ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

On Education: Reaching for the Stars

Updated on March 24, 2020
William F. Torpey profile image

Graduated NYU 1963. Worked in NYC in public relations 2 years then as reporter/news editor 32 years at The Hour newspapers. Retired in 2000.

Stepping Stones Museum, Norwalk, Connecticut

"Stepping Stones Museum for Children is not just any museum. It’s a fun, colorful and engaging environment that recognizes the value of play in promoting learning, creativity and discovery.
"Stepping Stones Museum for Children is not just any museum. It’s a fun, colorful and engaging environment that recognizes the value of play in promoting learning, creativity and discovery. | Source

Reaching for the Stars

The night sky.
The night sky.

Perhaps the noblest goal for anyone to pursue is simply to attain an education.

Few may argue with that simple statement, but, perhaps, few would see the goal in the same light.

My dictionary refers to "the knowledge and development resulting from an educational process" and stresses training and formal instruction.

But, in my view, education is merely the acquisition of knowledge that enables one to think efficaciously.

While the mysteries of life continue to elude the mind of man it is that very mind that separates man from the other creatures on Earth. Man achieves his greatness in his ability to conceive ideas and to contemplate what lies not only within but without.

Pursuit of a Goal

Among men it is the pursuit of a goal that elicits the deepest and most cherished meaning; It is the day-to-day struggle of life -- trying to do one's best on the job, getting along with others and attempting to trim one's golf score -- that makes pursuit of happiness a worthwhile adventure.

Often, in fact, achievement of a long-sought-after goal results, somewhat surprisingly, in a let-down rather than jubilation.

Exercising the Mind

I find nothing more thrilling than observing an intelligent person using his God-given brain power the way I think it was designed to be used; a person who is good at what he does, who stretches the limits of his ability by persistence, hard work and the exercise of the mind.

All of us are constrained by mere physical and financial necessity to achieve some salable level of training that will provide food, lodging and employment. But, beyond that, the restraints are removed; we can reach for the stars.

Achieving Intellectual Freedom

Too many of us, I think, are permitting the brilliant potential of man's mind to be dimmed by the demands of today's competitive marketplace. We fight hard to achieve financial independence, to have the things we need to fulfill our creature comforts, but, it seems, we make little effort toward achieving intellectual freedom.

Our society does little to encourage original thinking; it puts a premium on following not on leading; on job training, not on education; on actions that do not make waves, not on boldly striking out toward new achievement that could benefit all.

Changing Society's Direction

But, as thinking people, we can change the direction our society has embarked upon. We can insist that new generations be instilled with an appreciation of learning beyond the sophomoric. We can insist that we be allowed to be all we can be. All of us.

Why not visit a library, or museum, today?

Or, perhaps, examine the stars.

I wrote this column as an "Editor's Notebook" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on Sept. 19,1987.

Which Is More Important:

See results

Starry Night Identifying the Night Sky

A Star of Another Kind -- Bing Crosby: 'Swinging on a Star'


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)