The purpose of education is to make the student an expert in his subject. This must be clearly understood, and mere mudding through lessons and lectures and books and passing examinations are relegated to secondary importance as means to the end-which is excellence in the field chosen.
But there are so many fields, and no man can become an expert in all the fields it is necessary to decide which fields are important ones that a man should know well.
It is clear that one’s own work is the most important. This has been realized and modern civilization has accordingly provided vocational education. It is now possible to acquire high professional skill in the various fields, medicine, engineering production, commerce and so on-but with good and bad mixed together, and no standard for guidance.
The modern civilization has provided:
What are good parts of our civilization? First and fore-most there are order and safety. If today I have a quarrel with another man, I do not get beaten merely because I am physically weaker and he can knock me down. I go to law and the law will decide as fairly as it can between the two of us. Thus in disputes between man and man. Right has taken the place might. More-over, the law protects me from robbery and violence. Nobody may came and break into my house, steal my books or run off with my children. Of course, there are burglars, but they are very rare and the law punishes them whenever it catches them.
It is difficult for us to realize how much this safety means. Without safety those higher activates of mankind which make up civilization could not go on. The inventor could not invent, the scientist find out or the artist make beautiful things. Hence, order and safety, although they are not themselves civilization, are things without which civilization could be impossible. They are as necessary to our civilization as the air we breathe is to us; and we have grown so used to them that we do not notice them any more than we notice the air.
According to the passage, the burglars are: