The Danger of Terminal Education

When does education end? For most people college ends or terminates education, but all education in our lives should awaken us to the wonder of the world around us like taking us to a precipice or a gateway or removing a blind fold and thus opens our eyes to the depth and breadth of that which we don’t know.

A friend of mine had a chance to listen in person to Dr. Aron Ghandi, and my curiosity got the best of me so, I’ve been listening to a youtube video of Ghandi’s grandson speaking on constructive charity and nonviolence. It is an encouragement to take up charity not to throw money to relieve instant suffering but to walk alongside those that suffer to help end the conditions of the suffering, healing the person and the social system.

In the midst of this he brings up education, and I am on a bit of a kick and wanted to engage education as a bridge building endeavor.

Education in it’s essence should not lead us to entitlement, pride, or arrogance. That is not what true education should elicit. So, for most of us, myself included, we have to begin to learn anew to seek after true education which is the birth place of humility and kindness. It is where we begin to explore the ideas of meaning and justice. In doing all of this it opens us up to the possibility of happiness.

That’s not how our system exists. Education does not find it’s purpose in establishing humility although some do find humility there. A few or a majority it’s hard to measure engages with education as vocational en total. You are educated not for happiness or humility or to awaken wonder but instead to fulfill a vocational standard. Education can become a ticket for a vocational life that may require further information or finding better ways to do the work required, but it isn’t viewed as a gate opening up a world of new knowledge.

Over and over again I here people that have been working in careers for decades but because they didn’t have a degree their wages were frozen. Often these wages stay frozen while engineering students come in and completely fail to understand what’s going on. These newcomers approach the old timers with arrogance and condescension. This is a true failure of character formation and curiosity formation among these new graduates.

Pastor’s do it too. We’ve been taught technical language and philosophy to speak about God that most people do not have, and then we can easily forget the validity of the minds and hearts formed by years of following Christ. We can easily ignore the way they talk and write and the condition of their heart simply because they don’t use the language we’ve been immersed in.

It isn’t right. It isn’t proper education. It might fit in with what Paul says that knowledge puffs up but love builds up. Education then is an exercise not just to grow in knowledge but to grow in love at the very least proportionally to knowledge or even beyond that scope. If we take that as our goal for our selves and our children, and our students, there is a seed of hope that we can learn a charity beyond momentary alleviation of suffering.


About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
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