It’s not enough to learn about the world and the skills for managing it. Education should include knowledge of values and models of wise living. The development of a good inner self, ready to relate to other people, is an important feature of what happens in schools and colleges. Young people have to learn how to deal with the social world beyond their families and immediate neighbors.

Everyone has to have basic modes of behavior and ways to meet others. Many seem to operate with a model of battle. They deal with others as allies or enemies, they strategize to win and acquire, they want admiration and fight for success. Are these good social relationships? Where is tolerance, cooperation, and respect for others in this biography? Can a society encourage nicer attitudes than ambition and the drive to conquer? Some want to win in the game of life but it is not a competition.

Integrity and character have to be learned in personal and social interaction. One cannot acquire social virtue online. Each individual negotiates their personality in physical meetings with others. It is as impossible to acquire social competence in isolation as it is to feast, play sports, or make love.

Load comments