Education is knowledge obtained in order to reach one’s full potential. A human being is not in the proper sense until they are educated. Two commencement speeches, “Failure and Imagination” by J.K. Rowling and “Real Freedom?” by David Wallace, and an article titled “The 4-Stage Response to Low Student Achievement” by John Lemuel, all have several aspects of education in common and provide knowledge and inspiration about the real idea and necessity for education. In these works, they all use personal experiences, an informal tone, and provide motivation to show why education is imperative to the development and fulfilment of life. Education is not useful for monetary purposes alone.
Education is intrinsically valuable. It is more than a tool to succeed in the work force in order to receive extrinsic ends. In Wallace’s commencement speech he states, “the degree you are about to receive has actual human value instead of just a material payoff.” Education opens doors to its students. People lacking intelligence have fewer opportunities to do what they want to do. Education is self-enlightening. It allows one to become more aware of their surroundings and themselves. Education is beneficial to the individual.
Personal experiences and real-world examples are presented in all three of the works to illustrate the importance of education on a deeper level. Seven years prior to her graduation, J.K. Rowling was “jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern day Britain, without being homeless” (Rowling par. 18). Her Harvard education did not guarantee financial security, but rather taught her how to deal with difficult situations like this. Her education allowed her to be able to learn from such failures. She was able to realize that “failure meant a stripping away of the inessential” and was important in discovering herself (Rowling par.20). Showing her own failures allows the audience to feel that she is a real person with real problems and not only an infamous author of a series that sold over four hundred million copies and inspired the creation of seven extremely successful films. This validates her ability to give advice to average people for she has experienced the same issues that they will encounter.
David Wallace describes how education provides knowledge that creates awareness of oneself and their thoughts. Power over thought is important because it gives the ability to control thoughts in a way that will be a more beneficial and positive outlook. Daily life is filled with seemingly meaningless routine and becoming annoyed or frustrated is part of our default setting. Wallace uses a real-life example of taking a trip to the grocery store. This annoying task includes being stuck in traffic on the way to the store, pushing through crowds of people with carts, and long lines at the checkout. Wallace uses this example to show that when in situations such as this one can make use of the power over...