Ever Know An Highly Educated Idiot?


Zig Ziglar Wisdom Thought Number Two

Read Number One HERE.

2. A wise man expressed it well – education covers a lot of ground, but it won’t cultivate any of it.

We live in a time, more than any era before, in which higher education is more a requirement to reach many goals than the luxury it was in the past. But we must not make the mistake of thinking that education is the ‘end all, be all.’ Because it is not. A good education is just part of what it takes: it is perhaps, the beginning.

What could Zig have meant when he said “it won’t cultivate” it? The World English Dictionary offers, as definition 2 for the word cultivate: to plant, tend, harvest, or improve (plants) by labor and skill.

Education is useful in moving forward in life, but what is absolutely necessary? Labor is, that is – work, and skill, which only comes from doing, not from knowing or thinking. Actually, skill comes from doing, over and over again. Sounds like work to me.

Perhaps the best know statement of what it takes, is this quote from Calvin Coolidge (30th President of the United States, 1872 – 1933). “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

So, was Mr. Ziglar putting education down? I don’t believe that for an instant. Our lesson and the one we need to impart to our children, and to our children’s children, is this: do get an education, and then put it to good use working hard and smart toward your goals & dreams.

As parents and guardians, it is up to us to help the upcoming generations understand that they are personally responsible for their own success or failure in life. And that while getting this or that piece of ‘parchment’ (diploma, PhD, etc.) is important, the key to their future is working to a level of skill and then working hard with that skill.

Give them that knowledge and you’ll be giving them a genuine head start.



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