Education Is Ornament in Prosperity and Refuge in Adversity

In school, from primary to post-secondary, we are taught the discoveries of the great thinkers before us, who endeavoured to understand the different aspects of the universe, human relationships, society, politics, and beauty.   The goal we all have is to be educated, to get our degree and the dream job at the end of it all.   Having an elaborate job title and high pay check might confirm our idea that we are smart, educated, successful, and important people.   But what many of us truly experience is a life-time of formal schooling that nurtures only a small fraction of our fullest potential.   Many students in high school are asked at the beginning of their teenage years to choose either the sciences or the humanities; music is not always a possibility and the value of studying philosophy is seen typically as having little to no value.   We cultivate only certain skills that are valuable in this era but whose lasting value is questionable.   This is a far cry from a real education.

Traditionally, an education was considered a lifelong endeavour with the hope of being accomplished in many trades, rather than a specialist in just a few.   A moral education, mastering social graces and wisdom through a virtuous life, elegance of speech, and modesty of the soul was paramount.   Both the material and the immaterial were taught together and seen as two halves of a unified reality.   Today, the two are segregated and the material is given priority.   However, I believe that an education requires disciplined and well-rounded learning that ultimately transforms your being and betters your character.