It is not enough to teach a man a speciality. Through it he may become a kind of useful machine but not a harmoniously developed personality. It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise he – with his specialized knowledge – more closely resembles a well trained dog than a harmoniously developed person. He must learn to understand the motives of human beings, their illusions, and their sufferings in order to acquire a proper relationship to the individual fellow-men and to the community… Overemphasis on the competitive system and premature specialization on the ground of immediate usefulness kill the spirit on which all cultural life depends, specialized knowledge included. It is also vital to a valuable education that independent critical thinking be developed in the young human being, a development that is greatly jeopardized by overburdening him with too much and with too varied subjects. Overburdening necessarily leads to superficiality
Social responsibility transformation shaping humanity, and the role that an understanding of innate thinking can play in solving the challenges.
Social responsibility is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self- corrective thinking. It requires rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native ego-centrism and sociocentrism.
The social responsibility habit of thought, if usual in society, will pervade its entire mores, because it is a way of taking up the problems of life. Men educated in it cannot be stampeded by stump orators … They are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain. They can wait for evidence and weigh evidence, uninfluenced by the emphasis or confidence with which assertions are made on one side or the other. They can resist appeals to their dearest prejudices and all kinds of cajolery. Education in the critical faculty is the only education of which it can be truly said that it makes good citizens.
But it has also less trivial consequences for serving, I believe. We need to get people to revisit what they have learned times and times again. We sure never assume that the people “got it” once and for all. After all, if you are a researcher, you must admit that you have revisited the same topics dozens of times. Often you are amazed at how shallow your understanding was when you first serviced something. And the trick that makes smarter is that you realize that you can just keep serving and serving forever. It is a powerful idea. So powerful, I could probably run late night social responsibility thinking with it.
If information is stored in this way then evolution is accelerated, explaining how complex motor skills, such as nest building and hunting skills, are acquired by a combination of innate service ability and learning over many generations.
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