When Wisdom grabbed me my life changed. Let me explain.
I was a horrible student as a kid. When I say “horrible,” I mean horrible. My third-grade teacher once called my parents and told them, flat out, “Paul is dumb.” I barely graduated high school. My GPA was around 2.0.
I didn’t become interested in learning until my 20s. I enrolled in a psychology class when I was 22. Not to pursue a degree, but to learn more about psychology, of which I knew nothing. After that, it was a western civilization class. Then music history.
When Wisdom grabbed me my life changed.
Later, via C.S. Lewis I was introduced to some philosophers: Plato and Aristotle, mostly, but later Augustine and Descartes. I started reading them. Man, that was tough! I knew I needed help, like a coach. So in my 20s, I audited philosophy courses at UCI Irvine. Eventually, I got serious, and I ended up with a BA in philosophy from UCLA. I then received a second degree in philosophy and MA from Talbot School of Theology at Biola University.
C.S. Lewis helped me stay determined with his words, “The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.”
All this work was done while I had a flourishing career.
Over the years some have asked why I didn’t get more “practical” degrees. More than a few men have said, “You could have done an MBA.”
Philosophy doesn’t teach you what to think – facts, data, information – it teaches you how to think. Moreover, education should never be a means to an end — it’s an end in itself.
Too many today view education as a task you must “get through,” so you can go get a better job. Parents teach their children this canard, drilling into their young minds the importance of good grades and test scores and extra cirriculars, so the kids go get into a “top university.”
I get it; we want our children to get decent jobs, which, we’re told, leads to better lives. Makes sense. Fact is though, studies show the “American dream” often doesn’t work. Making more money does not always lead to greater fulfillment.
Being stuck in some field that you ultimately hate, having to live for the weekends and vacation – I question it.
Later in life, countless men (women less) wonder why they gave the best years of their lives, decades, to climbing the corporate ladder, the pursuit of wealth and status, “success” — only to find little meaning and sense of purpose.
Treating education and learning as a means to an end — and this sounds strong I realize — is destroying our nation today. Some talk about how we need a spiritual revival. Perhaps we do. But I’m certain we need a revival of thinking, reasoning, and the pursuit of education for the sake of learning, being well-informed and finding our true passions.
We need to be seeking wisdom. When Wisdom grabbed me my life changed.
If you want to learn more on this topic, watch my new video at the link below.