In one word, being educated is all about having empathy.
The world is changing fast. The relevance and real-life application of paper degrees and qualifications are becoming see-through. We’re entering into an age where hard work, commitment, and perseverance is more appreciated over knowledge, intelligence and skill.
Just look at how the top companies around the world recruit these days. Many of them, today, do not care about the traditional educational qualification of the candidates. They are picking employees on the basis of their interpersonal skill.
Excuse me for saying this, BUT only the average and visionless companies care for formal qualification of the candidates. And I very closely believe that they are destined to fail in the long-term. Period. Their approach is short-sighted and unsustainable; they are building a team of paper champions. They will not succeed.
This is why so many startups have left their large competitors far behind. Because they have built a team of people who are compassionate, people who care about problem-solving, people who want to contribute to the world and NOT just focus on their paycheck.
(Courtesy: Get Smarter About Money)
And all these attributes in the new-age employers, employees and the whole ecosystem stems out of empathy. These people understand the needs and problems of people they are serving. They want to solve those problems.
And there are countless success examples that have stemmed out of empathy. Be it GoFundMe, Kickstarter, Snapchat, Niconovum or Acumen—all these solve problems. And this problem-solving attitude comes from empathy. And we need more of this attitude, so the world gets better.
This is what being educated means to me. It means that we understand other people’s needs and problems. And then work to solve them.
We need empathy to solve the biggest problems like poverty. We need empathy to maintain peace. We need empathy to prosper.
If you have paper degrees and you’re not contributing in the society in one way or another, that’s a waste of your education. If you’re not passionate about something, if you’re not helping ONE person around you, all your high-school and college days are a big waste. You’re not educated. You’re just literate.
In traditional terms, people like Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg, Ellen DeGeneres, Michael Dell and so many more were never “educated”. And YET they are more educated than so many of the graduates and professionals.
In short, being educated = having empathy.