. The ability to work in cooperation with others and learn collaboratively.
  7. The ability to judge what it means to understand something thoroughly.
  8. The ability to distinguish the important from the trivial, the enduring from the ephemeral.
  9. Familiarity with the different modes of thought (including quantitative, historical, scientific, and aesthetic.)
  10. Depth of knowledge in a particular field.
  11. The ability to see connections among disciplines, ideas and cultures.
  12. The ability to pursue life long learning.

Here’s George Wythe University’s list of skills that make an educated person:

  1. The ability to understand human nature and lead accordingly.
  2. The ability to identify needed personal traits and turn them into habits.
  3. The ability to establish, maintain, and improve lasting relationships.
  4. The ability to keep one’s life in proper balance.
  5. The ability to discern truth and error regardless of the source or the delivery.
  6. The ability to discern true from right.
  7. The ability and discipline to do right.
  8. The ability and discipline to constantly improve.

There are four major lessons to learn from these lists:

  • There’s a remarkably strong consensus from independent sources (inside and outside academia) about what it means to be an “educated” person. An “educated” person is one equipped to deal with most common life situations. Skills related to these areas are the skills that will be most useful throughout the course of life.
  • “Education” is an ongoing process that is not synonymous with credentialing: credentialing programs almost universally skip teaching these “fuzzy” skills in favor of other skills that can be assessed more easily. “Education” does not end when schooling ends. The true test of these skills is how an individual responds in situations that call for them.
  • Existing schooling / credentialing processes have little to no overlap with these major areas, and may actually be counterproductive, either by over-complicating the theory related to these skills or consuming time/attention in teaching areas unrelated to these skills. Current trends in credentialing are leading to less overlap in these areas over time, not more.
  • If you intend to improve in each of these areas, you must invest time, energy, and resources learning these skills on your own. Investment in learning skills related to these areas is most likely to pay dividends in real-world situations, either in money or overall life satisfaction.

What are you practicing right now? What skills are you actively developing? Are these efforts contributing to your development as an “educated” person, or are they interfering?

Thanks to another hub user for asking the question, “What are the responsibilities of an educated person?”

My answer was this:

“An educated person is responsible for sustaining his or her life and the lives of any children he/she may have. An educated person is also responsible for using his or her gained knowledge in a way that does not cause harm. Perpetuating the human species is not possible if a large number of people have as their goal to cause harm.

Hopefully, an educated person has a more well-rounded view of the world and will continue to seek knowledge and understanding of it throughout their lives.”

How to be an educated man

An education often provides a person with the means to sustain his life, to live comfortably or even to live in luxury. The major you choose will be the deciding factor in determining the stability and limits of your financial situation. A degree in engineering, mathematics, physics, or computer science will lead to a much higher salary than a degree in social work or women’s studies. This may not be a popular statement, but your intelligence and dedication will affect which majors you are capable of obtaining. So, you must recognize your limitations and work with the attributes you possess.

How to be an educated man

People often wait to have children and first acquire education so they have the means to support their future offspring. They realize that having a college degree will very likely allow them to have a higher income than if they were to attempt to enter the job market with only a high school diploma. For various reasons, a college education may not be a possibility for some people, but for those who do pursue a degree, society expects that they will support themselves and their children.

How to be an educated man

An educated person should responsibly use their education. A very famous physicist named Richard Feynman was one of the scientists who contributed to the creation of the atomic bomb. The atomic bomb caused mass destruction, the loss of thousands of innocent lives, and its effects still linger today. Richard Feynman was a very intelligent and educated man when he was persuaded to join the team of people who were building the atomic bomb. He felt that he was benefiting his country, but in the aftermath of the bombs being dropped, Feynman changed his mind. He experienced a deep depression, which he describes in one of his books:

” I returned to civilization shortly after that and went to Cornell to teach, and my first impression was a very strange one. I can’t understand it any more, but I felt very strongly then. I sat in a restaurant in New York, for example, and I looked out at the buildings and I began to think, you know, about how much the radius of the Hiroshima bomb damage was and so forth. How far from here was 34th street. All those buildings, all smashed — and so on. And I would see people building a bridge, or they’d be making a new road, and I thought, they’re crazy, they just don’t understand, they don’t understand. Why are they making new things? It’s so useless. But, fortunately, it’s been useless for almost forty years now, hasn’t it? So I’ve been wrong about it being useless making bridges and I’m glad those other people had the sense to go ahead.”

