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Responsibilities of an Educated Person

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Thanks to another hub user for asking the question, "What are the responsibilities of an educated person?"

My answer was this:

"An educated person is responsible for sustaining his or her life and the lives of any children he/she may have. An educated person is also responsible for using his or her gained knowledge in a way that does not cause harm. Perpetuating the human species is not possible if a large number of people have as their goal to cause harm.

Hopefully, an educated person has a more well-rounded view of the world and will continue to seek knowledge and understanding of it throughout their lives."


An education often provides a person with the means to sustain his life, to live comfortably or even to live in luxury. The major you choose will be the deciding factor in determining the stability and limits of your financial situation. A degree in engineering, mathematics, physics, or computer science will lead to a much higher salary than a degree in social work or women's studies. This may not be a popular statement, but your intelligence and dedication will affect which majors you are capable of obtaining. So, you must recognize your limitations and work with the attributes you possess.

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People often wait to have children and first acquire education so they have the means to support their future offspring. They realize that having a college degree will very likely allow them to have a higher income than if they were to attempt to enter the job market with only a high school diploma. For various reasons, a college education may not be a possibility for some people, but for those who do pursue a degree, society expects that they will support themselves and their children.


An educated person should responsibly use their education. A very famous physicist named Richard Feynman was one of the scientists who contributed to the creation of the atomic bomb. The atomic bomb caused mass destruction, the loss of thousands of innocent lives, and its effects still linger today. Richard Feynman was a very intelligent and educated man when he was persuaded to join the team of people who were building the atomic bomb. He felt that he was benefiting his country, but in the aftermath of the bombs being dropped, Feynman changed his mind. He experienced a deep depression, which he describes in one of his books:

" I returned to civilization shortly after that and went to Cornell to teach, and my first impression was a very strange one. I can't understand it any more, but I felt very strongly then. I sat in a restaurant in New York, for example, and I looked out at the buildings and I began to think, you know, about how much the radius of the Hiroshima bomb damage was and so forth... How far from here was 34th street?... All those buildings, all smashed — and so on. And I would see people building a bridge, or they'd be making a new road, and I thought, they're crazy, they just don't understand, they don't understand. Why are they making new things? It's so useless. But, fortunately, it's been useless for almost forty years now, hasn't it? So I've been wrong about it being useless making bridges and I'm glad those other people had the sense to go ahead."

Feynman is an excellent example of a person who could have used his education to achieve different ends (and he did make other notable contributions to the scientific community). The bomb may have been built anyway, but he would not have been an accessory in the act. Because the bomb was built, it could potentially be used in the future or the United States can simply use it as an unspoken threat against anyone who is not our ally. 

Continuing your education throughout your life is important. The knowledge you possess affects your actions toward everything and everyone in your life, and in turn helps to perpetuate or destroy humanity and our planet.

© 2011 jwood00

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