265. The Limits of Education

Edu­ca­tion does not make us edu­ca­ble. It is our aware­ness of being unfin­ished that makes us edu­ca­ble.” ~ Paulo Freire, Ped­a­gogy of Free­dom. How much time have you invested in edu­ca­tion? How much value has your edu­ca­tion given you? How would you mea­sure the value? I hung around uni­ver­si­ties and schools in the hope of grow­ing my ideas. It took me way too long to real­ize that schools and uni­ver­si­ties were not there for that. In fact, most of the peo­ple who went to these places, and most of the peo­ple who taught in them, were not inter­ested in grow­ing ideas. They wanted dol­lars and respectabil­ity. Their aim was to become “fin­ished”, and sure enough a diploma nearly always fin­ished them. Their curios­ity died. As fin­ished peo­ple they could get jobs, have babies and grow fat. Some of them (like doc­tors) took a long time to get their diplo­mas, but some­how this didn’t make any dif­fer­ence. In the end, maybe 80% of them scraped by rather badly in their jobs from day to day, maybe 10% were so hope­less that they were a men­ace to every­one in the neigh­bour­hood, and maybe the top 10% were ace mechan­ics, lawyers, sales­men, or what­ever. Me, I’ve suc­cess­fully remained unfin­ished, unem­ploy­able, curi­ous, poor, and bor­ing to all of the fin­ished peo­ple around me.

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