Feynman is an excellent example of a person who could have used his education to achieve different ends (and he did make other notable contributions to the scientific community). The bomb may have been built anyway, but he would not have been an accessory in the act. Because the bomb was built, it could potentially be used in the future or the United States can simply use it as an unspoken threat against anyone who is not our ally.

Continuing your education throughout your life is important. The knowledge you possess affects your actions toward everything and everyone in your life, and in turn helps to perpetuate or destroy humanity and our planet.

I am reading an engaging book – The Tell-Tale Brain, by Dr. V.S. Ramachandran. An interesting look at what makes us human, from a neurologist’s perspective. Dr. Ramachandran takes a look at the neurological structure of our brain, not through complicated instruments, but by basic methods and experiments, and comes to some very enlightening conclusions.

But today’s post is not about that book.

I reached a section of the book where the author speaks about the neurology of aesthetics – what makes us like art…can be visual, or audio, or visual, but there are some parameters that are common and can be taken as the basis of our liking of any form of art.

He likens this to the Sanskrit form of रस (rasa), a fundamental concept in Indian arts that speaks about the aesthetic flavor of any visual, literary or musical work that evokes an emotion or feeling in the reader or audience but cannot be described in words. The English translation – aesthetics- does little justice to this concept.

Moving a step further, Dr. Ramachandran then speaks about how the Western concepts of art, while brilliant in themselves, are seen and pursued largely as individual endeavors. In India however, they are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. For instance, when we pray, we invoke mantras that have been chanted in the same manner for thousands of years, in a language whose grammatical format was laid down three centuries before Christ, and has not needed any updating since, and in front of a deva that has been depicted on the first inscriptions that were made by man.

In Dr. Ramachandran’s words – Unlike the West, all these different aspects of life and culture are in pleasing and harmonious resonance, and are integrated into one’s daily life routines.

And this may also be the reason why we take what we have for granted.

A newborn in today’s India learns English nursery rhymes and A-Z first, and most parents don’t introduce the kid to the basic sounds of Sanskrit, which are incidentally more scientifically arranged and cover the whole spectrum of all sounds possible in human beings.

A child writes fluent English prose, but struggles, and makes fun, of essays that are to be written in Hindi, relegating it to the template “गाय हमारी माता है”.

A teenager quotes Shakespeare, but is not even aware of the surrealism of Kalidasa’s Shakuntala or mysticism of Rabindranath Tagore’s and Tyagaraja’s poems. Worse still, the advent of quotable quotes from good morning messages now mean that we are more familiar with silly and often mis-attributed quotes than genuine words of wisdom.

We learn about Greek and Roman history, but fail to even locate the Hoysala and Vijayanagara empires on the Indian map. And the icing on the cake? We learn watered down-pilates-based postures and call it yoga.

All this boils down to education.

And no, I don’t mean the kind you get in schools – that is rote-based, marks-focused and rat-race defined. I mean the kinds you get at home, where the parents spend time in teaching their kids on various facets of life.

I personally want to work on correcting this anomaly, in my own small way. Through my blog, I have attempted to bring to you works like the Panchatantra and Vetālapanchavimshati, in their original and unadulterated forms.

Some stories may seem like magic and fantasy, but when one speaks of teleporting through various words and flying machines, it demonstrates the imagination and thought process of the persons in those times, which were advanced enough to have conceptualized such happenings.

