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The Purpose of Education
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The purpose of education is not measured in dollars and cents. It is not that piece of paper which now entitles the bearer to promote to management, or to get a better job.

The purpose of education, whether by institutionalized learning, individualized tutoring, or autodidact instruction is to prepare oneself for life and, as life is being lived, to understand and to enrich the process.

Students achieve a perspective which allows--no, encourages--introspection, reflection upon the nature and events of their own lives. They learn about the thinkers of the past and the standards by which to measure human achievement. They learn to recognize and respect the moral courage to do the right thing and to feel compassion with the anxiety and suffering we all face.

Derek Bok, Stanford alumnus and former president of Harvard University: If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

The basic structure of our society rests upon educated and skilled people who teach our children, protect our citizens, deliver the mail--all those jobs that must be performed with responsibility, commitment and intelligent action, contributing to the common welfare over and above merely supporting their families.

Dropouts? Well, some have educated themselves, learned from experience, exercised creativity outside the system. But many thousands more have ended up flipping hamburgers or living under bridges. (You don't hear about them much--not particularly newsworthy. Poverty is not sexy.)

Marcus Aurelius said that one of life's assignments is to do what needs doing. And, I might add, to do it well.

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