“And what, Socrates, is the food of the soul? Surely, I said, knowledge is the food of the soul.” Plato, founder of the western world’s first university voices in his Socratic dialogue. Education is the long course of receiving information, then grasping that information given to you at an educational institution. Education, more specifically writing was found by ancient civilizations so that they could preserve their cultural heritage and transfer it to following generations. Nowadays, many believe that education is limited to the process of following instructions, and testing the information given to us.
On the contrary, education is more than just attending an educational institution, education is what gets the world going, it is the art of communication, growth, and wisdom. One should obtain an education in order to evolve his historical knowledge, transform his view on society and gain freedom.
Through the acquisition of education, one can evolve his knowledge on historical and cultural events. “I never will forget how shocked I was when I began reading about slavery’s total horror,” (X 245) states X after having read many culturally heavy books involving black history, and different types of civilizations that existed before Christ’s time.
The following had influenced his view on the horrific struggles, degrading and humiliation of African-Americans, his race, had been through in past centuries. Nowadays, most of us are being brainwashed by the media due to our lack of information on the subject that is being discussed; The media indirectly makes us pick sides when covering stories, such as conflicts between two foreign countries.
Thus, we are an easy target because we don’t have much information on events and conflicts that are occurring in foreign countries. Imagine not being educated on any of the cultural and political events in the world; imagine how easily you can be influenced and brainwashed all due the lack of knowledge. Consequently, education is key to avoid being manipulated by others, particularly the media. Therefore, gaining knowledge on historical and cultural events will help one make a decision based on his own knowledge and what he has concluded from collecting all the information. Education is liberation. It is an escape from having someone dictate your thoughts; through education you get to dictate and rule your own thoughts.
In order to witness a transformation in one’s view on society, one must attain an education. “Then we check out that we on fifth avenue and everybody dressed up in stockings, “(Bambara 276) says Sylvia once she sets foot in an unfamiliar part of NYC after a school trip from her neighborhood up north, where she spends most of her time. Throughout her trip, Bambara got familiarized to a new social class, and their unusual lifestyle. Through education, one learns about different cultures, races, and ethnicities, with that comes the introduction on different types of social behaviors and traditions based on each individual’s upbringing. By educating ourselves with all that intelligence, our communication skills with others will become easier, which in turn will help us mesh together easily and create a more peaceful and understanding society. Not only will education inform you, but it will transform your mentality, which will help you understand other people’s views on different topics and events that are going on in the world. That transformation will begin once you enter a kindergarten classroom, where you will be introduced to kids with different cultural backgrounds than yours. By having an open mind, one will become more accepting of others and will understand the reason why an individual chooses to represent and express himself in a certain way. Thus, educating one’s self is an essential tool to avoid being misunderstood and misunderstanding others.
In order to gain freedom, one should attain an education. “The silver trump of freedom had roused my soul to eternal wakefulness. Freedom now appeared, to disappear no more forever.” (Douglass 128) There is no denying that nowadays the power of education on our social status and reputation is at its peak, as well as having it control our future career and the opportunities we receive. All elements, such as jobs and career opportunities, which are brought through education are a symbol of social freedom. That type of freedom avoids one from being dictated and ruled by the government and having his career path chosen for him all due to the lack of education. In most cases, education introduces us to our passion, which we develop an interest in through time, and end up making a career out of it. As a result of choosing a career, one is passionate about, one attains self-development, expansion and success. Unfortunately, a person who lacks education won’t get to experience that form of liberation.
In conclusion, there are many benefits to obtaining an education. Primarily, gaining knowledge on historical and cultural events, which avoids having an individual’s mind be dominated by the media and helping one develop his own views on political and social issues. Secondly, education familiarizes an individual with other ethnicities, cultures, which will create a more cohesive environment in our society. Finally, education assists one in growing a passion and making a career out of it, rather than having a career chosen for him.