I want to extend this to Kalidasa’s works for starters – not the mundane English translations that we have encountered, but the original Sanskrit versions, rich in rasa and wordplay.

I want to explore the works of Premchand, and come out with quotes that you can forward as good-morning messages, only this time – with a lot more substance (and so that people can finally unblock you).

I want kids to know more about how sophisticated the ancient empires of North and South India were – to take them out of the dry descriptions in textbooks, and present them in a manner that children can truly understand the amazing technological and scientific advances of those times.

I want them to be fluent in English, but not at the cost of richer languages like the ones that we have in India.

A window to the world, but comfort in your own home – that is my definition of a ‘citizen with a global outlook’.

That, in my opinion, is true education.

And I am more than happy to welcome anyone who wishes to contribute to my endeavors.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you get in touch:)

The Marks of an Educated Man by Nicholas Murray Butler

Sir Nicholas Murray Butler

It isn’t so often that I get moved and captivated by essays and pieces of literature. For my fourth year in high school, we had to read Nicholas Murray Butler’s essay: The Marks of an Educated Man. I noticed that the essay was timely enough for it to strike me at the core of my mind. It talks about how there are certain rules and marks for one man to be considered an “Educated Man”. This was, I think, the only essay in my whole entire life that I have read with such awe and admiration that I’ve quickly chosen it to be my favorite one. I think that Mr. Nicholas really displayed and outlined the true essence of what being an “Educated Man” is.

The essay was so accurate and meaningful that even up till now, I use it as a reference for all the things that require me to socialize, interact, and engage with other people. I like it a lot because it speaks to everyone in a very personal level. It serves not only as a guide for young and old men and women alike, but as an epitome of a piece of text that is truly powerful and revolutionizing.

Truly, with the text, one can transform into a much better person, a more reflective one, a more efficient one, and one that is more refined. The Marks of an Educated man, surely is a must read for everyone who aspires to be someone who wants to be an example of excellence. I am one of them.

I am reading an engaging book – The Tell-Tale Brain, by Dr. V.S. Ramachandran. An interesting look at what makes us human, from a neurologist’s perspective. Dr. Ramachandran takes a look at the neurological structure of our brain, not through complicated instruments, but by basic methods and experiments, and comes to some very enlightening conclusions.

But today’s post is not about that book.

I reached a section of the book where the author speaks about the neurology of aesthetics – what makes us like art…can be visual, or audio, or visual, but there are some parameters that are common and can be taken as the basis of our liking of any form of art.

He likens this to the Sanskrit form of रस (rasa), a fundamental concept in Indian arts that speaks about the aesthetic flavor of any visual, literary or musical work that evokes an emotion or feeling in the reader or audience but cannot be described in words. The English translation – aesthetics- does little justice to this concept.

Moving a step further, Dr. Ramachandran then speaks about how the Western concepts of art, while brilliant in themselves, are seen and pursued largely as individual endeavors. In India however, they are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. For instance, when we pray, we invoke mantras that have been chanted in the same manner for thousands of years, in a language whose grammatical format was laid down three centuries before Christ, and has not needed any updating since, and in front of a deva that has been depicted on the first inscriptions that were made by man.

In Dr. Ramachandran’s words – Unlike the West, all these different aspects of life and culture are in pleasing and harmonious resonance, and are integrated into one’s daily life routines.

And this may also be the reason why we take what we have for granted.

A newborn in today’s India learns English nursery rhymes and A-Z first, and most parents don’t introduce the kid to the basic sounds of Sanskrit, which are incidentally more scientifically arranged and cover the whole spectrum of all sounds possible in human beings.

A child writes fluent English prose, but struggles, and makes fun, of essays that are to be written in Hindi, relegating it to the template “गाय हमारी माता है”.

A teenager quotes Shakespeare, but is not even aware of the surrealism of Kalidasa’s Shakuntala or mysticism of Rabindranath Tagore’s and Tyagaraja’s poems. Worse still, the advent of quotable quotes from good morning messages now mean that we are more familiar with silly and often mis-attributed quotes than genuine words of wisdom.

