Education, Freedom

“Only the educated are free.” – Epictetus

I live in the USA, which means that everyone is “free.” We can say whatever we want (as long as it’s not “FIRE” in a public place when there is no fire) or write whatever we want and not get in trouble. We have access to bathrooms and showers. Heck, if someone gets stoped in the middle of attempting a crime, they get off easier because “attempted murder” or “attempted rape” or “attempted robbery” isn’t nearly as bad as actually doing it (for some reason). But this isn’t the freedom that is being referenced in that quote.

Financial freedom and freedom of choice are two freedoms that most uneducated people don’t have. How many educated people are in debt? My parents taught me a bit about money, I learned how to do math in school, and I educated myself of finances by reading from experts such as Dave Ramsey. Because of this, I will always have financial freedom. I will never be in debt because I am educated about money and numbers. Lots of people in debt who educate themselves about finances get out of debt and stay financially free.

Freedom of choice, such as who to vote for, is also a freedom the uneducated lack. Why? Because they vote based on party and/or personality, on how charismatic the candidate is, on how good at trashing the competition the candidate is, and on how good at scaring the voters the candidate is. The educated often see right through the trash-talking, the charisma, and the scare tactics and vote on the candidate who shares the same values as the voter does (if they vote at all). I’m against big money in politics, for limiting fossil fuels, and want a president that actually cares about the citizens of this country and not himself, so I’m going to vote for Bernie Sanders (assuming he ends up being an option for president). I am not registered to vote under democrat or republican because the two party system has helped in taking away from the freedom of choice in voting. The uneducated vote based on party, not based on the individual candidate, and it’s mostly the uneducated that vote, mainly because the educated can’t decide between a douchebag and a turd sandwich. To be honest, this year will be the first year I will vote because this is the first year in a while that I think there’s a legitimate candidate, and I’m hopeful that he’ll get the job.

In fact, voting your way on anything is a freedom only the educated have. If you’re not educate on the subject/issue you’re voting for, but you still vote, then you’re not really voting for your choice, you’re voting for whoever’s choice that was able to manipulate you into voting that way.

Choosing to buy a new or used car, choosing to buy something or rent-to-own, choosing whether it’s okay to put fluoride in drinking water, choosing to drive a fuel-efficient car, choosing to adopt instead of having a baby, or making any kind of informed decision on something isn’t a freedom the uneducated have. If you don’t know that buying a new car is a bad investment because of how much the car devalues the minute you drive it off the lot, then you can’t make an informed decision and you’re at the mercy of the manipulation of the salesperson. If you don’t know the dangers of drinking fluoride over time, or even know that the government puts fluoride in most drinking water, then you don’t know to fight it or to say no. If you don’t know the reality of climate change and how driving a more fuel efficient car can really make a difference, then you can’t make an informed decision on whether to invest in one. Most people don’t even consider adoption as an option when deciding to have kids because they’re uneducated on adoption.

My point is, the freedom to really choose, and the freedom to be out of debt, are those that the educated have. That’s why education is so important. Even if you don’t directly use those complex math problems you learned how to do in high school, you do use the problem-solving skills that you developed doing those problems.

What is your interpretation of that quote? Do you agree with it or disagree with it? Why? Please share any thoughts/opinions you have on the subject.

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