What It Means To Be Educated


Over the years there has been a huge debate over what it means to be an educated person. People often identify educated individuals by their level of degree attainment or by how well they can articulate ideas. However, being an educated person consists of more than graduating from a college or being well spoken. According to education theorist, John Dewey having an education is the “process of overcoming natural inclinations and substituting in its place habits acquired under external pressure”. In other words, being an educated person revolves around an individual being able to understand how to maneuver in society. It is the ability to know right from wrong while understanding that growth in any form is the foundation to becoming intelligent. Perhaps, this is why W.E.B Dubois declared, “the purpose of an education is not to be a psychologist or brickmason, but a man”. To simply put it, an educated person is able to identify his weaknesses and improve his strengths.

Before an individual can recognize and enhance specific attributes he must have a knowledge of self. Without a knowledge of self, it is almost impossible to become an educated person. That is to say, if one does not have knowledge of self, he is subsequently unconscious about the GOD given abilities that have been bestowed upon him. He is unable to assess himself and how he is perceived by others. In other words, having a knowledge of self makes you more competent and aware of your place in the world. Specifically, it allows you to uncover specific skills you have that are applicable for achieving success. Moreover, it provides an individual with the confidence to do for self instead of depending on others. To put it a different way, having a knowledge of self provides an education that leads to independence. It offers you the autonomy to “move how you want to move”. You are able to speak freely and candidly regardless of who is present.

In short, having a knowledge of self is an uncontrollable power that is not only personally fulfilling but also attractive and admired by others. It is the essence of what it means to be an educated person because it distinctively informs an individual about who he is and his ability to grow and learn in a world full of challenges.

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