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Friday, September 4, 2009

THOUGHTS on Intellectual Credibility

A good friend on mine posted on his blog "THOUGHTS" an interesting article about having conversations with those who are "typically" educated (typically meaning graduated from high school and went on to successfully complete at least four years in college). For a man such as he, a man who has only completed a ninth grade education, I feel compelled to comment the chip on my own shoulder, being a college drop-out and only completing one year at an institution of higher learning.

The emotions I've felt, mostly short-comings with people who have had an education, haven't arisen in everyday conversation as much as I would defensively like to think. Usually the times when I feel like I'm mostly offended, offending, scoffed at, or pitied are the times in the conversation where people start siting credentials. I've found that due to my life experience and my observance of the world, through the reading of news and participation in politics and theology among numerous other things, I can and have carried very informative conversations with people who have no formal education at all, working at the bottom of the totem pole flipping burgers and serving fries as well as those who have obtained Masters and Ph.Ds from some of the most prestigious institutions in the world.

The one thing that the most enlightening people seem to have in common is their outlook on life. The people I find most intriguing are those who have worked diligently for what they have accomplished, whether it be finishing umpteen years of school or working their way up from cutting sheetmetal and welding to hold a very rewarding position in a large and successful company. The common thread is a work ethic, something my parents have instilled in me since I was old enough to start working at all.

I don't hold a high regard a person's perception of my education and experience unless I hold theirs in high regard as well. There are a great many people in this world whom I respect, regardless of whether or not I agree with them on their positions in various things. The people that have worked hard to obtain what they have, as I feel I have, are the people whose opinions of me are the ones I will consider. The ones who haven't worked for their standing in society, the ones who stop when they see their mission accomplished, those are the people who I hesitate to accept. Those are the people who cannot understand that one must be working one's entire life for a better understanding of self, which usually translates into hard work, discipline, and honesty.

Some of the greatest teachers in this world have been the ones who have had no education whatsoever. Some of the most spectacular and informative nuggets of information I've ever heard have been from bus drivers, waiters, and children, especially children, whose worlds are almost pure thought, untainted by external opinions and pressures.

Would I consider these things in making my own judgements on one's opinion? Absolutely. Wise men have talked about the honesty and irreverence of the "uneducated" for centuries as "typical" educations seem to lead to a certain arrogance that roughly relates to the attitudes of those who obtain power without earning it, like senators and representatives and presidents in an centuries-old republic who have been given something instead of earning it.

My personal beliefs support those who have earned their perspective. It's as simple as that.
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