👋 Hey phi-lazy-phers
With the Taliban regaining control of Afghanistan this week, there’s a fear that many Afghan adolescents—mainly young women—will no longer have access to education. Not that there was an especially high amount of women receiving it prior to this situation—back in 2017 (16 years into the United States’ efforts there), only 37% of adolescent girls were literate, compared to 66% of adolescent boys (source).
Chances are high that if you’re a regular reader of this newsletter, you were fortunate enough to have had a decent education. But, I’d wager most of us lucky enough to receive a decent education still have plenty of issues with the current system, starting with the fact certain folks don’t have the same access to it.
Admittedly, I don’t know enough about this topic to spend much more time writing about it, so let’s see what wiser minds have said about the value of education and what it actually means to be educated.
Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
Sadly, children's passion for thinking often ends when they encounter a world that seeks to educate them for conformity and obedience only.
Education is an admirable thing. But it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.
The value of [an education] is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think.
Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Uneducated people delight in argument and fault-finding, for it is easy to find fault, but difficult to recognize the good and its inner necessity.
There is nothing that teaches you more than regrouping after failure and moving on. Yet most people are stricken with fear. They fear failure so much that they fail. They are too conditioned, too used to being told what to do.
The most important thing we ever learn at school is the fact that the most important things can't be learned at school.
Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.
We will be better people, braver and less idle, if we believe that one must search for the things one does not know, rather than if we believe that it is not possible to find out what we do not know.
You become what you understand.
Properly educating ourselves and those around us—especially children and regardless of gender, economic status, location, etc—is the main way to make progress in this world. When that is taken away from anyone, our society reaps the consequences.
Even for those who do have access to it, there is much more we can be doing to improve it. Based on my experience, preparing students with only the knowledge helpful to pass state-standardized tests stifles creativity and intelligence among our youth. Like me, I’m willing to bet many of you didn’t really learn “how to learn” until after school.
So it’s up to us to continuously cultivate a desire to learn and find ways to instill that in our children, our community, our leaders, and those in power around the world.
✌️ Until next week, happy philosophizing.
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