Intelligence Is Not Enough


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MINT HILL, NC – In 1947, an 18-year-old Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote an article for The Maroon Tiger, Morehouse College’s campus newspaper. As a senior at Morehouse at the time, King communicates his thoughts on how important education is as a tool in the essay called “The Purpose of Education”. In this compelling and passionate article, King states that he has observed that the purpose of education has been misunderstood. He challenges the idea that education should be used to take advantage of others. King communicates that the proper use of education is to help us to achieve our goals in life. He states that education molds us into critical, independent thinkers. King states in his essay that, “We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.” King explains in his essay that a complete education is one that not only provides knowledge but expands our empathy and compassion for others. Education is incomplete without moral character. King contends that an educated person who lacks a moral compass is dangerous. “But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.” Our academic goals for our children and students ought not to be scholastic alone, but also include a sense of moral responsibility. As parents and educators, our goal is to nurture our children to become independent thinkers whose objective is to make the world a better place. 

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