We learn about Greek and Roman history, but fail to even locate the Hoysala and Vijayanagara empires on the Indian map. And the icing on the cake? We learn watered down-pilates-based postures and call it yoga.

All this boils down to education.

And no, I don’t mean the kind you get in schools – that is rote-based, marks-focused and rat-race defined. I mean the kinds you get at home, where the parents spend time in teaching their kids on various facets of life.

I personally want to work on correcting this anomaly, in my own small way. Through my blog, I have attempted to bring to you works like the Panchatantra and Vetālapanchavimshati, in their original and unadulterated forms.

Some stories may seem like magic and fantasy, but when one speaks of teleporting through various words and flying machines, it demonstrates the imagination and thought process of the persons in those times, which were advanced enough to have conceptualized such happenings.

I want to extend this to Kalidasa’s works for starters – not the mundane English translations that we have encountered, but the original Sanskrit versions, rich in rasa and wordplay.

I want to explore the works of Premchand, and come out with quotes that you can forward as good-morning messages, only this time – with a lot more substance (and so that people can finally unblock you).

I want kids to know more about how sophisticated the ancient empires of North and South India were – to take them out of the dry descriptions in textbooks, and present them in a manner that children can truly understand the amazing technological and scientific advances of those times.

I want them to be fluent in English, but not at the cost of richer languages like the ones that we have in India.

A window to the world, but comfort in your own home – that is my definition of a ‘citizen with a global outlook’.

That, in my opinion, is true education.

And I am more than happy to welcome anyone who wishes to contribute to my endeavors.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you get in touch:)

Achieve Jackie O’s elegance and grace with proper etiquette and style

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How to be an educated man

Have you ever seen someone you thought was more elegant and graceful than most people? Do you wonder what that person’s secret is? You may be surprised by how simple it is.

People who know and show proper etiquette are often perceived as being elegant. Even if you weren’t born into an elegant environment, it is something you can learn by watching people you admire, reading guidelines on proper etiquette, and following the advice. And then you need to practice until it comes as second nature.

Start out being elegant in front of a mirror when you are alone, and then show your friends the “new you.” Once you’re comfortable with your new public persona, take it with you everywhere.

The Way You Look

There is nothing you can do about the fact that people will judge you by the way you look, so use it to your advantage. You don’t have to drain your bank account to look refined. You just have to be wise with your choices.

Here are a few tips on refining the way you look:

  • Posture: Stand up straight and hold your head up when you walk. Don’t slouch when you sit. Your body language says a lot about you.
  • Expression: Don’t frown. You don’t have to constantly smile, but try to have a friendly look on your face.
  • Attire:Dress appropriately. If you are in doubt about what to wear to a specific event, contact the sponsor or host and find out. Never wear wrinkled or dirty clothing. Take the time to polish your shoes.
  • Makeup: Understated is always better than too much makeup. Start with a clean face and pick one feature to enhance. Most makeup experts advise clients to play up either the eyes or the lips, not both.

The Way You Speak

An elegant woman speaks with confidence about topics she knows. She is also a good listener who makes the people she’s with comfortable. If you’re able to put other people at ease, their impression of you will be positive.

How to speak with elegance:

  • Smile often and make eye contact.
  • Speak clearly and avoid using slang that isn’t familiar to the people you are talking to.
  • Avoid being a drama queen. Don’t air all your grievances to everyone you speak with. Save those for your closest friend who can be trusted to keep a confidence.
  • Don’t constantly brag about yourself.
  • Don’t provide too much personal information. There are some things people don’t need to know.
  • Be a good conversationalist. Turn the attention to the other person, and she will think you’re brilliant.

The Way You Act

In order to be perceived as an elegant woman, you must act with dignity and poise. Don’t do something childish or silly just to get attention.

