Education in America-Vestiges of Decay in Our Acquisition of Knowledge



President John F. Kennedy said: “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”  

This quote embodies the true spirit of learning, in that we should be acquiring knowledge for the betterment of society and not the propagation of self.  In America, our current approach to education is in total contrast to this idea, as we have become a society that has yielded to promoting individual aspirations in the acquisition of knowledge.  This trend has served to weaken our society and will ultimately lead to our demise if not corrected.  To begin addressing any problem, one must recognize its root.  The core of this crisis lies in the prevalent ideas that govern our society namely Materialism and Capitalism.


In our distant past, we were a society with a profound respect for knowledge and those who sought to acquire it.  People from all walks of life thirstily pursued education in the various sciences of matter and religion, for nothing more than the promotion and betterment of America – a country of small towns where the church and acquisition of daily needs were central aspects.  Somewhere around the Great Depression, we shifted our focus from being people content with simple lifestyles, to becoming a society more determined on attaining individual wealth.  Consequently, the acquisition of knowledge became a way to achieve wealth and resources, not only within our borders, but around the world.  Intelligence transformed from being a means to enhance society to the main tool in amassing capital and possessions.  As this capitalistic trend in society at large has prevailed, so has the influence on the realm of education.  There is little respect for the process of learning, as we have created generations of students who are willing to do anything—from lying to cheating—to get ahead.  The competition to consume wealth is fierce and often leads to detrimental outcomes in the lives of many students.  Schoolchildren are left depressed, stressed and some even commit suicide at the first sign of failure.  Our drive to dwell in materialism is slowly and systematically destroying our children; slowly and systematically destroying our future.

Although Capitalism has greatly contributed to the complexion of education in America, no entity has been more destructive to our acquisition of knowledge than the principles of Materialism.  As America was founded on a belief in God, the idea that nothing exists beyond the physical realm of our five senses is the antithesis of that reality.  Our forefathers came to America to establish a society based on the freedom of and the propagation of religious practices.  As the union grew, religion and the church remained a central element in how we educated our citizens.  As we progressed in Capitalism, the moral fiber of our society changed and set the stage for the acceptance of the theories of the likes of Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud.   Darwin proposed that we were not created by a Supreme Creating Force but we appeared on this planet—which derived from nothing—as tiny one-celled organisms that eventually evolved into the complex human being based on the process of Natural Selection.  Freud—on the other hand—proposed that we are organic creatures without a soul, [motivated] by opposing forces in our guided physical minds.  Thus, from these two highly regarded “scientists” we get that we are complex, soulless animals whose behaviors are guided by the compass that we create.   With this Godless perspective, knowledge becomes limited and looked at as only a tool for individual survival.

Consequently, these spawns of Materialism and Capitalism have left an indelible mark on education in America and many other societies of the world where these beliefs dominate.  It has led to the systematic loss of regard and zeal for seeking knowledge for the sake of knowledge itself.  Ultimately, the two principles of Capitalism and Materialism have methodically destroyed the infrastructure to acquisition of any type of knowledge, which is the reality that God exists and He created us with a soul.

Education has thus become a means of promoting our position in the physical aspect of society, which has been ingrained as the only facet of reality.   Educational systems have removed Almighty God from their precepts and schoolchildren, school systems and societies compete with each other in a contest of survival of the fittest, not caring about what is being left in the wake.  The only way to not only save America, but all other societies affected by these ideas, is to return to the primary purpose of seeking knowledge, which is to understand who we are and where we are going after our physical existence ends.  In this way, we will return to the realization that because it is impossible for individual subsistence without God, so too is it true for the survival of a civilization.  And as always, Only by God, the Almighty and All Glorious, can we be healed.

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Old School house.