The Educated Man (Speech Sample)

The educated man

Being educated is popularly associated with getting a degree from a recognized university and acquiring a white-collar job.  With many degrees, one is believed to be educated. I do believe that such notion is a narrow and wrong conception of education. I do believe that education is a process and cannot be completed at a specific stage of life.  It is not surprising that in several situations, we have witnessed people who despite being educated do not utter wise words. The question is what makes an educated man who is intelligent enough and have succeeded in the scientific field not to be wise.

This question is not new; many philosophers in the past have tried to explain such paradox. Isocrates was a great philosopher and a teacher during the 4th century responded to his critics by explaining the meaning of education. He gave an explanation that was not given appropriate attention, but his definition of education is remarkable. The panathenaicus speech by Isocrates was a response to those who criticized him because of his narrow opinions.  Isocrates speech highlights his view of a truly educated man that we cannot ignore.

In his view, Isocrates states that most men have attained a certain age of maturity having masters several skills in geometry, science and other specialized field that they can eventually teach others. However, such men seem to appear to be foolish when addressing ordinary life matters. A truly educated man has the acumen to interpret circumstances and benefit from it. An educated man is a fair, tolerant; he is meek, kind and decent with his friends. Isocrates also described an educated man as someone who can control his impulses by bravely dealing with misfortunes. When concluding his speech, Isocrates stated that a true man is not a corrupt person who can easily be swayed by happy circumstances; instead, he enjoys more from what he has earned from hard labor than what he has achieved by chance.

According to Isocrates, anyone who meets the above requirements is truly an educated man. In summary, he should be sensible, moderate and can pursue his benefit without necessarily despising people around him.  Even though Isocrates’ description of an educated man goes back during Renaissance period, the fact that his definition emphasizes not only on mental but also moral excellence for humans makes it relevant up to date. The term-educated man does not mean that an individual need to memorize all the facts to earn a string of academic degrees. What matter is how one translates his thoughts into action.

An educated man lives a distinct life because he has an open mind because he has great thoughts and noble ideas.  His intelligence does not imprison him; instead, he chooses to make rigorous analysis and evaluate everything around him. He is someone who is not interested in accumulating academic paper, but has a habit of cultivating a generous spirit. Because he expresses himself in a logical and precise manner, he is interested in interacting with people and tries to live life to the fullest by acquiring wisdom and maturity from his own experience.

Being educated means not only acquiring intellectual qualities, but also moral qualities. An educated person has pleasing manners, people around him feel at home in his company because he utters wise words that attract many people and practice the art of listening making his conversation lively. I concur with Isocrates claims that anyone who masters these talents to gain all the mentioned qualities is a truly educated man and is someone who can succeed in life more than anyone can because he has intellectual and moral qualities.

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