With the all that is going on in the world at the moment (including but not confined to France going all Freedom of Speech is everything and then arresting people for freedom of speech..) – here’s a little thought experiment, why do we worry so much about physical fitness but we don’t apparently give a gnats kneecap about the well-being of our minds?
In the UK we educate most kids up till they’re 16, many until they are 21 (roughly 38% of school leavers go to university), this is by no means untypical although obviously its better by far than many third world nations. Most first world adults survive until they are in their late 70’s or early 80’s which means that for the majority of your life you are not educated – you get a decent grounding perhaps (although this is disputable) and then you’re left to your own devices. If you are woefully dumb at 16 and leave without any qualifications, you can opt to stay that way. Never mind that your work and life prospects will be seriously hampered until you shuffle off this mortal coil and never mind that poverty is almost certainly a good indicator of poor health and earlier than average mortality.
In the meanwhile we worry continuously (or the press/media worry for us at the behest of government agencies) about our health. Five a day, exercise, no smoking, no drinking, no drugs etc etc. You can be as stupid as a plank, and if you are fit, slim, and devoid of vices we are more than happy for you to live out your span (although if you are all the above and dumb then your income will be lower – see above. Unless of course Mumsie was a Sloane Ranger and Dadsie went to Eton, earn a great deal of money and/or inherited it and then passed a lot of it to a private school to educate you. In which case you could be the next Tory chancellor of the UK).
If we had a continuing programme of education, slow starters could be picked up and their prospects could be improved, people could appreciate the fun that education can be, you could help people come to terms with changes in their employment status (if they are part of an industry that is changing and needs new skills), you could improve social discourse (explaining that immigration is not to blame for society going to hell in a hand cart fore example) and allow people to consider the risks of their lifestyles and make considered changes if necessary (rather than making them feel badgered and put upon). We can perhaps help people to understand their society better and become an informed electorate………….oh, ah. I see. Never mind then.