Being educated is more than just about knowledge and qualifications
Want to live life with a significantly measurable amount of material success? Almost anyone would say go bury yourself in books and get an education. The car and condominium (okay, maybe a HDB flat for most) will come along eventually. Tangible gains aside, education also seeks to make the individual a more efficient planner and leaner thinker- intrinsic qualities very much desired by any society hoping to advance itself. Miss Yee Teng elegantly articulates (and expands on the above) her personal views in a series of online forum posts which have been concatenated into a single "essay" for the reader's convenience here:
"Having worked with "uneducated" people before, I can tell you that education is not all about qualification and knowledge. A formal education shapes a person in how they behave and how they carry themselves through life. From my experience, someone who has received good education tends to be quieter, think before they speak and plan before they act. In comparison, an uneducated person has a tendency to speak aloud before they think and does things without much planning or thinking.
Go do some people watching. Compare how the guys working in banks behave to how the guys working in rubbish collection dumps behave. You will notice a difference.
Another thing I've noticed about the poorly educated folks is that their daily conversations tend to revolve around gossip and other people. There is nothing of substance in the topics they engage in. You can spend a whole day with them and all they talk about are other people's lives. And they love reading tabloid mags and papers, or not read anything at all.
The educated ones tend to converse about current events and the world around them, eg. politics, sports, major news happenings and other people's ideas.
Now the really educated ones, we're talking about the MBAs and the PhDs, they don't even like talking about current events. They love to talk about how THEIR own ideas can help shape the world and how their ideas can be employed to benefit other people's lives.
You just have to spend some time with these different groups of people to learn more about them and how they behave, its a real eye opener.
Adding to the above, let's talk about how the educated and the uneducated perceive money. Uneducated people live from month to month. Its a fact I've noticed first hand. There are exceptions, but sadly its not what I've seen. They receive their monthly paycheck, spend it on bills, daily necessities and save very little. They buy things on installments and credit, thus creating debt. Rinse and repeat for the following month.
The educated ones plan their finances in terms of "years". For instance, in a year's time, they would love to go on a vacation to Europe, so they start saving now. In 5 years, they would like to own a car, and also save up for their children's education..
The really educated ones plan in "decades". What can they do now in order to retire by 45? What can my investments do for me in the next decade or so?
The level of education comes into play in so many aspects of life. There is no way to fully define "success" through education, but the quality of life these people live can be determined by their level of education."
THANK YOU YEE TENG FOR ALLOWING US TO REPRODUCE YOUR THOUGHTS HERE.
The Czar (Site Founder)
Dated 21 April 2014
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