“The object of education is not to fill a man’s mind with facts;
it is to teach him how to use his mind in thinking.”
— Henry Ford

In his memoir My Life and Work, written in 1934, the brilliant (but flawed) Henry Ford (1863-1947) offers perhaps the best definition you’ll find of the value of an education, and a useful warning against the mere accumulation of information for the sake of its accumulation. A devotee of lifelong learning need not be a Jeopardy contestant, accumulating trivia to spit back as needed. In the Age of Google, that sort of knowledge is increasingly irrelevant.

A real life-long learner seeks to learn and apply the world’s best knowledge to create a more constructive and more useful life for themselves and those around them. And to do that, you have to learn how to think on your feet. The world does not offer up no-brainers every day; more frequently, we’re presented with a lot of grey options. Unless your studies are improving your ability to handle reality as it is and get a fair result, you’re probably wasting your time.

From Ford’s memoir:

An educated man is not one whose memory is trained to carry a few dates in history—he is one who can accomplish things. A man who cannot think is not an educated man however many college degrees he may have acquired. Thinking is the hardest work anyone can do—which is probably the reason why we have so few thinkers. There are two extremes to be avoided: one is the attitude of contempt toward education, the other is the tragic snobbery of assuming that marching through an educational system is a sure cure for ignorance and mediocrity. You cannot learn in any school what the world is going to do next year, but you can learn some of the things which the world has tried to do in former years, and where it failed and where it succeeded. If education consisted in warning the young student away from some of the false theories on which men have tried to build, so that he may be saved the loss of the time in finding out by bitter experience, its good would be unquestioned.

An education which consists of signposts indicating the failure and the fallacies of the past doubtless would be very useful. It is not education just to possess the theories of a lot of professors. Speculation is very interesting, and sometimes profitable, but it is not education. To be learned in science today is merely to be aware of a hundred theories that have not been proved. And not to know what those theories are is to be “uneducated,” “ignorant,” and so forth. If knowledge of guesses is learning, then one may become learned by the simple expedient of making his own guesses. And by the same token he can dub the rest of the world “ignorant” because it does not know what his guesses are.

But the best that education can do for a man is to put him in possession of his powers, give him control of the tools with which destiny has endowed him, and teach him how to think. The college renders its best service as an intellectual gymnasium, in which mental muscle is developed and the student strengthened to do what he can. To say, however, that mental gymnastics can be had only in college is not true, as every educator knows. A man’s real education begins after he has left school. True education is gained through the discipline of life.

Men satisfy their minds more by finding out things for themselves than by heaping together the things which somebody else has found out. You can go out and gather knowledge all your life, and with all your gathering you will not catch up even with your own times. You may fill your head with all the “facts” of all the ages, and your head may be just an overloaded fact−box when you get through. The point is this: Great piles of knowledge in the head are not the same as mental activity. A man may be very learned and very useless. And then again, a man may be unlearned and very useful.

The object of education is not to fill a man’s mind with facts; it is to teach him how to use his mind in thinking. And it often happens that a man can think better if he is not hampered by the knowledge of the past.

Ford is probably wrong in his very last statement, study of the past is crucial to understand the human condition, but the sentiment offered in the rest of the piece should be read and re-read frequently.

This brings to mind a debate you’ll hear that almost all debaters get wrong: What’s more valuable, to be educated in the school of life, or in the school of books? Which is it?

It’s both!

This is what we call a false dichotomy. There is absolutely no reason to choose between the two. We’re all familiar with the algebra. If A and B have positive value, then A+B must be greater than A or B alone! You must learn from your life as it goes along, but since we have the option to augment that by studying the lives of others, why would we not take advantage? All it takes is the will and the attitude to study the successes and failures of history, add them to your own experience, and get an algebra-style A+B result.

So, resolve to use your studies to learn to think, to learn to handle the world better, to be more useful to those around you. Don’t worry about the facts and figures for their own sake. We don’t need another human encyclopedia.

Still Interested? Check out all of Ford’s interesting memoir, or try reading up on what a broad education should contain.