Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Purpose of Education

Is the purpose of education solely to enable us to become wealthy?

It would seem that as a society, we have bought into this idea and have forgotten many other valid and valuable reasons for education. Students increasingly flock towards subjects that they perceive will result in the highest paying jobs, regardless of their personal interests. In the U.S., bright students are more likely to enrol in business programs than in the sciences. I don't know what the statistics are here in Canada, but I do know that many have a greater respect for an MBA than a PhD.

Not all of us are meant to be cut-throat business people, and thank goodness for that. Surely, the idea of following your interests and passions in choosing your career path is something we should all consider. Yes, we all need to make a living, but since when did "making a living" turn into just making money? Once our basic needs are met, which is more likely to make us happy--more "stuff"? A bigger investment portfolio? Or working on something we believe in and enjoy? What will bring us the greatest enjoyment and personal fulfillment? What can we do with our lives so that when we look back at the end of our lives we can say with conviction, "I have no regrets, I lived and loved well"?

In the end, the only real currency is time, and it is our choice how we spend it. Best to use it well!