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The Ultimate Goal Is Character Not Skill


Our modern education system is flawed. It has been designed to serve an economic machine which is contrary to its origins when it emerged in Greece. Indeed, the word school comes from the Greek word (by the intermediate of old French eschole) σχολή, skholế which literally means “leisure”, “free time” or “rest”. According to its roots, the goal of school is to rest or better occupy time for those who don’t work (remind yourself that Greek city-states economy was slavery based, only the citizen would study because they could afford not to work). Today, it’s the complete opposite, the ones who could not find a job are most of the time the less skilled or the less “educated”. Let us remind ourselves that during the Renaissance, education was mainly within the family, . People would learn an occupation, so they would eventually have the same profession as their parents. It was not really school, rather it was an apprenticed-based system. On the other hand, the nobles would receive private instruction from scholars in order to elevate their mind according to a humanistic philosophy. We may state that during the Renaissance, there were two distinct educational systems, one designed to form the ruler, the other to train the ruled. It is somehow the same today apart from the fact that we are living in a more egalitarian society : people learn to work and acquire some humanistic knowledge.
However, what should we do If work becomes rare as AI and robots take most of our jobs? It seems that we would move back to the ancient Greek: robot would be our slaves and we will have to learn to rest, as a leisure activity. It is not totally true. We may still need people to run the economy since the “Creative destruction” is still working and occupations will still be reinvented. But what if not? Then, we should think as our ancestors which consists in building a strong character rather than acquiring a skill, because the latter could become obsolete at any moment. To think clearly of the future, it is necessary to be as flexible as a Renaissance person who chose to base his power on character rather than a skill.

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