Saturday, March 10, 2012

Does education make you a better person?


In my house growing up, education was a prize attribute. We were all encouraged to study hard and go to college. I read a lot, enjoyed learning and now generally make friends with people with similar values.
But it's very easy to get caught up in the belief that more education = better. That people who have more education have more value in society. And, conversely, that people who aren't educated are worth less.
It's an easy trap. People who are able to speak eloquently about a variety of subjects, who have mastered logic or a variety of languages - they dazzle us. And if you have a strong background in liberal arts, spelling and grammar mistakes are cringeworthy.
But, in truth, morality and education have very little in common. I can be a professor in philosophy and still be an asshole. I can have multiple degrees but be a deadbeat dad. I can speak a dozen languages, but never talk to my elderly parents.
And poor people have shown consistently to give more to charity than those with means, who are usually more educated.
It doesn't take smarts to do the right thing. Sometimes it takes a good upbringing, but that can mean as little as having parents who teach you right from wrong. Even if they are penniless, they can still be menches.

2 comments:

shesthesheriff said...

I think you should have your own interview show, like the barber shop on Tell Me More but with grumpy retired people instead of hip ethnically diverse young men. This would fuse 2 of your talents, which are that you can start 'can of worms' discussions and that old people love you.

Pam said...

A) I agree with Shesthesheriff
B) You are so right: Case in point; My dad is virtually unbeatable at Jeopardy (well actually Dan can give him a run for his money) and he can talk to anyone about virtually any current event and he's working on getting his bachelor's degree now!
C) I work in hospitals and physicians can be some of the biggest A-holes I've ever worked with.