Thoughts on a Well-Educated Individual
There are three dimensions of education to raise citizens of a prosperous society:
The first dimension of education should be to help students develop a mature character through the cultivation of heart.
The second dimension of education should be to raise the capability to form genuine relationships centered upon true love, through understanding the guidelines for proper behavior. Such education in norms supports the development of the capability to form genuine relationships.
The third dimension of education, which dominates modern education, is in the mastery of knowledge and technical skills related to preparation for a career.
In taking a look at our present systems of education, we find that in many ways the three dimensions are not in balance. Our tendency, especially over the past century, has been to devote great amounts of resources towards the third dimension of education (developing knowledgeable, skilled, and creative citizens) while neglecting the more fundamental dimensions of education.
The result of this overemphasis has been highly educated professionals who lack the heart and moral standard commensurate with their influence and responsibility. As it turns out, we have computer specialists who use their knowledge to create viruses whose sole purpose is to destroy the workings of thousands of computers. We have creative artists who use their talents to propagate promiscuity and violence. At the same time, due to the lack of cultivation of heart and education in social norms, our world is suffering from the effects of selfishness, family breakdown, and a host of social ills which they breed.
The challenge for education in this century is to correct the current imbalance. We should consider a well-educated individual to be one who has cultivated a loving heart, is trained in ethical precepts, and has mastered knowledge and skills for productive activity. Because such people care about their family and feel responsible for them, they do not stray into a life of self-indulgence. They are capable of hard work and have the personal virtues required creating wealth and using it wisely. They are social and economic assets to their community.