What’s Education For?

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Education is important but what do we want from it?

The aim of education should be to prepare us for the challenges of adult life yet, from this perspective, its clear that schools fail all but a tiny portion of their students – trouble dealing with life’s challenges remains widespread

Human ingenuity, energy, good will and talent is being lost on an industrial scale.

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Confidence

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It’s humbling to realize just how many great achievements haven’t been the result of superior talent or technical know-how, merely that strange buoyancy of the soul we call confidence

Why is it so easy to lack?

  • Partly it’s a hangover from the past. For thousands of years, for most of us, there simply were no opportunities for hope: we were serfs and slaves – and the central psychological survival skill was to keep our heads down and our expectations low.

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On Being Out of Touch With One’s Feelings

We look at ourselves as a single being, but in reality, there are (at least) two distinct parts to mental life: a feeling self and an observer self.  Sometimes the two are aligned, at other points, it’s far trickier.

Reasons it is difficult for the observing self to report accurately on feelings:

1. We are afflicted background ideas about the unacceptability of particular feelings.  We might worry that no decent person could be enthusiastic about making money or unable to cope at work, tempted by an affair or still upset over a break up three years ago.  Our sexual impulses may not fit the definition of a good boy or girl.

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Wisdom

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How can you strive to be wise like being healthy or kind?

It it impossible to reach a stable state of wisdom?

Wisdom seems woven from many strands:

1. Realism – the wise are realistic about how challenging things can be. Not devoid of hope but conscious of complexities entailed in projects like raising a child, starting a business, spending agreeable time with family, falling in love.

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Being A Good Listener

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Being a good listener is one of the most important life skills anyone can have yet few of us have been taught how to do it. We come to social life ready to speak rather than listen – hungry to meet others but reluctant to hear them .

Friendship degenerates into a socialized egoism

Things a good listener is doing that makes it nice to spend time in their company:

1 – they egg us on. Its hard to know our own minds – often we dont close in on whats really bothering or exciting us. We benefit from encouragement to elaborate. We need someone who instead of launching forward on their own to say: go on…

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