An educated man understands that education is a lifelong process. As a result, in order to become one, you must consistently work on broadening your mind. A well-educated man is one who is literate, cultured, and aware. He is aware of what is going on in the world, enjoys the arts, and maintains a decent demeanour.
Part 1 Staying Informed
1. Keep up with the daily news. Find a newspaper that you enjoy and read it on a daily basis. With the advent of the internet, this has become a very simple task. Reading the local news is insufficient, so try to concentrate on national and international news. You want to know everything there is to know about the world. You can even try reading a variety of daily newspapers. You might also be interested in reading news commentary. Having a broad perspective on various points of view is essential for developing a broad picture of what is going on in the world.
You should read a variety of magazines. Don’t limit yourself to a single country’s newspaper. Here are a few noteworthy international publications:
The India Times
The Asahi Shimbun
The New York Times
2. Make a list of key points. Make notes about areas of the world that interest you. These notes can serve as a solid foundation for future research. Assume you’ve just finished reading an article about ISIS. If you write down information about the countries occupied by ISIS, such as Iraq and Libya, you will be able to learn more about how the current situation arose.
Maintain your scepticism. Not everything you read should be taken at face value. Instead of simply taking in talking points, consider the biases and omissions of various newspapers.
3. Listen to the news on the radio. Listen to a newscast on the radio. The BBC and NPR are both excellent sources of current world events. Because they are both funded by the government, they may not be as biassed as other news sources. News radio is also useful because it will teach you how to pronounce the names of important places and people.
4. Magazines about current events should be read. Magazines such as Harper’s Magazine, The Atlantic, The Economist, Der Spiegel, and The New Yorker are excellent sources for current events. You can probably find copies at your local library, but you can also subscribe to magazines that interest you. These magazines will provide you with additional information about the events you read about in the newspaper. They frequently publish long-form articles that are focused on a specific region or topic.
These magazines also have online versions. Examine their archives rather than focusing solely on current events. A piece on classical music from the 1930s might introduce you to a composer you’ve never heard of. The more of these articles you read, the more your general knowledge will expand.
Writers for these magazines frequently publish books as well. These books provide additional information on the topics that you have read about in magazines.
Part 2 Appreciating Culture
1. Visit museums. Look at art and interact with what you see. Take your time with multiple pieces. Try to understand what makes these art objects unique and special as you look at them. This is going to take some time. Contemplation is central to art appreciation.
Engage with each piece of art through a different lens. A painting is not the same as a photograph, and vice versa. A contemporary work should not be viewed in the same way that a classical work is. As a result, a contemporary oil painting deserves a different perspective than a three-hundred-year-old oil painting. Keep in mind that both periods and movements are important.
Take a look around. The guide will provide you with important information about significant works of art. Even if you’ve seen the piece before, you might learn something new about it or the artist if you listen carefully.
Check to see if they have any take-away menus. These can also provide you with important information about the museum’s collection.
2. Examine the literature. Immerse yourself in modern and classic literature. By allowing you to see other people’s points of view, fiction can help you become more empathetic.
Begin by reading classic literature. Plutarch’s Lives, for example, is a collection of stories about Greek and Roman men who led interesting lives. Each storey delves into both the positive and negative characteristics of these men. Examine the characters in these stories and take in the lessons they teach.
3. Philosophy should be read. Philosophy will equip you with the tools to debate moral and free will issues. You will be able to examine your own life and thoughts more clearly if you read philosophy books. This can help with decision making.
Philosophical foundational works should be read. Begin with Plato’s Republic. This foundational work of philosophy consists of dialogues between Socrates and his students as they try to figure out what the ideal society would be like. They discuss free will, morality, and belief as they design their hypothetical city.
4. Take copious amounts of notes. Keep a notepad handy while reading these books so you can scribble down notes about the themes and ideas in these texts. You don’t want to get bogged down in the smallest of details. Writing down the most important parts of what you’ve read is a great way to avoid getting lost while attempting to tackle these important works.
5. Watch movies. Try watching art-house films. There are numerous excellent films available. Take advantage of the opportunity to watch a few of them. If it helps, pick one director and watch as much of their work as you can. Then, read film criticism about films you’ve seen. You will be able to pick up on how that director decides to edit and shoot their films if you do this.
Read the criticism. Sight and Sound and Cahiers du Cinema are two magazines you should read. Both have reviews and essays on contemporary art-house films. They also publish articles by film scholars about older, classic films. The AV Club is also a fantastic resource for both old and new films. Individual critics’ websites can also be useful.
6. Play some music. Of course, you’re likely to listen to music. If you don’t already listen to a variety of different genres, you should try listening to a type of music you’ve never heard before. For example, if you primarily listen to rock music, you should experiment with classical music. Alternatively, if you only listen to classical music, try listening to rock music. You’d like to have a wide range of musical tastes. This demonstrates your openness to new experiences.
Part 3 Having Conversations
1. Speak with people who are reasonably well educated. Engage in conversations with people who have learned a lot about life, whether through school or work. Speak with them and try to figure out how they got that information. Inquire with them about subjects you don’t understand.
Speak with people from various professions. Education can take many different forms. A well-educated man understands this. Your mechanic may be as well-informed as your professor.
2. Attend public lectures. Find out if a scholar or author is giving a talk in your area. Attend the discussion and pay attention to what they have to say. Frequently, a question-and-answer session follows a presentation. You will not only learn about a subject, but you will also be able to directly ask the lecturer questions.
Again, make an effort to take accurate notes. This will make it easier for you to think of good, stimulating questions that will lead to a lively discussion. Of course, don’t overdo it by writing down every word. Remember that you only want to jot down key concepts and ideas.
3. Maintain an open mind. During your conversations, you will almost certainly disagree with the person with whom you are conversing. Try to understand their point of view. This is not to say that you must agree with everything you hear. This would be a bad idea. An educated man, on the other hand, does not dismiss someone based on a disagreement. Arguments and debates, on the other hand, demonstrate that you are open to hearing ideas that differ from your own. They assist you in developing your own point of view.
If you disagree with someone’s point of view, you could say: “I can see why you’d think that. However, I have a different viewpoint on the subject.”
Part 4 Behaving Well
1. Maintain your cool. A calm demeanour is the mark of a well-educated man. Don’t be easily enraged. For example, instead of yelling because someone has irritated you, react calmly and try to resolve the situation. You don’t have to hide your feelings if you don’t want to. You may be angry, but don’t let that affect your behaviour.
If you find yourself becoming angry, try to bring yourself back to centre. Meditation is an excellent method for accomplishing this.
2. Speak with a calm tone of voice. Don’t use a loud voice. You should still talk to people, but you don’t want to be the loudest person in the room because this may give the impression that you’re trying to draw attention to yourself. You don’t want to be too quiet, but you also don’t want to be too loud. You may appear timid if you are very quiet. A well-educated man will strive for balance in his speech.
3. Be modest. A well-educated man is gentle and well-mannered. Try not to come across as arrogant or braggadocious. Contribute to the conversation by expressing your point of view, but do so sparingly. After all, you don’t have to demonstrate your knowledge in every social situation.
4. Pose inquiries. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification. Don’t be afraid to try it. This demonstrates your eagerness to learn. It is preferable to make a mistake while learning something new than to remain ignorant out of fear of embarrassment.
An inquisitive mind is a wise mind. If you don’t understand something, say something like, “Would you mind explaining your last point again?”
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