Academic Degree and Abundant Natural Resources

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THE EDUCATED MAN BY: JOVITO SALONGA
When I say "educated man," I do not refer to the individual who has read a thousand books and magazines, however important reading may be to the life of the mind. One of the most unfortunate things in this country is that so much is read by so many who do not know what to read. Because of cheap paper and printing, comics, pulp magazines and cheap literature have replaced the classics and the great masterpieces. As a consequence, an enormous mental garbage has been piled up beyond our collective capacity to liquidate. Writers of history a hundred years from now, in assessing the quality of education in the Philippines, may have ample reason to say that our schools have produced a vast population able to read, but unable to distinguish what is worth reading. It was Mark Twain, I believe, who said he never allowed his schooling to interfere with his education.

When I use the term "educated man," I do not mean the individual who has memorized a thousand facts and assembled in his mind a million data, on the basis of which he has earned a string of academic degrees. I do not mean to minimize the importance of memory, for it is stating the obvious when I say we should be able to observe, sort out and remember relevant facts so we may have a sound basis for each judgment. Of Themistocles, it has been said that he knew by heart the names of twenty thousand citizens of Athens; and Cyrus, it is recorded, knew every soldier in his huge army. Indeed, how refreshing it would be for our youth to learn by heart Jesus' inimitable Sermon on the Mount, the magnificent soliloquies of Shakespeare, the unforgettable dialogue of Plato and in our own land, the lofty language of Arellano and Laurel, the trenchant outbursts of Manuel Quezon and the elegant prose of Claro M. Recto. How inspiring it would be for our young men and women to remember the historic landmarks in our struggle for freedom — from the heroism of Lapu-Lapu to the lonely battle...
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