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I think thinking is important. Education is one method for providing some structure and direction around thinking, so it can help the process. But education is not the only (or even the preferred) means of becoming an thinking individual.

I personally know individuals with advanced degrees from Ivy League and other top universities who choose to live "lives of quiet desparation," unable to truly think for themselves and make coherent decisions about their lives. People who, in spite of the "finest education in the world" still can be (admittedly high-powered) sheep.

One of the people I respect the most in this world is a friend who doesn't have a high school diploma or an undergraduate degree and is running her own business quite successfully. She can have an interesting, involved and thoughtful conversation on philosophy, business or art, and can hold her own (and most of the next guy's) in any argument that I've seen her participate in.

IMHO, courage, rather than education, is the most important element in living deliberately. Having the courage to think about life, rather than coast through it, allowing yourself to be distracted from the real (and in many cases unpleasant) issues we all face as human beings, is what makes living deliberately possible. It's also what makes it occasionally cost so much.

Education certainly provides an opportunity to begin to think deliberately about life. Some choose to do so, and some pass on the opportunity. But I haven't really seen nearly as much correlation between education and living deliberately as I have between personal courage and living deliberately.
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