May 28, 2021

Education or cultivation

“Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity” Isocrates, Athenian orator.

Confusing the meaning of education with cultivation is a common phenomenon. There is often the belief that education is necessarily accompanied by cultivation. In reality, these are two different concepts. Education plays the role of imparting knowledge, it is provided by institutions and is certified through degrees. Cultivation, on the other hand, teaches you to distinguish good from evil, fair from unfair, endows you with right judgement and creative thinking.

Education is vital to the evolution and development of a civilisation. It isn’t, however, always enough. Education without the essential cultivation is like a tree without a trunk. And that is because through cultivation one can distinguish the significant, the great from the temporary and insignificant. It is the only good that is not lost and the only one we need in order to live well. When you know how to search, to judge and to think having acquired values and ideals that accompany you throughout life, then you are a happy human being.

William Butler Yeats, an Irish poet had (once) said that: “education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” Nowadays we often seek polymath, when in reality what is missing from society isn’t education but cultivation. Education bears fruit when it’s based on cultivation. Without it, it is not as effective. And education isn’t always found in books. It’s found in life itself, in family, in the society around us.

You can fill in an entire wall with titles and degrees; after all this period is provided for this purpose, but that may not always be enough. Expertise is not enough. Societies essentially thrive when people know their limits, they can coexist well with those around them, have a social conscience and a sense of justice. According to Maronitis “cultivation is more of a method; education is mostly action.” In any case, they are concepts equally important, but not synonymous.

Author: Tsampika Koutouzi

Photography by Simeon Maniatis


Maro Karipsiadi (she/her).

Law student at AUTH but will definitely break Monopoly rules. Her favourite form of expression is music and she believes that anything is possible if you work hard for it, unless you want a bite of her burger.

Savvas Katsidonis (he/him)

Born and raised in the sunny island of Rhodes, he found himself striving to adapt to the new rules and vibes of a megacity, which he now loves. A book-enthusiast and ballad lover daydreaming about the past, the future, the history in general. Volunteering, learning new languages and taking photos of others but himself are just some instances of his life, when he does not sleep or watch series.

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