Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in the Morehouse College newspaper The Marion Tiger in the January – February issue of 1947 about his concern for what it means to be truly educated.
Among his comments were these:
“To think incisively and to think for one’s self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda.”
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.”
“We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.”
On this day and every day, I challenge educators and citizens to:
- Acknowledge that thinking incisively for one’s self is difficult but should be the aim of education.
- Work together as a society of educators, parents and citizens who values intensive and critical thinking in all people – young and old.
- Strive with conviction to support the development of thinking that reflects and speaks to advancing the common good. This is an American value.
We can benefit from being reminded of words and concepts set forth in theDeclaration of Independence: which in part states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And the Bill of Rights: which in part states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
On this day we can all think about how thinking deeply together should be a practice we engage in more and more often. And we can also think about serving the common good!
Image from My Heritage Bolg