Jul 212012

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself,” said American philosopher, psychologist and educational.

This saying is certainly true simply because one cannot ignore the importance of education. And according to the findings of a recent study in UK, the higher people’s level of general education, not only the more satisfied they were in their daily life but also the more worthwhile they felt. The survey was conducted on over a group of 15,000 people, out of which a whopping 81 per cent of the people with very high levels of education levels said they were very satisfied in life. Also, as the levels of education decreased, so did the percentage of people and their levels of happiness. We spoke to experts to find out how much does education contribute to happiness in life.

Atul Thakur, faculty member at a prestigious Mumbai college partially agrees with the study saying, “Yes, because higher education opens the door of knowledge and also can give purpose of life. It may give the maturity to distinguish between right and wrong. And no, because very few take education as a thirst or the quest for knowledge. Rest of them focus on their career and material gains. So the answer depends on how you define satisfaction.”

Career counsellor Amrita Ganguly says, “Looking at my clients, it’s not the level of academic qualifications which gives people satisfaction but what they do with it. The sector of people who judge themselves based on how educated they are suffer from major inferiority complex.” As for happiness, she says, “It would depend on every individual and if they are happy and content with the other sectors of their life and value themselves for whatever they have, I don’t think level of education would matter much.”

Well most of us think that, the more higher levels of education, it sets the ball rolling for better high paying jobs, recognition and sometimes even professionally successful partners. So what are the factors that are responsible for happiness quotient amongst the highly educated besides their education? Psychologist and child counsellor Chandni Mehta opines that intelligence and qualification does not necessarily mean higher pay for example, a journalist or a lawyer. “Besides education, there are balancing factors like financial security, family and relationships, emotional security, etc. Also, people belonging to creative fields like musicians, actors, etc. do not necessarily possess or need to possess very high levels of education.” She says that a good job, nurturing relationships, and a great network of friends are some of the factors that contribute to happiness in life.

Why is it important…
And what role does education levels play in happiness quotient, especially from an Indian perspective? Ganguly answers this question by saying that education does play a very important part in every individual’s life as it helps build a person’s self-worth which in turn builds confidence and affect all aspects of the individual’s life including happiness and the way he/she looks at things which is very important for growth, hence India as a growing country needs it to grow and sustain the growth.


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