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The Marks of a Truly Educated Man (Letter 12)

  • Broadcast in Education
Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III


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Dear Y.B.M.:

This letter is being written from the beautiful Kellogg Conference Center on the campus of Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama.

If you are an upwardly mobile individual, you may have wondered from time to time, how does one know that he is educated? In other words, what are the marks of an educated man?

Here are some of the marks that I have observed about truly knowledgeable people or those considered truly educated:

First, they have a healthy and humble respect and reverence for Almighty God. This principle of an educated man is found in the Book of Wisdom, which is the book of Proverbs in the Holy Bible. The verse reads: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge."

A person who does not acknowledge and reverence God Almighty is not considered a wise or educated man. In fact, God considers him a fool. "He is ignorant and knoweth nothing." No matter how many years of schooling he has behind him, if he does not recognize and respect and fear Almighty God, he is a fool according to the Word of God. Psalm 14:1a says, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." 

There is an old negro saying that also comes to mind here: "Education without salvation is damnation."

The other day I saw a very striking sign at a church. It read:

The dead atheist
The dead agnostic
and the dead saint
All believe God exists now.

A second mark of an educated man is that he is humble enough to admit his ignorance. He realizes that no matter how much he learns, he will never learn or know everything.

Third, a truly educated man continues his education long after his years in high school and college. He learns until he dies. In the words of Quincy Jones: "He grows until he goes."