Persuading my students that education is a lifetime process is a lot like nailing snow to the wall. It is generally unavailing and at best temporary.
The belief that a diploma indicates an education is pernicious. It is self defeating. A diploma is like a license to drive. Its possession is evidence that one knows how to learn. But if it is considered an end in itself, it is of little use. It is like getting a driver’s license, proudly carrying it with you and proudly showing it to everyone and then never driving a car.
We are confused between education as a finished product delivered at the end of the assembly line and education as a matter of capability. One is static becoming obsolete. The other is dynamic continually changing form and creating new dynamics and possibilities in endless chains.
As a society, treating education as a finite process limits and cheapens political discourse. It makes learning into a jobs game like going around the monopoly board.
To build a society, a civilized place for people to develop, education never ends. It continually creates and inspires.
A diploma without further learning is a static choice. It is easy. The other, lifetime learning, is dynamic and difficult.
We can do what is difficult. We have a responsibility to our posterity to do the difficult, to leave our descendants a lasting example and to call from us, our best efforts.