“What is a college? An institute of learning. What is a business? An institute of learning. Life, itself, is an institute of learning.” – Thomas Edison
So you’re done with your formal education.
You’ve gone through 12 years or 16 years—or even longer than that—of schooling.
You’ve memorized countless facts and equations (how many of those facts and equations you still remember today—that’s probably a different story), taken hundreds of tests and exams, and sat through thousands of hours of class.
But all of this doesn’t guarantee that you’re an educated person.
Going to school isn’t the same as getting an education.
I recently read a wonderful book on education entitled Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto.
In his book, Gatto explains what it means to be educated (I’ve summarized his points):
- Educated people aren’t at a loss about what to do with their time. They don’t feel bored when they’re alone because enjoy their own company.
- Educated people have the ability to build strong relationships wherever they go.
- Educated people have fully come to terms with their mortality. They live their lives knowing that death is an inescapable reality.
- Educated people reflect on their life experiences and continually gain new insights, even up until the point of death.
- Educated people have a healthy self-esteem.
- Educated people are knowledgeable about different cultures.
- Educated people are proactive about creating new ideas.
- Educated people discover truth for themselves by analyzing the evidence they’re presented with. They don’t try to discover truth by memorizing the opinions of others, not even the opinions of so-called “experts.”
- Educated people seek to make a living by meeting the needs of others.
- Educated people don’t deceive themselves into thinking that money will buy them happiness. Instead, they recognize that the most valuable things—love, curiosity, courage, empathy—are free of charge.
- Educated people actively seek variety in their lives.
This list isn’t exhaustive, but it does help you to see that there’s a huge difference between being learned and being educated.
Okay, your two minutes are up.
Are you educated?
I know I’ve got plenty of work to do if I want to consider myself educated!